Piety and the End of the WorldThe upheavals and changes related to the discoveries and inventions which occured during Luther's lifetime, filled the common folk with incredible fear and anxiety. This period represents the transition between the Middle Ages and the Modern Ages.
Fraternities, brotherhoods and traveling pastors who predicted the end of the world (for example: Pastor Michael Stifel) were very popular among the peasant folk.
A larger cult of relic worshippers and a growing number of pilgrimages were also characteristic of the time.
At the same time, other problems plagued society. The large population growth of the 15th century as well as the 'escape' of many from the countryside to the cities ensured a shortage of food and employment. Threats of war and recurring epidemics also contributed to the fears and anxieties.
Luther was born into a time characterized by radical changes and great tension.
Copernicus' View of the World