THE IMPACT OF LUTHER’S REFORM ON ORTHODOXY AND ITS INFLUENCES IN THE GREAT UNION OF 1918 IN ROMANIA
Martin Luther had a positive attitude towards Eastern Orthodoxy, especially in the face of dissatisfaction with some practices in the Roman Catholic Church: clerical celibacy, papal supremacy, purgatory, indulgences, and communion with bread alone. He has frequently referred to the beliefs and practices of the „Greek Church,” as he called it, because Catholics have deviated from the principles on which Christians have previously agreed. Luther never tried to build a bridge to the Eastern Church, but some of his followers, like Philipp Melanchthon, did. Protestantism did not find the conditions that determined the Luther Reform in the East, since the Orthodox rulers were far from Catholic luxury, the slowdown on the social scale and the prosperous and autonomous middle class were delayed, and the cultural level of the great majority remained a low level. Protestantism succeeded less in the Orthodox countries such as Russia and in the minority groups of the Ottoman Empire because these areas were more rural. Luther’s reform has been very successful in other areas because of innovations such as print media. It was simply easier to travel in urban areas. It is worth noting that this year marks the 100th anniversary of the Great Union and at the same time 500 years after Martin Luther’s great reformation. Even if the above-mentioned events are at a distance of 400 years, the effect of the Luther reform is a complex, universal one that finds its reverberation even in the outstanding 1918 event in Romania.
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