In my Church History (late medieval to modern) lectures this semester, I recently finished the unit on Martin Luther and the beginnings of the Protestant Reformation. While teaching about Luther, I was reminded of the many commemorations that took place last year on the occasion of the 500th anniversary of the 95 Theses (October 31, 1517). It seems that nearly everyone interested in church history, including yours truly, was obliged to comment on the legacy of Luther and the Reformation.
One of the overarching themes in many of the contributions, Roman Catholic and Protestant alike, was the tragedy of the schism, which was also my point of departure in a previous blog post. Not surprisingly, the assessments of Luther were varied across the range of bloggers and columnists. What did surprise me, however, was how unjustly dismissive and even contemptuous some writers were toward Luther.