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Luther's Lives
     

Luther's Lives

by Elizabeth Vandiver, Ralph Keen (Translator), Thomas D. Frazel (Translator)
 

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This volume brings together two important contemporary accounts of the life of Martin Luther in a confrontation that had been postponed for more than four hundred and fifty years. The first of these is written after Luther's death, when it was rumoured that demons had seized the Reformer on his deathbed and dragged him off to Hell. In response to these rumours,

Overview


This volume brings together two important contemporary accounts of the life of Martin Luther in a confrontation that had been postponed for more than four hundred and fifty years. The first of these is written after Luther's death, when it was rumoured that demons had seized the Reformer on his deathbed and dragged him off to Hell. In response to these rumours, Luther's friend and colleague, Philip Melanchthon wrote and published a brief encomium of the Reformer in 1548. A completely new translation of this text appears in this book.

It was in response to Melanchthon's work that Johannes Cochlaeus completed and published his own monumental life of Luther in 1549, which is translated and made available in English for the first time in this volume. After witnessing Luther's declaration before Charles V at the Diet of Worms, Cochlaeus had sought out Luther and debated with him. However, the confrontation left him convinced that Luther was an impious and malevolent man. Consequently, over the next twenty-five years, Cochlaeus fought vigorously against the influence of the Reformation. Such is the detail and importance of Cochlaeus's life of Luther that for an eyewitness account of the Reformation - and the beginnings of the Catholic Counter-Reformation - there is simply no other historical document to compare.

Published in collaboration with The Sohmer-Hall Foundation, this book also supplies introductory texts to the lives of both Cochlaeus and Melanchthon, plus comprehensive annotation for readers who wish to make of broader study of the period. These translations will be essential reading for students and academics of the Reformation and all early modern historians interested in this fascinating period of religious history.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"These two translations will prove to be very valuable additions to the collection of primary accounts of German Reformation history in the English world. The works offer unique, detailed, engaging accounts of the events surrounding Luther's reform movement; the translations are eloquent; and the introductions to both lives provide a very helpful framework for understanding the primary texts."--Scott Dixon, Queen's University of Belfast

"By placing accurate new translations of these two "lives of Luther" side by side, Vandiver and her colleagues have allowed two very different perceptions of the significance of Luther to compete head to head. The result is as entertaining as it is informative, and a powerful reminder of the need to ensure that secondary works about the Reformation are never displaced by the primary sources."--Alister McGrath, Times Literary Supplement

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780719068027
Publisher:
Manchester University Press
Publication date:
03/01/2004
Pages:
408
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.10(d)

Meet the Author

Elizabeth Vandiver is Director of the Honors Humanities Program and Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Classics, University of Maryland

Ralph Keen is Associate Professor of Religion, University of Iowa

Thomas D. Frazel is Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Classical Studies, Tulane University

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