Empires

Empires

Available on iTunes, PBS Video
Driven to Defiance S2, E1: The Catholic Church uses all of its might to try to silence Luther, including accusations of heresy and excommunication. 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. He is called before the German imperial parliament in the city of Worms and told he must recant. Risking torture and execution, Luther refuses, proclaiming his inalienable right to believe what he wishes. His stand becomes a legend that inspires revolution across Europe, overturning the thousand-year old hegemony of the Church. But as the reformation expands into a movement for social freedom, Luther finds himself overwhelmed by the pace of change, and is left vainly protesting that his followers should be concerning themselves with God.