On Monastic Vows


De votis monasticis (On monastic vows) is Martin Luther’s attack on the monastic life. Coming just four years after he posted his 95 theses in Wittenberg, the work was an important component of his broader plans for reforming the Christian church in the West. In this booklet, which was written during his stay at Wartburg Castle in 1521—a time when Luther was moving beyond his attacks on indulgences to other issues—the great reformer argued that monks and nuns can violate their vows without committing a sin, since these vows are in any case invalid. De votis monasticis forms one part of a series of pamphlets addressing different sacraments of the Catholic Church, including the mass and confession. Luther also used his time at the Wartburg to begin work on his magnum opus, the translation of the Bible from the original languages into German.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

Melchior Lotter d.J.


Title in Original Language

De votis monasticis

Type of Item

Physical Description

60 leaves ; 21 centimeters

Last updated: September 11, 2012