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 were motivated theologically by concerns for sola scriptura and the priesthood of all believers and were enabled by the technological advancement of European printing. Certainly a multiplicity of factors contributed to an ever-widening circle of Bible readers and listeners – both Protestant and Catholic, which 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, and authority as well as its place in the worship context and as a source of interpretive dialogue. To that end, plenary papers will consider the multiplicity of Reformation traditions –magisterial, radical, and Catholic – as they engaged 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 particularly grapple with the unifying and divisive dynamics that the people’s book generated during the Reformation as an avenue for considering the unity and division of the body of Christ today.
Online registration opens September 15, 2015.
Event co-sponsored with:
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