Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Martin Luther

Martin Luther and the Sixteenth-Century Universe: A Fall Semester Seminar directed by Euan Cameron

Martin Luther and the Reformation movement forever linked with his name, have often been understood as crucial factors in the rise of “modernity.” Yet Martin Luther was also in a profound sense a product of the later Middle Ages. He interpreted many of the conflicts and struggles of the era in terms of cosmic warfare between the realms of God and the devil. At critical moments in his career he seems to have expected the imminent second coming of Christ. This seminar will explore some of the many ways in which the message of Martin Luther and the early Reformation intersects with the natural and supernatural world of the later Middle Ages and the Renaissance. In successive weeks, participants will explore late medieval explanations of misfortune; predictions of the end of time at the eve of the Reformation; the interpretation of portents; the relationship between theological debate and demonology in the Reformation; theories of divine providence; the relationship between Reformation and “disenchantment”; and other themes introduced by participants’ research. Where possible, surviving pamphlets and illustrations from the period and from the Folger’s Stickelberger collection will be consulted to illustrate the
themes of the seminar. Original source texts will be supplied in translation for discussion.

Director: Euan Cameron is Henry Luce III Professor of Reformation Church History at Union Theological Seminary and Professor of Religion at Columbia University. His publications include The European Reformation (1991), Waldenses: Rejections of Holy Church in Medieval Europe (2000), and Interpreting Christian History (2005).

Schedule: Fridays, 1 – 4:30 p.m., 29 September through 15 December, except 10 November and 24 November 2006.

Application Deadlines: 1 June 2006 for admission (and grants-in-aid for Folger consortium affiliates); 5 September 2006 for admission only. Visit for application forms and guidelines, as well as a link to our online application form.

Please contact the Folger Institute ( with any questions.


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