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Cloth - 211 pp
Underlying the Protestant Reformation of the sixteenth century was
the rupture of the medieval church which was precipitated by the
separation of Martin Luther and his supporters from the institution
headed by the pope. Hendrix traces the course of that
separation with concentration on the decisive year 1517-1522.
Focusing on Luther's relationship to the papal hierarchy, rather
than to the personalities of individual popes, Luther's development
as a reformer and the beginnings of the Reformation studied.
The book concentrates on the motivating force that consistently
governed Luther's own actions in his encounter with the papacy,
viz., his insistence on the obligation of the institutional church
to nourish the faith of the people in the church. Luther
emerges from this study as an advocate of the people against a papal
hierarchy that was not fulfilling its obligation.
In a vivid and comprehensive historical account, Scott Hendrix is
a never dogmatic and always skillful guide as he dares to reopen one
of the most emotionally-charged and divisive issues of our
time. Luther's appeal to the papacy to abandon power politics
for the original preaching pastorate, despite its caustic tone,
speaks to the reform hungry in every age. This is at once a
sensitive and forceful book.
Heiko A. Oberman
University of Tübingen