The Revolt of Martin Luther

By Robert Herndon Fife | Go to book overview

18
THE LEIPZIG DISPUTATION THE PRELUDE

THEtt Leipzig disputation throws full light on Luther's personality for the first time, so that it is possible to see the man in action as viewed by his contemporaries1. It also brings to the front of the stage other men whose rôles in his life were to be of importance for years to come. His companion in arms on this occasion, Carlstadt, has already claimed our attention more than once. Later on he became one of Martin's most deter- mined opponents, remaining a troublous element in the latter's life and work throughout the crucial years of the Reformation. Andreas Bodenstein of Carlstadt2 is one of those contemporaries with whom Luther's biographers have dealt no more gently than with others who opposed the ideas and obstructed the purposes of the Wittenberg reformer. Like Thomas Miinzer and the Catholic opponents, Carlstadt has had to wait until the twentieth century for a fair judgment of his part in the struggle against the scholastic ideals and his attempt to find new formulas for the future. Some of his unpopularity with the witnesses of his period was certainly due to tempera-mental difficulties of the man, whose character bears marks of self-seeking and a certain unsteadiness of purpose.

Andreas was several years Luther's senior3. He was a son of the chief official of the quiet little town of Carlstadt in Franconia, and like Luther began his studies at Erfurt. After receiving his bachelor's degree in 1502, Carlstadt went to Cologne to continue his studies4. Here he entered the

____________________
1
The sources for the Leipzig disputation are, in addition to Luther's letters, those of Carlstadt, Melanchthon, Eck, Johann Cellarius, Nikolaus von Amsdorf, Peter Mosellanus, and Johann Rubeus, all in the year 1519; and the recollections of Sebastian Fröschel, written nearly half a century later.
2
See Barge, who in his Andreas Bodenstein draws on rich source material.
3
His birth date cannot be fixed definitely. Seeibid., I, 2.
4
The facts have been carefully collated by Gustav Bauch, "Andreas Karlstadt als Scholastiker," ZKG, XVIII ( 1898), 37 ff.

-327-

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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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