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Wrestling with the Reformation in Augsburg, 1530

Emily Fisher Gray

Publisher: University of North Carolina Press
Imprint: The University of North Carolina Press
Published: 10/2023
Pages: 98
Subject: History
Print ISBN: 9781469676302
eBook ISBN: 9781469676319


In 1530, Holy Roman emperor Charles V called an imperial council in Augsburg, hoping to resolve religious dissention in the empire introduced by Martin Luther, whose 95 Theses, criticized the church's practice of offering promises of forgiveness from sins in exchange for money. Luther's allies in the town of Wittenberg presented the emperor with their theological positions. Another faction, aligned with Swiss reformer Ulrich Zwingli, offered more radical reforms. The Roman church responded with a defense of traditional doctrines, but by then, hope of a simple resolution to religious concerns had faded. By the time the council ended, local authorities in Augsburg recognized that its neutral, "middle way" position could not continue. The city would have to choose a side in the ongoing Reformation.

In the game, students acting as members of the 1530 City Council of Augsburg must balance competing demands for reform from citizens who espouse the religious conservatism of Charles V, while considering the implications of various Reformation positions for the city's military defense, economic growth, and spiritual purity. Students will have to choose whether to align with the Zwingli or the Wittenberg faction, uphold the traditions of the church in Rome, or create a unique approach to religious practices.