Rediscover: Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther

October 31 marked 500 years since German priest Martin Luther nailed his Ninety-five Theses to the door of Wittenberg's All Saints' Church, sparking a schism that upended centuries of Roman Catholic hegemony in European religious life. What began as a theological argument against church indulgences, in which monetary donations could take the place of actual repentance, escalated into the Protestant Reformation. The many social and political legacies of that religious movement continue to shape the modern world.

Attempts to understand the man behind this seminal act of doctrinal defiance have been ongoing since Luther's death in 1546. The 500th anniversary of his revolutionary Theses has begotten a host of new biographies, notably Martin Luther: Renegade and Prophet by Lyndal Roper (Random House) and Martin Luther: The Man Who Rediscovered God and Changed the World by Eric Metaxas (Viking). Roland H. Bainton (1894–1984), a professor at Yale Divinity School and specialist in Reformation history, wrote a classic work on Luther's life in 1950. Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther has been in print ever since, and was last reissued in 2013 by Abingdon Press ($19.99, 9781426754432). --Tobias Mutter

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