Outlook

Martin Luther and the movement he triggered in 1517 remain central topics in the history of not only German but also Western Civilization. Ascertaining their impact and how to commemorate them, how-ever, falls to each successive generation to judge. This exhibition addresses some of the ambiguities in Luther‘s problematic legacy, including the nationalistic heroic narratives spun around him.
The Reformation changed many people‘s understanding of their faith. While before the Church had been seen as the only way to salvation, now faith became the concern of the individual alone. Over the following 500 years the search for the „true Word of God“ gave rise to many Protestant denominations. The Reformation forever altered the face of Europe. Centuries-old institutions disappered, to be replaced by new ones. Borders changed, national churches emerged, and religious tensions erupted into global conflicts. The history of the Reformation is clearly also a history of violence, during which thou-sands were persecuted and even murdered for their faith. This experience led to the realization that politics must not be governed by religion alone. Today we are living in a pluralistic society, one in which the Reformation‘s significance is an ongoing topic of discussion. In this context, we can draw inspiration from the biography of the man who did not bow to authority or prevailing opinions: Martin Luther.

Credits

Research

Robert Kluth

Graphic

Daniela Scharffenberg