Times of trial

We must suffer to understand hope

Viking Penguin Lives, a series of biographies, lists Martin Marty on Martin Luther among its forthcoming titles (2003). Writing this book will keep me busy during 2002; doing the reading for it has delighted me through much of 2001. Reading Luther while writing and speaking about the devastations to buildings, bodies, souls and spirits that have overtaken us this autumn has been one way of getting “back to basics” for me.

Most treatments of Luther during the past century, if they resisted the temptation of making a modern out of him, dealt with this question: How can we get “inside” someone who lived with the insecurities of the late-medieval environment? Johan Huizinga wrote about “the violent tenor of life” in those times.


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