Luther on His Way Home

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In the dreary coldness of February I have to admit to not being entirely sad that we aren’t walking back from Rome, especially thinking of the rotten weather that Luther certainly would have encountered in the famously harsh winter of 1510-11. But five hundred years ago this month he was on his way back home, […]

A Couple of Days in Lutherland

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Monday morning we officially re-entered the modern world of travel by boarding a plane. A distance that had taken us 70 days to walk we reached in an hour and forty minutes by plane. That as much as anything shows us how much our world has changed in 500 years. We came here to what […]

Reformation Day in Rome

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Yesterday morning we woke up extremely early, though not because we aren’t craving excessive amount of sleep—only because Daylight Savings Time ended in Europe today. For all that, we still managed to be a few minutes late to church. The German-speaking “Chiesa Luterana” in Rome was packed with extra chairs lined up around the edges. […]

We’re in Rome!

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Today’s post comes to you live from the eternal city! For one last time we got up way too early, forced our poor roadies to drive us back to our connecting point, and plowed off into the frigid morning at about a quarter to 8. Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, our final day’s walk was neither […]

Where Was the Pope?

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One of the few things we know about Luther’s pilgrimage to Rome is that he didn’t meet the Pope. There’s no reason that he would have even tried. His business was an internal matter within the Order of Augustinian Hermits, and religious orders had their own separate chain of command. It would likely have taken […]

Catholic Scholars of Luther

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Johannes Cochlaeus was a contemporary of Luther’s and his first “heresiographer,” in the words of Ralph Keen*—in other words, the opposite of a hagiographer, one who demonizes a supposedly wicked and impious enemy of the church. Cochlaeus’s 1548 biography, “The deeds and writings of Dr Martin Luther from the year of the Lord 1517 to […]

Hex: #E97451 RGB: 233, 226, 81

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No, that title isn’t a typo, a secret code, or the order number for a new pair of synthetic socks. It’s the color coordinates for Burnt Sienna, a color you may recall from a childhood box of Crayola 64s and the dominant hue in the brick buildings comprising the Tuscan city of Siena, where we […]

Elsewhere in 1510

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It’s easy to overlook, when diving into the details of the Reformation, that a lot of other very important things were happening at the same time. There’s the Renaissance, of course, whose capital—Florence—we’ve just visited. Boticelli died the same year Luther walked to Rome; Leonardo da Vinci began his training in anatomy. The same rebirth […]