Our society often seems polarized by religious factions and fears of “the others,” whether they be Muslims, Jews, or Evangelicals. But religious conflicts are nothing new. 2017 marked the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s 95 Theses, in which he attacked the sale of indulgences by the Catholic Church, and the beginning of the Protestant Reformation in Europe. Religious dissension never exists in a vacuum, however; it always has political and cultural ramifications.
Come to commemorate this half-millennium anniversary of the start of the Protestant Reformation by listening to Ute Lotz-Heumann’s lecture, “War and Religion in the Reformation Era,” which will begin at 3:30 p.m. Thursday (Jan. 11) in the Arizona Senior Academy’s Great Room.
In her words, “The Protestant Reformation, which started as a religious movement in 1517, quickly became politicized in Germany in the early 16th century. Because religion and politics could not be separated in the Middle Ages and the early modern period, political conflict over the Reformation soon led to war.
“The separation of church and state was not an early modern ideal. On the contrary, contemporaries sought to preserve the principle of “one state, one religion,” thereby opening the door to civil war, and eventually European war. This lecture will discuss the connections between religion and war in the aftermath of the Protestant Reformation, exploring the reasons for the outbreak of early modern religious wars.“
Lotz-Heumann is the director of the Division for Late Medieval and Reformation Studies and the Heiko A. Oberman Professor of Late Medieval and Reformation History in the Division and the Department of History at the University of Arizona. She is also an affiliated faculty member in the Department of German Studies and the Department of Religious Studies and Classics. Adding further distinction, she is Editor for Europe of the Archive for Reformation History.
Writen by Marna Broekhoff, Academy Village Volunteer