Perhaps the clearest and most influential statement of the principles driving the early Protestant reformers, Martin Luther's On the Freedom of a Christian (1520) challenged the teachings and authority of the old Church while simultaneously laying out the blueprint for a new one.
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Tryntje Helfferich is Associate Professor of History, The Ohio State University at Lima.Review:
With a few key primary sources, [Helfferich] introduces the Reformation in all its complexity. While emphasizing the centrality of religion and belief in the Reformation movement--including key theological concepts of Luther and the mainstream Reformation, of Catholic theologians, and of Mu¨ntzer and the more radical elements in the Reformation--the texts collected in this volume also introduce readers to its social, cultural, and economic aspects, topics of so much of the recent scholarship on the Reformation.
The work includes an excellent general Introduction that, in a lucid and systematic manner, presents the reader with those key aspects of the period's Christian thought and practice against which Luther would react in On the Freedom of a Christian. And although individually brief, the cumulative effect of the various introductions [to each related text] is to provide the reader with a broad range of information about the Reformation in general.--Robert J. Christman, Luther College
The translations are accurate and clear, and the introductory essay does a wonderful job of distilling complicated theological controversies into terms that are comprehensible by an undergraduate audience. The edition's greatest asset, though, is the range of texts that it includes. By including works by Luther's Catholic opponents and his erstwhile allies, this edition demonstrates that On the Freedom of a Christian represented not only a high point in Luther's thought, but also a starting point in a debate that spanned Christendom and had massive social and political implications.--Philip Haberkern, Boston University
A highly readable translation, with excellent contextualization and annotation.--Joel F. Harrington, Vanderbilt University
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