Date of Award

Spring 3-1962

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)



First Advisor

Keith Reinhart

Second Advisor

Herbert L. Anshutz

Third Advisor

William D. Floyd


In his book, The True Believer, Eric Hoffer, with Machiavellian detachment, sets forth a theory on the nature of mass movements. This paper will be primarily concerned with the aspect of Mr. Hoffer' s theory that deals with the setting of the stage for a mass movement--specifically, the temperament, needs, and motives of the men who perform this prerequisite act. Though many and influential were the contributions of other men to the preparation for the final act of church reform in the sixteenth century, it is generally conceded that Desiderius Erasmus and Martin Luther's names stand out in the boldest type. Is it possible that these two men, diametrically opposed in temperament, physical attributes, and world view can conform to a common pattern? This paper will explore that possibility.