The Life of St. Teresa of Avilia was an autobiography completed in 1562 by Teresa Avila.
Luther starts out with a discussion of who may enter into marriage. He then goes through fourteen impediments and using the scriptures he shows why and how they need to be revised. Luther’s arguments on reforming the impediments are based on the scriptures. He uses both Old Testament and New Testament verses in a deft and convincing manner. He then goes over the grounds for a divorce. His ground-breaking ideals on marriage hold up today and ignited a wave of change across Germany.
Luther goes to the book of Genesis to lay the foundation for the institution of marriage. God created man and woman and gave them a divine ordinance to be fruitful and multiply. Luther then says ‘It is not within my power not to be a man, so it is not my prerogative to be without a woman.’
The Catholic Church of the time laid many restrictions or impediments on who could or could not get married. Often these impediments could be broken if you had enough money to give to the Church to waive that impediment. For example, in the first impediment you cannot marry a relative within the third or fourth degree (the levels of separation from you by blood). But ‘if you have the money, such a marriage is permitted’. Luther goes into the exact biblical examples to show who you are or are not permitted to marry based on these scriptural precedents.
My favorite parts were his views on wiping away the impediments to marrying a non-Christian (Turk, Jew, or a heretic). I love the way Luther blasts those who would argue against him calling them ‘blasphemous tyrants and fools’ who should be ashamed in their hearts for arguing against the clear text in 1…