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  #1  
Old 10-31-2011, 11:43 AM
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Reformation Day

Today is the 494th anniversary of Luther posting his 95 Theses on the door of Wittenberg Cathedral:

95 Theses - Luther


What were the economic implications of the 95 theses? How did money start moving differently around Europe after the Reformation? Did money that once would have gone to Rome, end up going to the newly formed multi-national corporations like the Dutch East India company? How much money did the Catholic church lose on a yearly basis once Protestantism began flourishing and how was that money spent differently?

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Old 10-31-2011, 12:15 PM
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Do you really think money and power were any part of Luther's motivation?
Why bring it up?
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Old 10-31-2011, 12:22 PM
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What's the relevance of Luther's motivations? It's the effect of Luther's policy ideas that intrigues me. But if you want to raise the issue of motivations, lots of those theses are concerned with $$$.
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Old 10-31-2011, 01:55 PM
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You were the one who asked the question about the economic implications. What other reason to ask the question than to imply that there were economic reasons?
His issues with the Church were theological. To imply anything else is to besmirch Luther's motives.
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Old 10-31-2011, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by MS Fowler View Post
You were the one who asked the question about the economic implications. What other reason to ask the question than to imply that there were economic reasons?
Why in God's name would it imply economic motivations? There were economic consequences. That's what I'm asking about.

As an analogy, marriages are infrequently based on economic motivations nowadays yet there are huge economic implications.
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Old 10-31-2011, 04:28 PM
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Perhaps, I owe you an apology. You are generally quite verbal against anything that resembles orthodox Christianity. I expected that your question was simply a way to undermine Luther's contribution to the Reformation.
If that was not your motivation, I apologize.
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Old 10-31-2011, 04:30 PM
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Religion and money always go hand in hand. It was as true 500 years ago as it is today. You can bank on it.
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Old 10-31-2011, 04:38 PM
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I understood the question I think. I didn't take it to mean that Luther was economically motivated. I took it to mean, what were the economic results of the reformation?
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Old 10-31-2011, 04:49 PM
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I understood the question I think. I didn't take it to mean that Luther was economically motivated. I took it to mean, what were the economic results of the reformation?
Exactly. People often point to the role of Protestantism in changing peoples motivations and helping capitalism to get started. I'm curious as to the direct $$ implications for European economies.
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Old 10-31-2011, 09:41 PM
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After a lot of googling, this is the best I've been able to come up with:
H-Net Reviews

It doesn't quantify the system of indulgences in $$ terms but does talk about projects funded with indulgences.
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Old 10-31-2011, 09:44 PM
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From what I gather Martin Luther was annoyed at how the church ran things and was so involved in everything so he did this to bring attention to it.

This subject requires a lot of studying.
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Old 11-01-2011, 11:13 AM
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The more I think about this, the more intrigued I am. Was the Reformation a giant stimulus package for northern Europe, spurring it's economic development over southern Europe for the next few hundred years? Certainly there was some economic effect. The fact that salvation became free means that whatever money was being spent for salvation became available for other purposes. How much was that? I have no idea. Perhaps some northern European cathedrals kept records of their indulgences prior to the Reformation and some actual $$ figures might be teased out of that. But in addition to the effects of salvation becoming free, Protestants abandoned monasteries. Monasteries are expensive both in supporting them from church $$ but also in broader social terms. Well educated monks and nuns spend their lives doing non-productive work in monasteries. Once this monastic class was abolished these same educated young people could turn to other lines of work, expanding social capital. Did the monastic class morph into the class of scientists, mathematicians and engineers? Did Protestant countries develop these classes earlier than Catholic ones? Scotland, that most Protestant country certainly jumped ahead in these fields pretty quickly.
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Old 11-01-2011, 12:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kerry View Post
After a lot of googling, this is the best I've been able to come up with:
H-Net Reviews

It doesn't quantify the system of indulgences in $$ terms but does talk about projects funded with indulgences.
That system of indulgences was one of the extra-biblical practices of the Roman church that Luther objected to. Luther was conflicted by this practice of the Church compared to the simple gospel, and what he read in Romans, "The just shall live by faith." "By Faith"; not by buying indulgences.
Luther's 95 Thesis eventually got whittled down to what the Reformers called "The solis " ( alone)
Christ alone, ( as opposed to Christ plus the Church Fathers)
Faith Alone, ( as opposed to Faith PLUS works)
Scripture Alone ( as opposed to Scripture PLUS whatever the Pope decreed.)
I am certain that the Reformation had an marked economic impact. Look at what the concept that believers could read the Bible for themselves did for Gutenberg and other printers.
Add in that the Pope, and his minions were not the actual keepers of the gates to heaven, and a lot of people, and their money, get diverted from the attempt to purchase salvation.
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Old 11-01-2011, 01:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kerry View Post
Today is the 494th anniversary of Luther posting his 95 Theses on the door of Wittenberg Cathedral:

95 Theses - Luther


What were the economic implications of the 95 theses? How did money start moving differently around Europe after the Reformation? Did money that once would have gone to Rome, end up going to the newly formed multi-national corporations like the Dutch East India company? How much money did the Catholic church lose on a yearly basis once Protestantism began flourishing and how was that money spent differently?
I personally believe that Luther, as a monk, had written these theses because he was angry with the way in which certain Roman Catholic officials solicited money from wealthier parishioners by "selling" indulgences and pardons for their deceased relatives. This was done to raise money for the building of a cathedral.

It is one thing to ask people to give, another to use it as a means to "sell" salvation or pardon from past sins.

Luther originally objected to the attitude of the money raisers, not the fact that they were soliciting money for the bulding of a church.

He also added that, when compared to the good that could be done by using that money to feed the hungry, the two actions needed to be putinto perspective.

But the business men didn't see it that way. Just like now. Mow down the opposition. Any way you ca., Ends justify the means. Then as time went on, two sides became entrenched, Pope Leo X wrote papers condemning "Lutheranism" the Catholic princes declared Luther " vogelfrei" meaning that he could be killed on sight with no punishment to the killers, and the whole game became political, economic, social and linguistic!

Prince against prince
Italian Rich against German rich
Roman Catholics against "Protesting ones (FR>: Protestants)"
Poor Germans against rich Catholic foreigners
Latin-speaking Church officials against German-speaking peasants and burghers/princes

This later sets the stage for one of Monty Pythoin's greatest achievements:

The sketches about the Spanish Inquisition!

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