Chapter : 4. Print Culture and The Modern World

Religious Debates and Fear of Print

(b) Religious Debates and Fear of Print :
Not everyone welcomed the printed book, and those who did also had fears about it. Many were apprehensive of the effects that the easier access to the printed word and the wider circulation of books, could have on people's minds. It was feared that if there was no control over what was printed and read then rebellious and irreligious thoughts might spread. If that happened the authority of 'valuable' literature would be destroyed.
In 1517, the religious reformer Martin Luther wrote; Ninety Five Theses; criticizing many of the practices and rituals of the Roman Catholic Church. Luther's writings were immediately reproduced in vast numbers and read widely. This lead to a division within the church and to the beginning of the Protestant Reformation. Luther said, "Printing is the ultimate gift of God and the greatest one.

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