The People's Book: Reformation and the Bible
April 7-8, 2016
Nearly 500 years ago, Martin Luther’s 95 Theses caught Europe by storm and initiated a transformation of church and society that would alter the course of history with an impact that endures to this day. Out of all that Luther published, his German Bible was, by his estimation and according to current scholarship, the crowning achievement of his work.
The subsequent proliferation and diffusion of vernacular Bibles – grounded in the original languages, enabled by advancements in European printing, and particularly launched by theological principles of sola scriptura and the priesthood of all believers – contributed to an ever-widening circle of Bible readers and listeners. These developments ultimately proved instrumental in shaping Christianity in new directions. This conference will explore the nature of the “people’s book” and its complex role in the Reformation by reflecting on matters of access, readership, authority as well as its place in the worship context, as the object of theological interpretation, and as a central element of unity and division within Christianity.
Plenary papers will bring attention to the multiplicity of Reformation traditions –magisterial, radical, and Catholic – and their engagement with the Bible. Consideration of the impact of the people’s book on Christianity provides opportunity for exploring its role in shaping Christianity today. To that end, keynote sessions will grapple with the unifying and divisive dialogue that the people’s book generated during the Reformation as an avenue for considering the unity and division that the body of Christ faces today.
Event co-sponsored with:
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