Visualizing indulgence


“An indulgence issued by Archbishop Stephen Langton circa 1220. This granted forgiveness for 30 days of sin to anyone who would contribute towards the building of Salisbury Cathedral. Granting indulgences for gifts or prayers was a common feature of the medieval church.” (source: Salisbury Cathedral, chapter house, photo by SR Holman)

Next week Lutheran parishes around the world will celebrate, on Reformation Sunday, Martin Luther’s posting of the 95 Theses on the church door in Wittenberg, Germany, on October 31, 1517. The manuscript illustrated above, a guarantee that the bearer has purchased a release from 30 days in Purgatory, is an example of what triggered all that kerfuffle.
Read the 95 Theses (English translation from the Book of Concord).

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