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Learn the seen and unseen lives of Frederick the Wise.
Frederick was seen. For decades pre-eminent prince in the Holy Roman Empire. Emperors, kings, popes, artists and scholars coveted his favor. He built from the dirt up a grand university/castle/church complex. Altars showcased renowned holy relics and art by masters like Albrecht Dürer and Lucas Cranach. Frederick was just. He was everyone's favorite mediator. He defended the unorthodox as well, long before Luther.
Frederick was unseen. He was famously secretive. He hid towering ambition. He had three children with a covert 'wife'. He ran a network of spies. He could be vile. He drove all Jews from his realm. He indulged the bizarre. His foul-mouthed jester Claus Narr is legendary. Frederick practiced Christianity but also believed signs and astrology. He collected 'holy relics' he had to know were fakes. He loved one brother and loathed the other.
And then came unorthodoxy writ large in Martin Luther who turned the world and Frederick upside down. Learn why this enigmatic prince sacrificed his Catholic showcase and risked his realm to protect Luther.
In the past only German scholars grasped Frederick the Wise. Now Dr. Wellman, from frequent trips to Germany and exhaustive use of German sources, reveals the seen and unseen lives of Frederick the Wise to readers of English.
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Sam Wellman, PhD, is an independent researcher and writer. He lives in Kansas. He blogs on www.frederickthewise.com.Review:
To his family, friends, peers, and subjects, Elector Frederick the Wise of
Saxony was much more than simply Martin Luther s noble protector. Dr.
Wellman s thoroughly researched and engaging biography paints a vivid
image of the Saxon elector. It is sure to become a valuable resource for
students of German history and the Reformation period. Interested
readers will be introduced to a Christian prince whose humanity and
integrity were rare for someone of his elite status within the German
empire. They will also encounter political intrigue and scandalous
behavior. Praiseworthy, yet not without his flaws, Frederick the Wise
steps out from the pages as an exceptional and noteworthy man of his
time. --Paul M. Bacon, PhD-Adjunct Professor of Art History Dominican University River Forest, IL
Sam Wellman s telling of the story of the public and personal life of
Luther s celebrated protector, Frederick the Wise, is a welcome addition
to Reformation scholarship as we approach 2017. His careful research
and well-crafted prose provide readers with insights into the risky yet
resolute Christian prince who defended Luther even as he received the
consolation of evangelical pastoral care from the Reformer. Aspects of
the relationship between these two men often only alluded to in standard
Luther biographies are developed with precision by Wellman. In this
book we learn much about Frederick but a lot about Luther as well. --John T. Pless, MDiv- Assistant Professor of Pastoral Ministry and Missions Concordia Theological Seminary Fort Wayne, IN
In a biography with the character development, twists and turns, and
absorbing storyline of a novel, Sam Wellman recreates the life and times
of the powerful and resourceful ruler who made the Reformation
possible. Duke Frederick emerges as the adult in the room of squabbling
princes and an inept emperor. A man of peace, a vigorous patron of the
arts and education, and a skillful player in the byzantine mazes of late
medieval politics, Frederick was also a man of moral and theological
contradictions. But Frederick was a shrewd and stalwart defender of
Martin Luther, who was not above criticizing his protector. This book
brings the historical context of the Reformation to life. --Gene Edward Veith, PhD-Professor of Literature Patrick Henry College
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