The Protestant Reformation was a major 16th century movement aimed initially at reforming the beliefs and practices of the Roman Catholic Church. It was also influenced by ambitious political rulers who wanted to extend their personal power and control at the expense of the church. In 1517, in one of the pivotal events of western history, Martin Luther, a German Augustinian monk, posted 95 theses on the church door in the university town of Wittenberg. The act was a common academic practice of the day and served as an invitation to debate. Luther’s propositions challenged numerous church practices as well as some aspects of broader Roman Catholic doctrine. Luther argued that the Bible, not the pope, was the central means to discern God’s word, a view that was clearly controversial in Rome. Additionally, Luther maintained that salvation was granted by faith alone, that good works and the sacraments were not necessary in order to be saved.