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Celebrating 500 Years of Reformation: Martin Luther as a Man of his Times and Our Contemporary

Submitted by Michael Neininger on October 10, 2017 - 2:12pm
500th Anniversary of the Reformation
Sponsored by @GermanyinUSA

The event has been postponed until November 17th due to an emergency.

The event is sponsored by the German Embassy’s 2017 Campus Weeks Program, “500th Anniversary of the Reformation".                                                                                                                                                                                                    

 Celebrating 500 Years of Reformation: Martin Luther as a Man of his Times and Our Contemporary



Dr. Britta Simon


Director of Academic Programs and Summer Quarter, UW Continuum College

Affiliate Assistant Professor, UW Department of Germanics


Friday, November 17, 1:30 to 3:00 pm

Denny Hall 359



On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther sent his "Disputation of Martin Luther on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences" to Bishop Albert of Mainz, an act he intended to result in significant reforms of the Catholic Church. Instead, his attempt resulted in a schism that ultimately led to the creation of a new religion and church. Luther was not the first to criticize the sale of indulgences by the Catholic Church and to demand a return to a less profit-driven religion made more accessible to believers through the use of the vernacular instead of Latin. In this, he followed in the footsteps of earlier reformers such as Waldo, Wycliffe and Hus. Neither was Luther the sole reformer of his time as Zwingli, Calvin and Henry VIII created other reformed churches in Europe. And there were others who were less successful but more radical in their demands for social justice, equal rights and gender equality.
Fast forward 500 years. On October 31, 2017, Germany will commemorate the publication of Luther’s disputation as The Reformation, turning it into a national German holiday, thus designating the movement and one of its representatives a national German event.
In this presentation, I will outline the key differences between Catholic and Protestant main principles, talk about Martin Luther’s work in the context of earlier and contemporary reformation attempts, discuss why Luther was successful where others were burned as heretics, and speculate on why Germany today has chosen Luther as a national icon and representative.


Please join us for the lecture and reception.