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Where Luther Walked, #7: Augsburg

August 12, 2017

 

Augsburg is one of Germany's oldest cities with a history that dates back over 2,000 years.

 

It was the venue for Imperial Diets, witnessing the Religious Peace of Augsburg, the High Peace Festival and the Augsburg Confession – all of which assured it a place in world history.

 

​• The Augsburg Imperial Diet at which Martin Luther refused to revoke his 95 theses is one of the major turning points in western history.

 

In October 1518, Martin Luther was called to Augsburg to answer Cardinal Cajetan's charges of heresy. Cajetan ordered Luther to withdraw statements challenging the morality of the practice of indulgences and the supreme authority of the Pope. Luther refused and with Cajetan’s subsequent orders to arrest Luther looming large, Luther managed to escape Augsburg.

 

In 1518, Martin Luther was called to Augsburg to , for challenging the morality of indulgences, and for questioning the supreme authority of the Pope. With no satisfactory conclusion for either side, Luther posted in defiance at the cathedral's portal a notice opposing Rome's heresy trial against him. Today, a plaque near the cathedral commemorates Luther's act of dissent.

 

The event is commemorated at the fascinating Lutherstiege museum in St. Anne's Church with an exhibition of priceless early Luther manuscripts, documents and paintings. 

 

• In 1530 the Augsburg Confession was declared in the Fronhof at the episcopal palace near Augsburg Cathedral. 

 

In the Augsburg Confessions (Confessio Augustana), Phillip Melanchthon set down into print the underlying principles of the Reformation as “confessions” in 1530. The document was delivered to and read by Holy Roman Emperor Charles V at the Diet of Augsburg.

 

In 1555, the Peace of Augsburg recognized the Confessions and allowed local rulers the authority to decide what religion their subjects could follow (cuius regio, eius religio).

 

 

 

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