October 31, 1517 - Paperback: Martin Luther and the Day that Changed the World (Paperback)
Now in paperback, this classic reader on the Reformation by religion scholar Martin Marty, released for the 500th Anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, shows how Martin Luther's insights still speak to the church today about reconciliation, repentance and the need for "a change of heart." Included are the 95 Theses of Martin Luther.
"The "one thing" that opens these pages relates to and, in fact, is the first of ninety-five theses that were proposed five hundred years ago by Martin Luther.... Here is that first thesis, as it was voiced by that influential monk in Germany half a millennium ago: "When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said, 'Repent' (Matthew 4:17), he willed the entire life of believers to be one of repentance."
So, simply put, this book is about "repentance" as a worthy theme for believers to keep in mind if and as they commemorate events of five hundred years ago, events that still shape many features of their lives." — Martin Marty
Martin Marty's attention to October 31, 1517, the day that Martin Luther promulgated his 95 Theses, provides valuable insights for the past, the present, and the future—why Luther's articulation of"repentance" meant so much then, why his commitment to "justification" has now built a bridge for Catholics and Lutherans to work with each other, and why this great event of 500 years ago might herald a hopeful future for Christian believers and all others. There is an awful lot packed readably into this one small book. — Mark Noll, Francis A. McAnaney Professor of History, University of Notre Dame
I would not dream of preparing my mind and heart for the celebration of Luther's role in the Reformation without finding out what Martin Marty has to say on the subject. And he says it here in this wonderful little book. The gifted historian that he is, Marty gives us much solid information. But he also writes eloquently about how best to prepare our souls for the kind of commemoration that also includes some prayers of repentance. —Richard Mouw
This pithy book offers valuable insight on how Luther's 95 theses have had a profound influence on the ecumenical movement, and can help Christians today understand what it means to be a member of a truly "catholic" church. —Kathleen Norris
Martin Marty is the most widely respected historian of Christianity in the United States today. In this little book he with clarity, compassion, and a good dose of common sense shows how Luther's story is meaningful today. — Rev. John O'Malley, S.J., University Professor, Georgetown University
From one of the world's most preeminent scholars of religion comes a book about repentance; ...It is a gem. — James Martin, SJ
About the Author
Martin E. Marty is the Fairfax M. Cone Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus at the University of Chicago, where he taught for 35 years. An ordained Lutheran minister since 1952 and an historian, he has written on Christian history, Reformation era topics - including a biography of Martin Luther, American religion, and world religions in recent times. The author of over sixty books, he is a National Book Award winner and was honored with the National Medal of Humanities. His passion is to stress how Christianity relates both to public life and to the classic personal themes of faith and hope and love. He has participated in Christian ecumenical programs and reported on the Second Vatican Council and other events involving Catholics and Protestants.
“This book has a lot packed in it for such a short volume (90 pages and then an appendix of Luther's 95 Theses), and I found it very informative and thought-provoking, especially Marty's beautiful examination of what repentance really means. Rather than being for or against Luther, as the Reformation debate often dwells upon, Martin Marty traces Luther's influence on the church, as well as history at large, and shows where Catholics and Lutherans have sought unity in more recent times. He closes with thoughts on how this unity can be developed further. Both Catholics, Lutherans, and all the denominations in between will learn something from this little book and be convicted towards the kind of whole-life-encompassing, inside-out repentance that Luther advocated as it relates to being one bride of Christ. Well-researched and graceful, Marty has a great perspective on a potentially explosive topic.” —Amanda Rogozinski
“This book is a little book with a big message: a message of repentance as change of heart, the message of 1517 that Marty is able to show has manifold implications for church and world. It is worthy of careful attention in the commemorations to come. Because of its size and accessibility to a broad readership, this book is an excellent resource for use in congregations as well as classrooms.” —James M. Childs, Jr. is Joseph A. Sittler Professor Emeritus of Theology and Ethics at Trinity Lutheran Seminary and Book Review Editor of the Journal of Lutheran Ethics.
“Ordained Lutheran minister and historian Martin E. Marty presents October 31, 1517: Martin Luther and the Day that Changed the World, a book released especially to commemorate the fateful day when Martin Luther rebelled against the excesses of the Catholic church, proposed ninety-five theses to bring humans closer to God, and initiated the Protestant Reformation, which would create a new branch of Christianity. Martin Luther's 95 Theses are included in this erudite and thoughtful look back at a turbulent time, when Martin Luther's words about the need for ‘repentance’ were a clarion call. Thoroughly accessible to readers of all backgrounds, October 31, 1517 is a welcome addition to church library collections.” —Andrea Kay, Midwest Book Review
“His [Martin E. Marty's] central point is that Luther’s bold act of protest was a call for repentance or a change of heart within the Catholic Church, which at the time was overrun with corruption due to the selling of indulgences. Instead, Luther emphasized justification by faith and an acceptance of the grace of God...Other interesting topics covered in the book are the present day existence of some 40,000 Christian denominations (part of Luther’s legacy), the continuing dialogue between Lutherans and Roman Catholics, and their sincere efforts to come together in common prayer and joint action.” —Living Lutheran
On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther, angry and disappointed with the corruption of the wealthy Catholic church, nailed on the door of Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany, 95 theses calling for a Reformation. This momentous moment in Christian history is captured and assessed by Martin E. Marty, the Fairfax M. Cone Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus at the University of Chicago, where he taught for 35 years. The author of more than 60 books, he has participated in Christian ecumenical programs and is, according to Catholic theologian James Martin in the foreword, "a peerless scholar and superb writer." —Spirituality & Practice