Luther’s Battlefield: Analyzing Historical Perspectives on Martin Luther's Role in the Progress of the Protestant Reformation

Student Author(s)

Matthew Meyerhuber

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Janis Gibbs

Document Type


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Among those who helped facilitate the Reformation, Martin Luther has historically received much of the credit for starting it. However, the nature of his role in the Reformation’s progress is highly contested. Intense study and scrutiny of Luther’s writings have given rise to several perspectives on the issue. Some historians, such as Harold Grimm and Robert N. Crossley, focus on Luther’s social and political views. Historians like Heiko Oberman, Edward Bainton, and G.R. Evans, on the other hand, focused primarily on Luther’s religious convictions. This research analyzed and evaluated a number of differing perspectives. The conclusion it reached places Luther, rather than his accomplishments, under the lens of study. Martin Luther believed he was fighting an apocalyptic battle for Europe’s collective soul. This belief, combined with his religious convictions, directed his actions in the Reformation.

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