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Martin Luther 500 Year Commemoration

October 31, 2017 @ 9:30 am - 3:00 pm


Day 1 of a series of lectures organized to commemorate the 500th-year anniversary of the nailing of the 95 theses to the door of Wittenberg Cathedral by Martin Luther on Oct. 31, 1517, an event that sparked the Protestant Reformation.

9:40-11:10 a.m.

Kimberly Rivers, Department of History: “How an Academic Dispute Changed the World: Luther’s Early Life and Career”

Who was Martin Luther and what were the 95 Theses? Why did they capture the public imagination in Germany and the rest of Europe?

Karl Boehler, Department of English: “Luther and the Problem of Indulgences”

11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Susan Maxwell, Department of Art: “Persecuted Images in the German Reformation”

This talk will explore how different artists responded to the challenge of iconoclastic violence in wholesale destruction of images that followed in the wake of the Reformation. From well-known artists such as Albrecht Dürer and Lucas Cranach the Elder, to the countless anonymous printmakers whose withering broadsides joined in the fight, then as now, art was at the forefront of spreading new ideas.

Elizabeth Wade-Sirabian, Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures: “Luther’s Legacy of Language”

The mastery of idiom vividly demonstrated in Luther’s German translation of the Bible also characterizes Luther’s didactic and reformist works. In the centuries following the Reformation, the power of Luther’s language enriched German culture and enhanced German’s global significance.

1:20 – 2:50 p.m.

Kathleen Corley, Department of Religious Studies: “How Then Shall We be Saved? The Doctrine of Salvation in Luther’s Perspective”

Martin Luther taught a new idea for the very process of salvation which energized the movement of the Reformation. He based his doctrine of salvation upon the words of St Paul from the Letter to the Romans, “the just shall live by faith (alone).” This lecture will explore Luther’s views on salvation and faith as well as show how these views varied from those of the Roman Catholic Church of his day. 

Richard DCamp, Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures: “Music and Worship in the Protestant Reformation”

The Reformation made changes in the church’s singing. While each of the major Reformers – Luther, Zwingli and Calvin – had musical training and had the skill to write poems and tunes, on the other hand each had significantly different attitudes to music and song in the church. This session will investigate how the Reformers viewed music and, which theological decisions formed the basis for their differing understandings.

See Nov. 1 and Nov. 2 for more events.


October 31, 2017
9:30 am - 3:00 pm
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Reeve Theater
748 Algoma Blvd.
Oshkosh, WI 54901 United States