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Luther, Martin

Martin Luther (1483–1546) was a German professor of theology, composer, priest, former monk and a seminal figure in the Protestant Reformation. Luther came to reject several teachings and practices of the Late Medieval Catholic Church. He strongly disputed the claim that freedom from God's punishment for sin could be purchased with money. He proposed an academic discussion of the power and usefulness of indulgences in his Ninety-Five Theses of 1517. His refusal to retract all of his writings at the demand of Pope Leo X in 1520 and the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V at the Diet of Worms in 1521 resulted in his excommunication by the Pope and condemnation as an outlaw by the Emperor.