Martin Luther After 500 Years

Archive Report

His Inner Development

When in the twilight of the Middle Ages a monk nailed 95 Latin propositions to a church door in a small town in Saxony, he never dreamed that Western civilization in 1983 would celebrate his 500th birthday. Martin Luther's “Disputation on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences,” posted at the Castle Church in Wittenberg on Oct. 31, 1517, merely invited fellow scholars to a discussion. But others translated and printed Luther's Ninety-Five Theses, and their message swiftly spread across Germany.1 Spurred by the enthusiasm of his supporters and the hostility of the papacy, Luther then launched a revolution that split Christendom.

This year's celebrations of the birth of Martin Luther, Nov. 10, 1483, will be marked not only by commemorations of his place ...

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