This class is most productively experienced in conjunction with another class by Alec Ryrie, Martin Luther: Seeds of Reformation, which we published a couple of weeks ago. Martin Luther: Here I Stand picks up discussing Martin Luther’s life and work where the first class leaves off.
This class begins with the church’s reaction to Luther’s posting of the Ninety-Five Theses, which was not what Luther had hoped. Luther had desired open discussion and debate about the nature of salvation, but the church didn’t want discussion; it wanted obedience. Alec discusses the confrontations that Luther engaged with church authorities, including the most important one at Leipzig, in which Johann Eck succeeded in pushing Luther to make what both men knew the church would regard as heretical statements.
Alec examines Luther’s unique status as the central figure of the early Reformation and ways in which Luther disseminated his message through Germany. Finally, Alec offers in-depth discussion of Luther’s determined refusal at the Diet of Worms to admit any authority in interpreting scripture as necessary besides his own conscience. He examines that choice and its repercussions for the final two lessons of the course.
Dr. Alec Ryrie is a professor of history at Durham University. He specializes in Reformation history and particularly in the way Protestant beliefs and ideas manifested themselves in England and Scotland during the Early Modern period. He has published five books, the most recent of which, Being Protestant in Reformation Britain (2013) won The Society for Renaissance Studies book prize in 2014.
This course is designed for people who want to know more about Martin Luther, his concept of justification by faith alone, and his role in the Protestant Reformation.For a video preview, please click below.