Martin Luther and the Political World of his Time

  • Gerhard Müller


Luther lived in a society of Estates, in which considerable differences existed between the nobility, the burghers and the peasants. As a cleric and university teacher Luther lived in a city and thus should be classed among the burghers. This class had a comparatively modest influence, since it was the nobility which still formed the politically most important Estate. But the nobility itself was also marked by considerable differences and developments. Thus the princes carefully observed the exact order of rank among themselves, while at the same time the influence of the lower nobility waned considerably throughout the sixteenth century. Viewing Luther’s social standing in the context of such developments, one would therefore expect to And that his political influence was very small indeed.


Political World Open Letter Princely Highness Charles Versus Eternal Damnation 
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  1. 1.
    Niels Hasselmann (ed.), Gottes Wirken in seiner Welt. Zur Diskussion um die Zweireichelehre (2 vols, Hamburg, 1980).Google Scholar
  2. 16.
    Heinrich Bornkamm, Martin Luther in der Mitte seines Lebens (Göttingen, 1979), pp. 314–53.Google Scholar
  3. 20.
    Gottfried Maron, ‘“Niemand soil sein eigener Richter sein.” Eine Bemerkung zu Luthers Haltung im Bauernkrieg’, Luther. Zeitschrift der Luther-Gesellschaft, XLVI (1975), pp. 60–75.Google Scholar

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© E. I. Kouri and Tom Scott 1987

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  • Gerhard Müller

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