Luther on Women: A Sourcebook / Edition 1

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This collection brings together selections from Martin Luther's extensive writings on women, the vast majority of which are translated here into English for the first time. It includes chapters on Eve and the nature of women, the Virgin Mary, Biblical women, marriage, sexuality, childbirth, Luther's relations with his wife and other contemporary women, and witchcraft. Merry Wiesner-Hanks and Susan Karant-Nunn provide a general introduction to each chapter, and Luther's actual texts add fuel to the debate concerned with whether the Protestant Reformation was beneficial or detrimental to women.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This brief look at Luther's varied comments on women provides a resource that has been noticeably missing in the tremendous number of volumes written about the reformer.... This work is useful as a sourcebook for Luther's thoughts on this topic. Recommended." Choice

"...this volume constitutes a valuable contribution to the teaching of Reformation studies, offering an accessible, very readable set of primary sources to faculty trying to include women in traditional courses on the Reformation or presenting the Reformation in courses on women's history." H-German (H-Net)

"In letting Luther speak for himself, the book aids both historical and theological engagement with Luther's views on women. Most excerpts are of sufficient length that the reader gets a good sense of Luther's logic and depth of thought. Thankfully the conversational "zingers" from Luther's Table Talk do not become the center of attention of analysis but rather are placed at the end of each subtopic or chapter. With its wide range of texts, the book goes a long way toward encouraging a nuanced critical appreciation of Luther on women...this work should spur discussion on the topic and invite a wide range of readers into that conversation." Sixteenth Century Journal Mary Jane Haemig, Luther Seminary St. Paul, Minnesota

"...Drs. Karant-Nunn (University of Arizona) and Weisner-Hanks (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee) collaborated for over eight years to produce not only a commendable resource but also a highly useful study....present Luther's views clearly and methodically, exploring and exemplifying, through carefully selected excerpts of Luther's writing, his numerous statements on the role and activity of women....Younger scholars (female and Male) will particularly benefit from this valuable sourcebook. Not only does this work provide easy access to many Luther quotations, often well-executed original translations, but it also provides immediate direction for further research....a wealth of accessible information....I highly commend seminarians, deaconesses, and pastors to pick up this book and enjoy a conversation about women with "the good doctor, Martin Luther."
—Timothy Maschke, Mequon, WI, Concordia Journal

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521658843
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 5/1/2003
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.55 (d)

Meet the Author

Merry Wiesner is Professor of History and Director, Comparative Study of Religion Program and the Center for Women's Studies, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Susan Karant-Nunn is Professor of History and Director, Division for Late Medieval and Reformation Studies, University of Arizona.

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction; 2. Eve and the nature of women; 3. Mary; 4. Biblical women other than Eve and Mary; 5. Marriage and the family; 6. Sexuality; 7. Childbirth; 8. Katharina von Bora, Luther's wife; 9. Luther and other contemporary women; 10. Witchcraft and magic; Further reading; Index.

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