A pas­sion­ate fan of Bach's mu­sic and Cranach's paint­ings, Solveig Steinhardt loves the art be­hind the 500th-an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tions of the Protes­tant Ref­or­ma­tion.

Where Berlin - - CONTENTS -

Martin Luther's protest against the Catholic church and the art it in­spired.

Five cen­turies ago, when Martin Luther wrote his 95 the­ses to protest against the ex­cesses of the pope and the cor­rup­tion of the Catholic church, he prob­a­bly had no idea to what ex­tent his words would

change the world. He not only founded a new re­li­gion; by chal­leng­ing what had been the world's big­gest power for more than 1000 years, he be­came a hero of free speech, and tri­umphed against the church thanks to his abil­ity to speak to the masses in their lan­guage. Be it for his re­li­gious im­por­tance or for his his­toric rel­e­vance, Luther is cel­e­brated in Ger­many by many more peo­ple than the 30% of the pop­u­la­tion that iden­ti­fies as Lutheran. Through­out 2017, the 500th an­niver­sary of the Ref­or­ma­tion will bring a num­ber of events to all the Ger­man towns as­so­ci­ated with him, in­clud­ing Eisleben, where he was born; Wit­ten­berg, where he posted his 95 the­ses; and Eise­nach, where he trans­lated the Bi­ble into Ger­man. There are even or­ga­nized walks be­tween these cities, cov­er­ing a to­tal of 2000 km. Al­though Berlin re­mains out­side of the Luther trail, the city will cel­e­brate the priest with the ex­hi­bi­tion The Luther

Ef­fect at Mart­inGropius-Bau, on un­til 5 Novem­ber. Cu­rated by the Deutsches His­torisches Mu­seum (p. 38), the show fo­cuses on Luther as a his­toric char­ac­ter and pon­ders the ef­fect of Protes­tantism on the mod­ern world, the dif­fer­ent in­ter­pre­ta­tions of Luther's teach­ings, and even the re­li­gion's po­ten­tial for giv­ing rise to con­flicts and wars. And you don't have to be a de­vout Chris­tian to ap­pre­ci­ate this ex­hi­bi­tion: the mar­velous art by pain­ters like Cranach and his fol­low­ers, as well as ob­jects such as let­ters, sculp­tures, and pho­to­graphs make this a must-see for any art lover. For more on the charis­matic priest, don't miss the Evan­gel­i­cal Church Days, bring­ing hun­dreds of cul­tural events to town be­tween 24 and 28 May, in­clud­ing con­certs fea­tur­ing lots of Bach as well as jazz and pop mu­sic, the­ater plays, shows, and var­i­ous con­fer­ences and talks. Visit www.kirchen­ for more in­for­ma­tion.

Martin Luther in the Cir­cle of Re­form­ers,1625/1650

A Lutheran pas­tor preach­ing to his con­gre­ga­tion

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