Religion

Martin Luther and the Origins of Political Authoritarianism

For seventy years now, a biblical lifetime, varieties of democratic liberalism have charmed the common folk with magical realism, tales of everlasting progress and human perfectibility. Twice gulled, it seems, the folk are drawn to authoritarianism. What are its origins? The Reformation’s recent Five Hundredth has shone light on this, with new reviews of October 31, 1517, when it is said Luther nailed ninety-five theses to the church door in Wittenberg, a small town in Germany. Luther, once called a “new Paul”, more recently a “religious nuclear weapon”, split the thousand-year Latin empire, sparked revolution in Germany and rekindled ancient…

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