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Luther: Man Between God and the Devil Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
- Richard S. Watts, San Bernardino Cty. Lib., Cal.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
The book begins by outlining the political and religious environment that preceded the decisive break between Luther and Rome. Politically, there was growing resentment by the German princes (and populace) toward what was perceived as Roman arrogance and world-hegemony. This antagonism towards Rome, coupled with an increasing nationalistic-patriotic fervor among Germans is especially evident in Luther's political manifesto, Address to the Christian Nobility of the German Nation, published in 1520.Read more ›
This is the third biography I have read of Luther, and it may be the best single volume `intellectual' biography, which deals a bit more with those currents which influenced his thought than some other volumes. In this regard, the closest comparison would be to Martin Luther by historian, novelist, and playwright Richard Marius. Both books virtually stop their story somewhere between 1525, the date of Luther's The Bondage of the Will, his most important theological work, and 1530, the date of the Marburg Colloquy, shortly before the death of Ulrich Zwingli. Oberman does carry on to touch the highlights of Luther's married life with Magdalena Luther. He even dedicates some time to Luther's frequent bouts of bad health, starting around 1518. This included the tragicomic incident where Luther felt he was on death's door, in 1537, due to a kidney stone, which prohibited him from passing water. Philipp Melanchthon, based on some astrological determination, suggested that he postpone a coach ride back to Electoral Saxony, his `motherland', for one day, since it was at the new moon. The bumpy carriage ride dislodged the stone, which passed. Then, Luther `almost drowned in his own water'. Oberman, like Marius, is very light on the political events in Luther's life. It does cover the desire for independence of the north German estates from Roman canon law and the Pope, which contributed to Luther's safety in the early years of his excommunication and ban. For a more complete, albeit a bit less deep picture of Luther's whole life, the standard source is Roland Bainton's Here I Stand, first published in 1950.Read more ›
Okay, so this is the first biography of Luther that I have ever read. My previous knowledge of who was the "great Reformer" is from movies, religious literature quotes, preachers talking about church history and Reformation - a very limited view on the complexity of the Martin Luther's persona. The image on the cover is of Luther as Junker Jörg, Martin's moniker while hiding in the Wartburg castle after the papal excommunication.
For anyone intersted in seriously getting a good-enough grasp of who Martin Luther was and the times the he lived in, look no further. Oberman 's expectation of his work has had its effect on me - I am more interested in reading Martin Luther's original works.
The reason why I selected this to be my first biography on Luther is for a couple of reasons:
1) it is a book used by some Lutheran seminaries,
2) the author has used original sources and also German scholarly works for his research (his chapter notes alone span 23 pages)
3)wrote and published the first printing in German, and
4) the author has been true to his mission stated in the preface to "grasp the main in his totality - with head 'and' heart."
My impression, as I was slowly making my way through the book (underlining and writing notes), is that the author really understands the times in which Luther lived. I really felt that the author took me back to the early 1500's, central medieval Europe (aka Holy Roman Empire). Thus this book is not about exploring the "Catholic" or "Protestant," or even the "modern" Luther (although they are encountered in the book) but understanding Martin Luther as the man between God and the Devil.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If you know something about Luther already, this is a great book for going deeper into his story and theology. Very enlightening.Published 6 months ago by Lars
Delves into what went on in the mind of a man born in an age which stifled each man's search for meaning, and how he was able to move beyond his culture and relate to God through... Read morePublished 16 months ago by scott brissey
Having had a chance to peruse many of the other reviews here, and now having read a good chunk of the book myself, I think that what many of the others are unwilling to say--but... Read morePublished 19 months ago by Jason Goetz
A lot of praise has been showered on this book, but apart from the fact that it is obviously the result of many years of study, it is very confusing to read: everything is more or... Read morePublished on January 13, 2013 by toronto
Insightful and well written book that is worth reading. Prof. Heiko Oberman seldom disappoints. Highly recommend for those interested in Luther and the reformations.Published on January 5, 2013 by Terry Kee
Bought for a Christmas gift. happy to receive it. Insight into Martin Luther and his struggles with the Catholic church.Published on December 20, 2012 by LeslieAnn
If you know relatively little about Luther and want to learn more: this is probably not the right book. Read morePublished on April 22, 2012 by Sitting in Seattle