Five hundred years ago Martin Luther composed 95 theses for debate in Wittenberg, sparking what we have come to call the Protestant Reformation. Luther’s understanding of salvation by faith through grace initially led him to conclude that matters of belief and conscience must be left to the individual and God, and cannot be coerced by any external means. But Luther’s theological principles were divisive, and brought on a crisis of governance. Kings, princes and city magistrates, faced with contradictory faith claims, now had to decide how best to govern. Should dissenting religious beliefs be tolerated on religious principle and toleration established as civic policy? These lectures will explore some of the ensuing Reformation events and debates, drawing some conclusions for our day.
Scripture Alone, Faith Alone, Toleration Doubtful
“Compel them to come in”: The Theology of Intolerance Examined
Hiding in Plain Sight: Anabaptism and Toleration in Switzerland