Martin Luther’s attack on the all-powerful Catholic Church was a knife to the heart of an empire that had endured for more than a thousand years. Nailing his treatise to the doors of Wittenberg Cathedral, this previously obscure German monk changed the world forever, unleashing forces that plunged Europe into war and chaos. But Luther would do more than revolutionize the church; he offered the Christian world a new vision of man’s relationship with God and, in turn, redefined man’s relationship with authority in general. Filmed across Europe — from rustic rural Germany to the opulence of Vatican City — MARTIN LUTHER is the dramatic story of the collapse of the medieval world and the birth of the modern age. Liam Neeson narrates.
Part 2: The Catholic Church uses all of its might to try to silence Luther. Protected by his local ruler, Frederick the Wise, Luther continues to write radical critiques of the church. In the process, he develops a new system of faith that places the freedom of the individual believer above the rituals of the church. Aided by the newly invented printing press, his ideas spread rapidly. Risking torture and execution, Luther proclaims his inalienable right to believe what he wishes. His stand inspires revolution across Europe, overturning the thousand-year-old hegemony of the church.
Watch Monday, January 9, 2011 at 9pm.