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The Reluctant Revolutionary

series: Martin Luther

air date: 1/31/13 9:59 PM

The Catholic Church uses all of its might to try and silence Luther, i ncluding accusations of heresy and excommunication. Protected by his l ocal ruler, Frederick the Wise, Luther continues to write radical crit iques of the Church. In the process, he develops a new system of faith that places the freedom of the individual believer above the rituals of the Church. Aided by the newly invented printing press, his ideas s pread rapidly. He is called before the German imperial parliament in t he city of Worms and told he must recant. Risking torture and executio n, Luther refuses, proclaiming his inalienable right to believe what h e wishes. His stand becomes a legend that inspires revolution across E urope, overturning the thousand-year-old hegemony of the Church. But a s the reformation expands into a movement for social freedom, Luther f inds himself overwhelmed by the pace of change and is left vainly prot esting that his followers should be concerning themselves with God.

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