Martin Luther's Role In The Mission

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In the 1750s, Jesuit priest Father Gabriel enters the Guarani lands in South America with the purpose of establishing a mission, converting the natives to Christianity. He is joined by Rodrigo Mendoza, a reformed slave trader seeking redemption, whom is later converted into a Jesuit. A treaty transfers the land that the natives are living on from Spain to Portugal, and the Portuguese government wants to capture the slaves for labor. Gabriel and Rodrigo conclude that defending the mission is the right thing to do, but disagree on how to do so. From beginning to end, the philosopher that was best represented in The Mission is Martin Luther. Through the perspective of Rodrigo, we can see that the world around him is taking a shift throughout…show more content…
Luther defines faith as “a living, bold trust in God’s authority”, showing how he sees faith as a priority. Additionally, Luther sees the church as corrupt: “he who gives to the poor or lends to the needy does a better deed than he who buys indulgences.” Despite this, many Christians at the time attempted to “buy their way into heaven”, in turn creating a socially corrupt society that values buying indulgences more than keeping faith in God. Rather than taking part in an entity as powerful as the church, he believes that an individualistic approach is essential to one’s relationship with God.In The Mission, faith, or is introduced the single quality that one must possess to have a true relationship with God. Rodrigo first encounters this when he senselessly kills his brother, and is imprisoned for his actions, actions possessing character that reflects Machiavelli's interpretation of faith. When Father Gabriel, a Jesuit missionary, approaches him about paying penance for his actions, he is first reluctant, but gives in after hearing Gabriel say, ____. At this point in time, Rodrigo’s interpretation of faith began its shift from Machiavelli’s to those that are strongly Lutheran; before imprisoned, Rodrigo acted in accordance with Machiavellian teachings, but Luther’s influence was…show more content…
Through Rodrigo’s character, it can be seen that Machiavelli’s teachings in regard to standards of faith in a good leader become very prominent. As Rodrigo became more comfortable and experienced as a missionary, he set his best foot forward when he was given the opportunity to be a leader. One of Machiavelli’s central teachings is the idea that “might is right”. In other words, Machiavelli believes that a strong leader should “know how to do wrong and make use of it or not according to necessity.” According to Machiavelli, confidence is necessary, but adequate skills aren’t required to be successful leader. With this, it’s understandable that Machiavelli’s interpretation of faith is more about “honesty and keeping promises”, and less about salvation, which Rodrigo takes to heart.As The Mission progressed, the issues that Rodrigo had to address started having to do less with his spiritual transition, and more with how he will use his newly-found character for good. Rather than worrying about his faith, he was more concerned about the “might” and power that he can give the indigenous peoples through war. This “might” and power directly correlate with his interpretation of faith. Unlike Rodrigo, Gabriel believes that violence is a direct crime against God. [insert quote from movie here] Rodrigo, however, decides to break his religious vows to

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