A World Ablaze: The Rise of Martin Luther and the Birth of the Reformation

A World Ablaze: The Rise of Martin Luther and the Birth of the Reformation

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October 2017 marks five hundred years since Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the church door in Wittenberg and launched the Protestant Reformation. At least, that's what the legend says. But with a figure like Martin Luther, who looms so large in the historical imagination, it's hard to separate the legend from the life, or even sometimes to separate assorted legends from each other. Over the centuries, Luther the man has given way to Luther the icon, a polished bronze figure on a pedestal.

In A World Ablaze, Craig Harline introduces us to the flesh-and-blood Martin Luther. Harline tells the riveting story of the first crucial years of the accidental crusade that would make Luther a legendary figure. He didn't start out that way; Luther was a sometimes-cranky friar and professor who worried endlessly about the fate of his eternal soul. He sought answers in the Bible and the Church fathers, and what he found distressed him even more -- the way many in the Church had come to understand salvation was profoundly wrong, thought Luther, putting millions of souls, not least his own, at risk of damnation. His ideas would pit him against numerous scholars, priests, bishops, princes, and the Pope, even as others adopted or adapted his cause, ultimately dividing the Church against itself. A World Ablaze is a tale not just of religious debate but of political intrigue, of shifting alliances and daring escapes, with Luther often narrowly avoiding capture, which might have led to execution. The conflict would eventually encompass the whole of Christendom and served as the crucible in which a new world was forged.

The Luther we find in these pages is not a statue to be admired but a complex figure -- brilliant and volatile, fretful and self-righteous, curious and stubborn. Harline brings out the immediacy, uncertainty, and drama of his story, giving readers a sense of what it felt like in the moment, when the ending was still very much in doubt. The result is a masterful recreation of a momentous turning point in the history of the world.

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Title:A World Ablaze: The Rise of Martin Luther and the Birth of the Reformation
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780190275181
Format Type:PDF | Epub | Mobi | iBook

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    A World Ablaze: The Rise of Martin Luther and the Birth of the Reformation Reviews

  • BHodges

    Craig Harline is more than a great historian. He's a fantastic storyteller. His new book about Martin Luther is a real page-turner. I didn't expect to be using adjectives like gripping, heart-pounding...

  • Leah

    Wittenberg, Worms, Wartburg – and Martin LutherCraig Harline teaches history at Brigham Young University; If I had the opportunity, I'd register for every single one of his classes! If he speaks th...

  • Rick Mitchell

    This is an incredibly detailed and sometimes too detailed account of the rise of Martin Luther. There were times I thought that I did not need to know who was there, the roads taken or the clothing wo...

  • Debbie

    "A World Ablaze" focused on Martin Luther's life between Oct. 31, 1517 (when his 95 theses were posted on the church door in Wittenberg) to the Diet of Worms, his "exile" at Wartburg, and his return t...

  • Steve Bender

    I got this book through a Goodreads Giveaway in exchange for an honest review. It was an (trhe year he put up his excellent history of Martin Luther from . I felt that I had a much better understandin...

  • SALLY WHITE

    Thank you Goodreads for sending me this book. I enjoyed this book. It was an interesting read, well written and you get a feel of Luther and those around him as real characters rather than just as peo...

  • Becca

    A fabulously accessible book on Martin Luther and the beginnings of the Reformation. I appreciated not only the very readable style of the book, but the context provided and inclusions of sources for ...

  • Caroline Grove

    Interesting introduction to Luther for those who know little or nothing about him. Gives a good idea of how his ideas fitted with what else was happening at the time. The slightly chatty style of writ...

  • Stacy

    This was a good read. I came into the book not knowing much about Luther and I left knowing a lot. The reading was a bit dry at times, but not so rough that I couldn’t muddle through....

  • Samantha

    I received a copy of this book through the Goodreads giveaway program. Very informative. Sometimes the amount of detail provided could be overwhelming. Well written....