Historical Dictionary of Lutheranism

Overview

The Reformation of the 16th century was a complex and multifaceted political, social, cultural, and religious process. Most historians agree, however, that in the framework of this process it was the religious and theological efforts to reform and renew the late medieval church—decadent and irrelevant in many ways—that were the initiating forces that set a broad historical movement in motion. Among these reforming religious and theological forces, the Lutheran reform movement was the most important and ...

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Historical Dictionary of Lutheranism

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Overview

The Reformation of the 16th century was a complex and multifaceted political, social, cultural, and religious process. Most historians agree, however, that in the framework of this process it was the religious and theological efforts to reform and renew the late medieval church—decadent and irrelevant in many ways—that were the initiating forces that set a broad historical movement in motion. Among these reforming religious and theological forces, the Lutheran reform movement was the most important and influential one. It was the historical impact of the theological genius of the Wittenberg professor Martin Luther (1483-1546) that profoundly changed and shaped the face of Europe and beyond. Today, Lutheranism has become a worldwide communion of churches that stretches from Germany to Siberia, Papua New Guinea, Madagascar, and Surinam. The second edition of the Historical Dictionary of Lutheranism presents information on major theological issues, historical developments of Lutheranism worldwide, Lutheran ecumenical and missionary involvement and activities, worship and liturgy, spirituality, social ethics, inter-religious and Jewish relations, Lutheranism and the arts, theology, and important representatives of Lutheranism. This is done through a detailed chronology, an introductory essay, an appendix of Lutheran Churches, a bibliography, and hundreds of cross-referenced dictionary entries. This book is an excellent access point for students, researchers, and anyone wanting to know more about Lutheranism.

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Editorial Reviews

CHOICE
This second edition (1st, CH, Jan'02, 39-2516) is a one-volume reference on the history and theology of Lutheran Christianity worldwide. Written by Gassmann (Theological Faculties in Tartu, Estonia, and more), Oldenburg (Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg), and Larson (formerly, Lutheran Theological Seminary), this work, as part of a larger series, appears in a standard format. Short entries are presented on individuals, groups, topics, and events. Though no bibliographical details appear with specific entries, an extensive English-language bibliography at the end of the work runs to 62 pages. Also offered are current statistics for Lutheran church bodies worldwide. This second edition has an expanded list of entries, with about 75 new pages of material. The update includes more information on significant Lutheran women, leaders, and movements in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, as well as recent developments. One might take issue with the exclusion of certain topics and individuals or with a perceptible editorial slant in some articles, but overall this is a good reference book, especially valuable for its revision. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above; general readers.
Choice
This second edition (1st, CH, Jan'02, 39-2516) is a one-volume reference on the history and theology of Lutheran Christianity worldwide. Written by Gassmann (Theological Faculties in Tartu, Estonia, and more), Oldenburg (Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg), and Larson (formerly, Lutheran Theological Seminary), this work, as part of a larger series, appears in a standard format. Short entries are presented on individuals, groups, topics, and events. Though no bibliographical details appear with specific entries, an extensive English-language bibliography at the end of the work runs to 62 pages. Also offered are current statistics for Lutheran church bodies worldwide. This second edition has an expanded list of entries, with about 75 new pages of material. The update includes more information on significant Lutheran women, leaders, and movements in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, as well as recent developments. One might take issue with the exclusion of certain topics and individuals or with a perceptible editorial slant in some articles, but overall this is a good reference book, especially valuable for its revision. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above; general readers.
American Reference Books Annual (ARBA)
The dictionary’s broad scope and clear style make it a fine addition for academic or public library religion collections as well.
American Reference Books Annual
The dictionary’s broad scope and clear style make it a fine addition for academic or public library religion collections as well.
Library Journal
Gassmann (former director, World Council of Churches Faith & Order Commission; Fortress Introduction to the Lutheran Confessions), Duane H. Larson (former president, Wartburg Theological Seminary; From Word and Sacrament), and Mark W. Oldenburg (Lutheran Theological Seminary) cover topics, figures, and events important to Lutheranism from its founding to the present day. Prefacing the dictionary entries are a comprehensive chronology that details the beginning of Christian communities dating from around the time of the death of Jesus Christ through the present day and a mention of the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation in 2017. An introduction clarifies some terminology and discusses the rise and expansion of Lutheranism, the Lutheran identity, and the Lutheran world presence. With a few exceptions, such as the essay on Martin Luther, which runs about two pages, most of the entries are no more than a page or so in length. Each entry has the topic capitalized and bolded, employing in-text bolding for important concepts. The information is concise and provides snapshots of myriad elements important to the faith. An appendix includes a list of Lutheran churches along with their membership statistics. A comprehensive bibliography is also included and is organized according to a variety of topics, including general reference works, history, the life and theology of the founder, significant followers, and Lutheranism and ecumenism. BOTTOM LINE Researchers and others interested in topics surrounding the Lutheran faith will find this comprehensive dictionary a good place to start their investigations.—Annette Haldeman, Dept. of Legislative Svcs., Maryland General Assembly, Annapolis
Booknews
The dictionary is preceded by a lengthy introduction which situates Lutheranism historically and liturgically. The lengthy and cross- referenced dictionary entries were co-written by Gassmann, his colleague at the Lutheran Theological Seminary (in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania), Mark W. Oldenburg, and Duane Larson of the Wartburg Theological Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa. Appendices provide a list of Lutheran churches and their membership as of 1999 and a bibliography organized by subject. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Günther Gassmann is visiting professor at Theological Faculties in Tartu, Estonia; Riga, Latvia; Sao Leopoldo, Brazil; Rostock, Germany; Rome, Dominican University; and Bratislava, Slovakia in 2012.

Duane M. Larson is former professor at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg and President of the Wartburg Seminary, Dubuque.

Mark W. Oldenburg is Dean of the Chapel and professor of the Art of Worship at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg.

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