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Katharina Von Bora: A Reformation Life Paperback – October 1, 2002


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 253 pages
  • Publisher: Concordia Publishing House (October 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0758600003
  • ISBN-13: 978-0758600004
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 6.8 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #378,435 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful By John H. Pleuss on November 30, 2002
Format: Paperback
Rudolph and Marilyn Markwald have done the English speaking world a great favor by writing the first real biography in English of Katharina von Bora, Martin Luther's wife. (Sure, there are other titles in English concerning Katie, but they are historical novels rather than real biographies.)
The Markwalds have added their own original research to that of German biographers who preceded them. This was a challenge because there are only 8 letters of Katharina that are extant. Fortunately, there is substantial relevant material also available in Luther's letters, letters of other contemporaries, transcripts of the Table Talk, and convent and municipal records. The result is a well-researched and fascinating text which is both quite readable and accurate (supported by extensive footnoting).
The text covers Katharina's birth, convent life, escape from the convent, marriage to Luther, managing the Luther household and raising a family, hosting visits of important thinkers and theologians, nursing Luther through his health problems, coping with poverty after Luther's death, and her own accidental death while fleeing the plague.
Despite the plethora of books on Luther, until now there was not a good English biography of this strong, independent woman (sometimes called the Queen of the Reformation and the Balance Wheel of the Reformation) who supported, challenged, and encouraged the Great Reformer.
I highly recommend this book to all who are interested in Lutheran and Reformation history.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By rodboomboom HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on May 5, 2003
Format: Paperback
As noted by another reviewer, this is first full scope biography in English of this significant figure in church history, especially that of the Reformation.
While many have heard much in the way of husband Martin's praise of his marvelous Kati, she certainly has been shortsuited in published works until this worthy volume.
Markwald's provide well documented primary and secondary source bio of this nun turned Great Reformer's wife. Going through the turbulence of life would be enough, yet add to that the pressure of keeping up with one who is at vortex of sweeping reform, with infamous Table guests and conversation and demanding family and church life as well.
Not only a significant support to her husband and family, this readable and informative work presents through letter correspondence a remarkable portrait of a strong believer with convictions of her own and an intensity of faith and contentment which only comes from the strongest of the saints.
Many will gain much from this read which hopefully might stimulate other contributions to this First Lady of the Reformation.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on September 24, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great history of the Lutheran Church, Has a diferent perspective, from the wifes point of view. My wife put on a presentation with the information at church, and was very good.
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By Joe Mich on March 24, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book was about the amazing life of the woman who married Martin Luther. This is her tale of freedom, marriage, love and the undertaking of running a Monestary for students. She oversaw hired hands that helped her garden, clean the premisis, raise animals, cook, etc. for her family and the student who they housed at the Luthers' Monestary.
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By James G Horn Jr on March 17, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Because little is known of Katharina's early years, the first couple of chapters are devoted more to the background of the convent life in which she was raised. The authors generally do a good job of pointing out the siignificant differences between the cultural assumptions that characterized the period with modern expectations. The prinicipal focus of succeeding chapters is her relationship with Luther as revealed in his letters to her and their conversations recorded by guests and published as Luthers table talk. What struck me was the dichotomy between Luther's tradionalist view of marriage (no petticoat government, man as head of the house) as expressed in public with the tone of his letters, recognizing his wife's key role in managing the practical side of their life (she ran several farms, a large household including frequent long term guests, brewing, and even the details of getting his works published by the printers.) The most likely area would be her relationship with her children, which is barely covered. A quotation attributed to her son Paul, a physician, that his mother was half physician herself, suggests that there may be some other comments surviving from her children and later family tradition
After Luther's death, their home in Wittenberg was overrun by Catholic forces several times. Katharina's major achievement during this time was keeping her family together and raising her children to adulthood before she was killed in a carriage accident during another flight from the wars of the Reformation.
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