Luther - 1 Luther's ideas about women are very...

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1 Luther’s ideas about women are very hypocritical. In some ways, he seemed to give them more security in marriages and divorces but then also degraded them and placed them below men. He talked about how they should be trained to do what their husbands want, but then went on to put women on a pedestal when he talked about raising children and child birth. So the question is: did Luther help or hurt women with his views and idea about marriage, divorce and how family life should be or did he actually help give them more freedoms and opportunities to make their lives better? On the topic of weddings, Luther believed that it should be a joyous occasions that included dancing, drinking, and eating. He thought that as long as one did not do something against his or her conscience and derived everything from faith it was acceptable. The Catholic Church condemned this kind of behavior at a wedding ceremony and considered it a sin; Luther found that idea to be bogus and instead believed that happy people could not be condemned (Wiesner-Hanks, Karant-Nunn 97). As long as a person lived a good life and was celebrating in the name of the bride and the groom with out excess it was acceptable. It was when a person got drunk or ate too much that they could not celebrate without sin. If this occurred, the whole wedding should not be condemned just the person. Luther also rejected the scripture in Revelations that says the voice of the bride and the groom should be taken away. He believed that when one heard singing, rejoicing, and music it lets others know that a joyous event was occurring, and gave honor to the wedding. Dancing can not be considered a sin and should occur in order for the wedding to proceed properly. According to Luther, there was nothing being preached against singing, dancing, and
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rejoicing. Wedding guest who danced and sang helped add to the honor of the wedding as long as there is no overindulgence (97). Luther was also against the idea of secret marriages which were allowed by the Catholic Church. Luther defined a secret marriage as an engagement that took place with out the consent of the parents, or people in authority positions. There were usually just witnesses and a priest. According to Luther, if this occurred everyone who was there would be acting in darkness and assisting treachery (110). If a daughter did get secretly married her father would be required to reward the husband and make him the heir of all his property, this in theory would be “rewarding evil with honor.” Women that had public marriages had God’s word and testimony where as those that were secretly married had none of that. Instead she only had the secular promise of the man that seduced her (111). Secret marriages usually lead to “premarital sex” and a lot of young women losing their virginity and thus causing them to lose their honor and ability to marry. According to traditions at the time, unmarried girls who were not virgins would have been seen as worthless whores. Due to the secret marriages, girls were sleeping
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This note was uploaded on 04/19/2008 for the course EUH 4144 taught by Professor Mineo during the Spring '08 term at FSU.

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Luther - 1 Luther's ideas about women are very...

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