Sorry! This site requires JavaScript. Virtually nothing will work without it. Please enable it in your browser.

October 31, 1517

In this commemorative year, the Reformation is the subject of movies such as the American Public Television seriesThe Reformation: This Changed Everything, museum exhibits at The Morgan Library and Museum, and the Minneapolis Museum of Art and many other festivals and programs across the country. This book by Martin Marty is a wonderful companion resource for the year.

Martin Marty answers the question: Why is the Reformation relevant today?

Rather than a historical narrative of Reformation events, he explains in this accessible book the issues that led to Luther’s posting of the 95 Theses, their implications for the Church and world . . . and most importantly, how this impacts us devotionally as Christians of any denomination. As one of the world’s preeminent Luther scholars, Martin Marty also explores the concept of repentance as a central theme of the Theses. In a foreword, James Martin, SJ, offers context and a shared vision.

This year began with the joint ecumenical commemoration in Lund, Sweden, on October 31, 2016, attended by Pope Francis and members of the Lutheran World Federation and other Christian churches. Martin Marty explains how this event, and indeed all ecumenical dialogue that has happened over the past few hundred years and will happen in this coming year, represents a change of heart.

Includes the 95 Theses of Martin Luther

"Martin Marty is the most widely respected historian of Christianity in the United States today.  In this little book he with clarity, compassion, and a good dose of common sense shows how Luther's story is meaningful today." —Rev. John O'Malley, S.J., University Professor, Georgetown University

"Martin Marty's attention to October 31, 1517, the day that Martin Luther promulgated his 95 Theses, provides valuable insights for the past, the present, and the future--why Luther's articulation of"repentance" meant so much then, why his commitment to "justification" has now built a bridge for Catholics and Lutherans to work with each other, and why this great event of 500 years ago might herald a hopeful future for Christian believers and all others.  There is an awful lot packed readably into this one small book."
—Mark Noll, Francis A. McAnaney Professor of History, University of Notre Dame 

"I would not dream of preparing my mind and heart for the celebration of Luther's role in the Reformation without finding out what Martin Marty has to say on the subject. And he says it here  in this wonderful little book. The gifted historian that he is, Marty gives us much solid information. But he also writes eloquently about how best to prepare our souls for the kind of commemoration that also includes some prayers of repentance." —Richard Mouw

"This pithy book offers valuable insight on how Luther's 95 theses have had a profound influence on he ecumenical movement, and can help Christians today understand what it means to be a member of a truly 'catholic' church." —Kathleen Norris

Important places

Wittenberg (21)


Sachsen-Anhalt (55)


Germany (3,818)