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Autumn Symposium

Martin Luther on the 500th Anniversary of the Protestant Reformation

Saturday, October 21, 2017

In partnership with the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, the Basic Program will mark the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation with its Autumn Symposium, focused on Martin Luther and his broad intellectual and social impact on Western modernity. 

Luther is the monk who made the modern world. 500 years ago, in 1517, he wrote his famous "95 Theses," which criticized the Catholic Church's practice of selling indulgences as a way for people to "pay off" punishment for sins in purgatory. What followed was the Protestant Reformation, which broke apart the Western Church and changed forever our ideas about submission to authority. Three years later, in 1520, Luther wrote perhaps his most significant essay, "On the Freedom of a Christian," which makes the case for a religion based on liberty rather than submission. 

Our keynote speaker will be Kurt K. Hendel, the Bernard, Fischer, Westberg Distinguished Ministry Professor Emeritus of Reformation History at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. Basic Program instructors Joshua Daniel and Stephen Hall will also be speaking. The program will include small group discussions and a panel discussion. 

Recommended Reading: Luther, On Christian Liberty, Fortress Press, ISBN 978-0800636074