October 31 - 1517 - Martin Luther Issues the Ninety Five Theses

Martin Luther's Ninety Five Theses was a piece of writing in a specific genre, in which priests could challenge the doctrine or theology of the Roman Catholic Church by asking for a disputation. Yet the tone and content of Luther's disputation marked his out as something more than an invitation for debate. His main subject was indulgences, the practice of offering a good deed for the limiting of a soul's time in purgatory. Luther specifically attacked the practice of raising money by asking for money for the Church and calling it an indulgence. More shockingly, Luther did not just dispute theology, but attacked the specific priests offering indulgences and the Pope who had ramped them up. That Pope Leo X, was Luther's opposite, as he was a son of Lorenzo de Medici whose main attributes as a Pope were his distinct worldliness. Luther was an Augustinian Friar who was obsessed with his own salvation. When he attacked the Pope, Luther believed he was acting according to the will of God and the scripture of Jesus Christ. Armed with that idea, Luther's Ninety Five Theses would lead to a split from the papacy and kick off the Protestant Reformation.

William Floyd