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The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh will commemorate the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther nailing 95 theses to the door of Wittenberg Cathedral on Oct. 31, 1517, an event that sparked the Protestant Reformation.

In challenging the Catholic Church’s practice of selling “indulgences” to reduce penance and time in purgatory, the German monk and scholar changed the course of religious and cultural history in the West.

UWO’s Luther 500: Here I Stand—to be held Oct. 31-Nov. 2—will include a series of speakers in Reeve Memorial Union Theatre as well as a showing of the 2003 movie Luther in Sage Hall.

Sponsors of the commemoration include the UW Oshkosh History Club and the departments of art, foreign languages and literatures, and religious studies and anthropology.

Discover more about Luther’s impact in this video with UWO history professor Kim Rivers:


UWO’s Luther 500 schedule includes:

Oct. 30-Nov. 3

  • By Way of Albrecht Dürer: An Exhibition of Student Work Inspired by Watercolors from the Age of the Reformation, Annex Gallery, Arts and Communication
  • Here I Stand, a poster exhibition from the State Museum of Prehistory–Halle in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany, Steinhilber Gallery, Reeve Memorial Union


Tuesday, Oct. 31

9:40-11:10 a.m, Reeve Union 307

  • Kimberly Rivers, history: “How an Academic Dispute Changed the World: Luther’s Early Life and Career”
  • Karl Boehler, English: “Luther and the Problem of Indulgences”


11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Reeve Union 307

  • Susan Maxwell, art, “Persecuted Images in the German Reformation”
  • Elizabeth Wade-Sirabian, foreign languages and literatures: “Luther’s Legacy of Language”


1:20-2:50 p.m., Reeve Union 307

  • Kathleen Corley, religious studies: “How Then Shall We Be Saved? The Doctrine of Salvation in Luther’s Perspective”
  • Richard DCamp, foreign languages and literatures: “Music and Worship in the Protestant Reformation”


Wednesday, Nov. 1

6:30-9 p.m., Sage Hall 1210

  • Screening of the movie Luther by the History Club


Thursday, Nov. 2

9:40-11:10 a.m., Reeve Union 307

  • Mick Rutz, history: “The Narrative of Thomas Hancock: Divided Loyalties and Divided Communities in the English Reformation”
  • Monika Hohbein-Deegen, foreign languages and literatures, “Eastern Germany: The Most Godless Place on Earth? From Cultural Heritage to Political and Regional Identification”


11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Reeve Union 307

  • Thomas Rowland, history: “‘The Empires Strike Back’: R.E. Charles V, the Roman Church and the Counter Reformation”
  • Gabriel Loiacono, history: “From 1517 to 1776: How Protestant Theology Shaped the American Revolution”


1:20-2:50 p.m., Reeve Union 307

  • Andrea Jakobs, history: “What is the ‘Calvinist Rome’? Reformation in Hungary and Transylvania”
  • Kathleen Corley, Susan Maxwell and Kimberly Rivers: Round-Table Session on Women and Sexuality in the 16th Century


Learn more about UWO’s Luther 500.