Source Material for “A Mighty Fortress”

For those who may wish to pursue further reading on Martin Luther and the Reformation era, here is a bibliography of the research sources I used when I wrote A Mighty Fortress (1988). In 1991 when we premiered it (after fairly aggressive editing), I created some supplemental material for congregations to have ahead of our performance for their information: namely, the list of source material, and a fact sheet of historic people and terms.

 

SOURCE MATERIAL

Bainton, Roland H.     Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther.  New York:  Abingdon Press, 1950.  (This is a fantastic biography, and was my primary source.)

Brokering, Herbert and Roland Bainton.    A Pilgrimage to Luther’s Germany.  Minneapolis:  Winston Press, 1983.  (mostly photos)

Gritsch, Eric W.    Martin–God’s Court Jester.  Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1983.

Kerr, Hugh Thomson, Jr., ed.    A Compend of Luther’s Theology.  London:  Westminster Press, 1943.

Luther, Martin.    Three Treatises from the American Edition of Luther’s Works. (“To the Christian Nobility of the German Nation”‘; “The Babylonian Captivity of the Church”; and “The Freedom of a Christian”.)  Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1976 (7th printing)

Olivier, Daniel.    The Trial of Luther.  Translated by John Tonkin.  St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1978.

Rupp, Gordon E.    Luther’s Progress to the Diet of Worms.  New York: Harper & Row (Harper Torchbooks), 1964.

FOR FURTHER READING

Bruce, F.F.  The English Bible: a History of Translations. Oxford University Press, 1961.

Dickens, A.G.    Reformation and Society in Sixteenth Century Europe.  Harcourt, Brace & World, Inc.  1966.

Tim Dowley, ed.,   Eerdman’s Handbook to the History of Christianity.  Grand Rapids:  Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1977.

Freedman, Harry.  The Murderous History of Bible Translations.  Bloomsbury Press, 2016

Gregory, Brad S., lecturer. The History of Christianity in the Reformation Era [sound recording: 18 CDs and outline booklet–The Great Courses].  The Teaching Company, 2000.

Grun, Bernard, ed.    The Timetables of History, a Horizontal Linkage of People and Events.  New York:  Simon & Schuster (Touchstone Books), 1982 edition.

Luther, Martin.    The Bondage of the Will.  Translated by J.I. Packer and O.R. Johnston.  Old Tappan, NY:  Fleming H. Revell Co., 1957.

———————.    Commentary on Romans.  Translated by J. Theodore Mueller.  Grand Rapids:  Kregel Publishing, 1988 (12th printing).

———————.    The Place of Trust.  Translated by Jaroslav Pelikan;  Martin E. Marty, ed.  San Francisco:  Harper & Row, 1983.

Wagner, J.A., ed.  Voices of the Reformation–Contemporary accounts of daily life. A collection of primary source documents. Greenwood Books, 2015.

 

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Famous Reformation-Era People and Terms You Need to Know

Luther PosterHere are short descriptions of the main historic figures and terms referred to in A Mighty Fortress and its new Prologue.

Being a bit familiar with them in advance will definitely help you to appreciate the events more thoroughly.

HISTORIC PEOPLE AND TERMS FOR YOU TO KNOW:

 

 

wyliffeJohn Wycliffe (ca 1320 to 1384): known as the “Morning Star” of the English Reformation, an Oxford seminary professor who publicly criticized the decadence of the clergy and the luxurious excess of the Church. He supported rendering the Scriptures into the language of the common people, and supervised a translation of the Bible from the Vulgate into Middle English. He died of a stroke in 1384. He was declared a heretic by the Catholic Church in 1415, and his remains were exhumed, burned, and cast into a river. Continue reading

A Double Celebration: 500 and 25

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It’s fairly obvious from the banner what WE are celebrating this year:  all for One was founded 25 years ago this September.  But by a happy coincidence, the very first play in our repertoire, A Mighty Fortress, concerns the events surrounding another significant anniversary this fall:  500 years since the start of the Protestant Reformation. That made it an easy decision to produce it as the opening show of our anniversary season.

The Reformation is generally agreed to have “officially” begun with Martin Luther’s nailing of his 95 Theses to the church door in Wittenberg on October 31, 1517. He was calling for public debate concerning the Catholic Church’s practice of selling “indulgences” (reduction of the soul’s sentence in purgatory). This led to several confrontations with the secular and religious leaders of the day, culminating in his trial before Emperor Charles V.

Luther PosterA Mighty Fortress, which opens September 15, and stars Jadon Moore as Martin Luther,  is a powerful one-man show which introduces the audience to Luther while he is in hiding in Wartburg Castle. He relives for his viewers the events which led him to his final break with Rome. Filled with humor and humanity, this hour-long performance is an important play for contemporary audiences’ understanding of Church history. Luther models for us a man with of courage, humility and wisdom.

Future blog posts will give a brief synopsis of events leading up to the Reformation; important historic people and terms; and a bibliography of sources for further reading.

For ticket information, go to our website: allforOnefw.org.