Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




This thesis seeks to address the contention between the perceived sovereign power of the Papacy and the Protestant Reformers. It will first provide a historical survey of how the Pope came to understand himself through the history of the Church. It will then analyze responses from the Reformers regarding this topic, focusing mainly on confessional documents and responses to these documents from the Roman Catholic Church. It will conclude with a survey of Luther’s specific responses to the situation and how his response to Papal authority and sovereignty impacted this theological development. This survey will also acknowledge situations in which Luther acted in opposition to his previous responses. Conclusions shall center on how Luther’s response sets the tone for a particular Protestant response to any sovereign authority, especially regarding ecclesiological holdings of sovereign power.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.