Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion

2020 Edition
| Editors: David A. Leeming

Luther, Martin

  • Daniel BurstonEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-24348-7_396

The Rise of a Reformer

Martin Luther (1483–1546) was born on March 10, 1483, in the small Saxon town of Eisleben. His father, Hans Luther, a peasant turned copper miner, was shrewd, hardworking, and prosperous. In 1501, Luther commenced studies in philosophy at the University of Erfurt, where Ockham’s nominalistic philosophy (or the via moderna) contended with the prevailing Thomistic worldview. In 1505, at his father’s urging, he embarked on the study of law. One day, shortly after, he was stranded in a field during an immense thunderstorm and was so shaken by the experience that he vowed to St. Anne that he would enter a monastery if she spared his life. The storm abated, and to his father’s considerable disappointment, he kept his promise, entering an Augustinian monastery in Erfurt. He was ordained in 1507, and the following year, he followed his mentor, Dr. Johannes von Staupitz, to Wittenberg to found an Augustinian university, which was outspokenly critical of medieval...

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyDuquesne UniversityPittsburghUSA