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Lessons From the Reformation’s Pamphlet War

It is in many ways odd that we observe Reformation Day on October 31. Setting aside the somewhat fruitless debates about whether Luther actually posted the Ninety-Five Theses on the Wittenberg castle church door on that day in 1517 (for the record, I believe he did), it is well-known that he had said more radical things about the Church before (for example, in his
Disputation Against Scholastic Theology
in September 1517) and would do so again shortly afterward (at the Heidelberg Disputation in April 1518). Intellectually, either is a better candidate for the dating of the inception of the Reformation than the often obscure theses against indulgences that triggered Luther’s rise to fame.

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