The sale provoked Martin Luther to write his famous 95 theses that signaled the start of the Protestant Reformation. ("Protestantism" 2006; "The Reformation" 2004)
Even before the 16th century reform movement, several attempts had been made to challenge the authority of the Church but the dissent was successfully suppressed. However, by the 16th century, a number of political and social factors made the conditions in Europe ripe for the success of the reformation movement launched by Martin Luther. By then, both the Holy Roman Empire and the pope were declining in power and were faced with potent threat from the Ottoman Empire; the invention of the printing press in the 15th century made rapid distribution of dissenting opinion possible; and finally, the rise of secular learning and nationalism in Europe had made the population receptive to the ideas of Protestantism. ("Protestantism" 2006)
Protestantism." (2006). Article in Encyclopedia Encarta Online....
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