Behold the Man: Religious Reformer Martin Luther (1483-1546) and the Politics of Identity
In 1517, a little-known Augustinian friar named Martin Luther posted his “95 theses” on the door of All Saints’ Church in Wittenberg, Germany. Meant to inspire religious debate, the document instead sparked a firestorm of protest against an established world order that had endured for centuries. Branded by his enemies a heretic and schismatic, Luther was exalted by his followers as a rebel with a cause and a prophet. Hailed today as the key figure in the transition from the medieval to the modern world, Luther, by introducing a new vision of man’s relationship with God, and redefining man’s relationship with authority, has also been hailed as the first modern man. Sources for Luther’s life are rich and varied. He wrote a good deal, and a good deal has been written about him, nearly as much as has been written about Jesus. Besides explore Luther’s ideas and their impact, the seminar will paint the person of Luther “warts and all.” While Luther in his time, and to this day, has been both revered and reviled, advocates of intellectual freedom will forever be in his debt.
Required Reading: Martin Luther – The Man Who Rediscovered God and Changed the World by Eric Metaxas. Viking, 2017. ISBN: 978-1101980019
Optional Readings: Here I Stand – A Life of Martin Luther by Roland Bainton, any edition.
Religion and the Rise of Capitalism by R. H. Tawney, any edition.
Young Man Luther – A Study in Psychoanalysis and History by Erik H. Erikson, any edition
Martin Luther’s Basic Theological Writings edited by Timothy F. Lull
The Road to Character by David Brooks, any edition
Gerry Max, ‘67, earned his B.A. in History from Lawrence University and, from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, an M.A. in Classics, Ph. D. in Ancient History and M.L. S. in Library Science. For the Whitman Institute in San Francisco, he wrote reviews on books about moral development, self-psychology, and left-right brain research. Besides teaching Ancient and Medieval History in the University of Wisconsin System, he has taught World History, Art Appreciation, Environmental Spiritualism, Ethics, and Death and Dying at Lakeland College and Viterbo University. He has published articles on a number of humanities-related topics. He collects and appraises rare books. His wife Carole and he live in Madison, Wisconsin.