Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Opening paragraphs..................Part Two

     The Venetian ambassador is exasperated by the halting progress of the Diet of Augsburg in the summer of 1518:  "Incredible, these Germans!"  Here, he reported to his superiors in Venice, are princes and diplomats with the public good at stake, struggling to achieve a settlement between emperor and sovereign princes, while in the corridors the rumormill confounds their best efforts, and the seeds of mistrust are sown.  And all because of trivialities - a theologians' dispute over indulgences.  The ambassador did not even have to rely on vague hearsay:  he could name the adversaries - a monk called Luther and a certain professor from Ingolstadt,  Johannes Eck.  Ridiculous, to let indulgences distract one from reality!  Quickly, he steered his account back to political matters.
-Heiko A. Oberman,  Luther:  Man Between God and The Devil

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