Lutheran reformer, translator of the German Bible, author of the
Small Catechism, and primary mentor of the Lutheran tradition.
Martin Luther by Lucas Cranach
monk and professor of exegesis at the University of Wittenberg, Luther
initiated the Lutheran reform with an attack on scholastic
theology in 1517. He followed this with Ninety-Five
Theses against the issuing of indulgences. This led to a thorough
reckoning with the theology and ecclesiastical practice of the late
medieval ages and a confrontation with the authorities of the Roman
Catholic Church and the Holy Roman Empire. Eventually condemned by these
authorities as a heretic, Luther exercised leadership of the Lutheran
reform through hundreds of published works, the translation
of the Bible into German, the creation of catechisms
and liturgies, and practical leadership until his death.