Reflection on Luther

As an icon in the Protestant tradition, Martin Luther has been the subject of more interpretation than perhaps anyone besides Jesus of Nazareth. People who know very little about Luther, none of which comes through reputable sources, still have powerful opinions. As representatives of the apostolic tradition, we are responsible for fairly representing that tradition both to insiders and outsiders. Let this exercise serve as practice in mediating past figures in Christian history to the people in your charge.

Imagine you are teaching a weekly series on pivotal figures in Christian history. This week the topic is Martin Luther. Choose three stereotypes about Luther and the Lutheran Reformation that are common in your circles. Articulate and address each stereotype as if someone in the class appealed to it, using primary sources and readings such as George. You may write in a dialogue format if you like. You may also include parenthetical references to the reader if you want to make comments other than your actual answer to the students.

The stereotypes may be basically accurate claims, oversimplifications, outright errors, fabrications — whatever you think will be likely and important perceptions to address.

Please keep your work 3-4 pages, double-spaced, and follow the directions in my handout for writing papers. Remember, I want to see proper style, clear writing, a thorough answer to the question, and explicit citations of course materials.

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