The Threat of Excommunication and the 3 Pamphlets, 1520

HideShow resource information

The Threat of Excommunication

  • In the 1519 Leipzig Debate Luther had openly stated that he agreed with some of the views of Jan Hus who was a heretic who had been burned
  • Luther also publicly stated that the papacy had no scriptual basis and therefore the pope had no authority.
  • Also publicly stated that the scriptures alone held the truth
  • Rome now had no choice; it had to act 
  • In January 1520 they decided to threaten Luther with excommunication
  • Rome issued the papal bull Exsurge Domine in which 41 of Luthers were condemned as heretical
  • Luthers books and pamphlets were also publicly burned
  • Luther was given 60 days to recant his views and in the meantime he was forbidden to preach or write
  • If he failed to submit he failed to submit he would be excommunicated
  • Eck and another papal delegate Cardinal Aleander were despatched north to publicise the papal bull Exsurge Domine 
  • In areas of strong Luther support the bull was torn down from doors

The Three Pamphlets of 1520

  • In 1520 he wrote and publicised over 20 pamphlets condemning the errors of the churc, listing its abuses, suggesting reforms and eleborating the implications of sola fide and sola scriptura 
  • Three in particular have become known as the Reformation Treaties

To the Christian Nobility of the German Nation, August 1520

  • Luther wrote this pamphlet in German and at the request of legal officers of the elector Frederick the Wise
  • The urpose of this pamphlet was partly political; Luther needed to garner support
  • Luther addressed this pamphlet to everyone in authority in Germany: Charles, the Princes, Nobles and Knights. He asked these "temporal authorities" to start the reform since spiritual authorities (the Church) had failed to do so
  • Luther said that the Church had drawn up walls to protect itself from reform
  • Papacy had no scriptual basis so any 'papists' who continued to defend them were agents of the Antichrist
  • Because…


No comments have yet been made

Similar History resources:

See all History resources »See all Luther and the German Reformation resources »