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How Luther Became the Reformer

How Luther Became the Reformer

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Paperback / softback

£27.00

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Publisher: Westminster/John Knox Press,U.S.
ISBN: 9780664262877
Number of Pages: 178
Published: 26/03/2019
Width: 15.2 cm
Height: 22.9 cm
No story has been more foundational to triumphalist accounts of Western modernity than that of Martin Luther, the heroic individual, standing before the tribunes of medieval authoritarianism to proclaim his religious and intellectual freedom, Here I stand! How Luther Became the Reformer returns to the birthplace of this origin myth, Germany in the late nineteenth century, and traces its development from the end of World War I through the rise of National Socialism. Why were German intellectualsespecially Protestant scholars of religion, culture, and theologyin this turbulent period so committed to this version of Luthers story? Luther was touted as the mythological figure to promote the cultural unity of Germany as a modern nation; in the myths many retellings, from the time of the Weimar Republic forward, Luther attained world-historical status. Helmer finds in this construction of Luther the Reformer a lens through which to examine modernitys deformations, among them anti-Judaism, anti-Semitism, and anti-Catholicism. Offering a new interpretation of Luther, and by extension of modernity itself, from an ecumenical perspective, How Luther Became the Reformer provides resources for understanding and contesting contemporary assaults on democracy. In this way, the book holds the promise for resistance and hope in dark times.

Christine Helmer

Christine Helmeris Professor of German and Religious Studies at Northwestern University. She is the editor or coeditor of numerous volumes in the areas of biblical theology, Schleiermacher studies, and Luther scholarship, and is the main Christianity editor of the Encyclopedia of Bible and Its Reception. She is the author of The Trinity and Martin Luther and Theology and the End of Doctrine as well as instructor of the free massive open online course (MOOC): Luther and the West.

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