The Revolt of Martin Luther

By Robert Herndon Fife | Go to book overview

20
THE LEIPZIG DISPUTATION THE AFTERMATH

THE great disputation was past, but its echoes continued to reverberate throughout the theological world and beyond. Martin came back to Wittenberg smarting under a sense of unfair treatment and determined to put his case before a less prejudiced audience than that which had faced him in when Eck scored a point, all are set forth in detail. Throughout the letter to Spalatin which Martin wrote on July 20, within a day or two after his o return to his cell, a letter in which moods of sarcastic humor, anger and firm determination succeed each other.1 Eck's blustering and unfairness, the breach of contract which forced the Wittenbergers to submit a sacred cause to judges for decision, the mocking exultation of the Leipzig crew when Eck scored a point, all are set forth in detail. Throughout the letter there sounds a tone of frustration. An occasion which was intended to establish truth and bring about harmony between Wittenberg and Leipzig had turned out to be a noisy academic fracas. For Duke George, Martin brought away a certain feeling of respect, although he grieved to see him lend an ear to the violent ideas of others; but for his opponent and especially for the representatives of the rival university, who tittered when Eck denounced him as a heretic and a friend of the Bohemians and who grudged him an opportunity to preach in their city, he nourished the deepest resentment. "Although I put a certain restraint on myself, I can not [refrain from] vomiting out all of my dissatisfaction, because I am a man of flesh and blood and the shameless hatred and malignant injustice were too great in so sacred and divine a matter."2 Nothing, he declares, was discussed in a worthy manner except his thesis on the papal power. He is therefore determined to issue to the world a new series of "Explanations" covering

____________________
1
W AB, I, 420 ff.
2
Ibid., p. 424, ll. 149 ff. The sentence is incomplete, probably because of the writer's excitement.

-368-

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The Revolt of Martin Luther
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Introduction vii
  • Contents xi
  • 1 - Early Days at Home and School 3
  • 2 - The Schoolboy Abroad 20
  • 3 - Early Years at the University 32
  • 4 - The Scholastic Learning 47
  • 5 - Entrance into the Cloister 66
  • 6 - The Novitiate Year 79
  • 7 - Brother Martin of the Eremites 91
  • 8 - Student of Theology 104
  • 9 - The Young Lecturer 128
  • 10 - The Journey to Rome 161
  • 11 - Professor and Preacher at Wittenberg 179
  • 12 - Interpreter of Augustine and Paul 203
  • 13 - The Final Break with Scholasticism 224
  • 14 - The Attack on Indulgences 245
  • 15 - In Battle with the Dominicans 272
  • 16 - The Hearing at Augsburg 288
  • 17 - An Attempt at Compromise 305
  • 18 - The Leipzig Disputation the Prelude 327
  • 19 - The Leipzig Disputation the Combat 349
  • 20 - The Leipzig Disputation the Aftermath 368
  • 21 - A Battle of Polemics 395
  • 22 - Humanistic Friends and Allies 415
  • 23 - Growth as Teacher and Preacher 436
  • 24 - The Rising Tide of Revolt 463
  • 25 - The Attack on the Sacraments 479
  • 26 - The Break with Rome 491
  • 27 - Appeal to the Secular Classes 507
  • 28 - The Final Break with Church Tradition 524
  • 29 - The Bull and the Counterattack 539
  • 30 - Book-Burning on Rhine and Elbe 562
  • 31 - Prelude to the Diet at Worms 587
  • 32 - The Diet in Session 614
  • 33 - Martin before the Diet 649
  • 34 - Refusal to Compromise 670
  • Conclusion 693
  • List of Abbreviations 694
  • Selected Bibliography 695
  • Index 715
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