Morag Fraser reviews 'Martin Luther: Rebel in an age of upheaval' by Heinz Schilling, translated by Rona Johnston

Australia’s politicians may be too mired in power skirmishes to notice that 31 October 2017 marked the five-hundredth anniversary of Martin Luther’s trumpet blast of the Reformation: the posting of the Ninety-Five Theses, his ‘Disputation on the Power of Indulgences’, on the bulletin board of a castle church in the provincial university town of Wittenberg. Pity. Even self-serving men might learn, from one of history’s most brusquely eloquent and determined figures, how to bring about change while remaining steadfast – and shrewd – in the face of hydra-headed opposition and mortal risk.

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Published in November 2017, no. 396

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