- Robin A. Leaver
(b Eisleben, Nov 10, 1483; d Eisleben, Feb 18, 1546). German theologian and founder of the Lutheran Church. He influenced all 16th-century church reformers to a greater or lesser extent by his writings and activities but, unlike some of them, Luther gave an important place to music.
Luther was the son of a fairly prosperous Thuringian miner, who wanted his son to become a lawyer. He was sent to appropriate Latin schools in Mansfeld and Magdeburg, and to the Georgschule in Eisenach. In 1501 he entered the University of Erfurt, where he took the bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Then, following his father’s wishes, he began to study law, but unexpectedly entered the local Augustinian monastery and in 1505 became a monk. In April 1507 he was ordained priest and celebrated his first Mass a month later. Three years later he was commissioned to visit Rome to plead the cause of the reorganization of the Augustinian order. While there he was shocked by the commercialism and worldliness of the Italian clergy....