New Website of the Committee on the Study of the Reformation

Refo500 announces

The Committee on the Study of the Reformation in Poland and East-Central Europe of the Faculty of “Artes Liberales”, University of Warsaw has launched a new English website.  The website contains all the activities of the Warsaw Committee, including conferences, current projects, new publications etcetera. The site will be regularly updated with new material concerning the objectives of the Warsaw Committee.

Go to the link above for more.  And for the site link.

Calvin’s Book Went Missing And He Fell Ill

Throughout his life Calvin suffered from poor health – he had a delicate frame, pushed to the edge by incessant work. But this particular physical collapse had a proximate cause. One of his manuscripts had gone missing. Calvin, as was his wont, had dispatched the text of his commentary on Two Corinthians to a messenger to carry to Strasbourg, to be printed there by Wendelin Rihel. Rihel was a printer with whom Calvin had a long- standing relationship ; nevertheless, it was a complex procedure, and a risky one, as it turned out in this case. Somewhere on the 400-kilometer journey the manuscript went missing. Calvin’s reaction was extraordinary. He found he could not work. Eventually, after some months, the text turned up, but only after he had endured the sort of heartache that would all too often be associated with his writing.

So Andrew Pettegree in a grand essay in a new book titled Calvin and the Book. Lay hands on a copy!

The Roots of the Heidelberg Catechism

coverDie Frage nach den schweizerischen Wurzeln des Heidelberger Katechismus schien nach seinem 400. Jubiläum im Jahr 1963, wenn auch nicht völlig gelöst, so doch zu einem gewissen Abschluss gebracht worden zu sein.1 Dieser Zustand nähert sich offensichtlich heute seinem Ende. Die Diskussion über die candida ingenia Helvetiorum,2 um Olevians Worte zu gebrauchen, und ihren Beitrag zur Entstehung des Katechismus flammt neu auf und wird wahrscheinlich klare Fronten bilden.

So Emidio Campi in an essay in a new volume titled The Heidelberg Catechism: Origins, Characteristics, and Influences: Essays in Reappraisal on the Occasion of its 450th Anniversary.

That link takes you to the publishers site where, under the leseprobe tab, you can read 40 pages of the volume.  Looks fantastic and Emidio’s essay is quite important.

When You’re Motivated, You Can Write Brilliantly, Swiftly

zwingliIN 1523 Zwingli published a Latin tract entitled, De Canone Missæ Huldrychi Zuinglii Epichiresis, “An Essay on the Canon of the Mass.” He speaks of it as “my confutation of the Canon of the Mass.” He wrote it in four days (August 25–29), though not without careful study and serious thought on the subject “for several years” before he began to write.

Emser was sufficiently provoked by it to publish an answer with the title: Canonis Missæ contra Huldricum Zuinglium Defensio (1524), “Defense of the Canon of the Mass against Huldreich Zwingli.” The author, contrary to custom, did not send a copy of this tract to Zwingli, who accordingly chides him for attacking him treacherously “from the rear” and without giving him “any warning.” “You did not, as a Christian especially ought, give any warning; you sent no herald with a demand for satisfaction; and you attacked suddenly, not in front but from the rear, one who suspected no such thing.”*

When your theological juices are boiling, you can be productive.  Lack of productivity is really simply a sign of disinterest.

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*The Latin works of Huldreich Zwingli, (Vol. 3, p. 344).

Luthers Meisterwerk – Eine Bibelübersetzung macht Karriere

978-3-525-77014-6Die Bibel ist zentral für den Religionsunterricht. Insbesondere die Übersetzung Martin Luthers zeichnet sich bis heute durch eine starke Präsenz in Theologie und deutscher Sprache aus. Umfassendes Material rund um jenes „Meisterwerk“ bietet Ihnen das Themenheft für die Sek I.

Dieses hat vier Ziele: Die Schülerinnen und Schüler lernen den biografischen und zeitgeschichtlichen Kontext von Luther und seiner Übersetzung kennen. Sie erkennen, dass das Übersetzen eine andauernde hermeneutische Aufgabe darstellt. Sie entdecken Sprachschöpfungen Luthers in ihrer Lebenswelt. Sie diskutieren die Reformation als eine Medienrevolution mit all ihren Licht- und Schattenseiten. – Immer mit Bezug zur Wirklichkeit der Jugendlichen!

As the publisher suggests, this volume is ideal for instructing young people in the basics of both bible translation in general and Luther’s translation of the bible in particular.  In four chapters, filled with illustrations and charts and exercises which students can be assigned, this workbook examines core issues of bible translations.

  • EINLEITUNG: LUTHERS MEISTERWERK ALS THEMA IM RELIGIONSUNTERRICHT (SOWIE IM GESCHICHTS- UND DEUTSCHUNTERRICHT)
  • BAUSTEIN 1: SOLUS LUTHERUS? ODER: DIE ENTSTEHUNG DER WITTENBERGER BIBEL
  • BAUSTEIN 2: DIE LUTHERBIBEL IN ALLER MUNDE. ODER: LUTHERS SPRACHSCHÖPFUNGEN UND UNSERE BILDSPRACHE HEUTE
  • BAUSTEIN 3: DIE BIBEL VERSTEHEN. ODER: DARF MAN LUTHERS BIBELÜBERSETZUNG HEUTE ÄNDERN?
  • BAUSTEIN 4: REFORMATION UND MEDIEN. ODER: DIE BEDEUTUNG VON MEDIEN FÜR DAS ZUSAMMENLEBEN VON MENSCHEN

Each chapter (or ‘building block’) includes really exceptional resources, many of them online, where students today love to learn and where they spend a good measure of their time anyway. Students are challenged to think about issues and not simply guided to provide expected responses.

The volume’s core concern is spelled out in the opening lines of the introduction:

Martin Luthers Bibelübersetzung ist ein Meisterwerk deutscher Literatur, das einen biografisch akzentuierten Zugang zu zentralen Themen des Religions-, Geschichts- und Deutschunterrichts eröffnet. Der Beschäftigung mit Luthers Meisterwerk im Religionsunterricht kommt entgegen, dass Leben, Werk und Wirkung des Reformators ohnehin in (fast) allen Klassenstufen und Schulformen von Interesse ist. Dabei eröffnet Luthers Lebensweg bereits in der Grundschule einen altersgemäßen Zugang zu den folgenden Kinderfragen: Warum haben manche Kinder am Reformationstag keine Schule? Warum „muss“ meine Freundin in den katholischen, ich hingegen in den evangelischen Religionsunterricht? Warum hat die evangelische Pfarrerin ein schwarzes, ein katholischer Priester hingegen ein weißes Gewand an?

The contributors then provide students with everything they will need to come to terms with the issues raised in those lines. Interestingly, from a pedagogical point of view, various age groups are told in advance what they are expected to learn from each of the chapters in this graph:

outline

The volume includes image arrays and students are asked to identify various historical truths connected to those images. It’s, in other words, a quite hands on, visual presentation suited to students of these days. And, delightfully, everything is explained:

inst2

This, then, is not the sort of volume one reads once and is done with. It is the sort of volume one reads, shares, and utilizes over and over again in religious education courses. It is superb and it belongs in the classroom of every person teaching Christian history. Even if Bible isn’t one’s particular field, this volume paves the way for an entirely new method of providing instructional material and many disciplines can, and should, profit from its guidance.

I recommend it.  I hope that it will be translated into a number of languages and students around the world given the opportunity to learn about Luther and his work on the Bible from a resource that is authentically excellent.

Teachers, take note, this is how a textbook should be written.