Documentary highlights Reformation’s influence

Martin Luther posted the 95 Theses on the Castle Church doors in Wittenberg, Germany, almost 500 years ago.

Martin Luther triggered the Reformation on Oct. 31, 1517, with the posting of his 95 Theses on the Castle Church doors in Wittenberg, Germany. In celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation this year, Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, has produced a documentary highlighting how the Reformation continues to influence our world today, both in the Church and beyond.

In “500: The Impact of the Reformation Today,” some of the world’s leading Reformation and Luther scholars share their expertise on the modern-day effects of the Reformation.

“Whether intended or not, the consequences of the 16th-century Reformation were far-reaching and long-lived,” said the Rev. Dr. Erik Herrmann, director of the seminary’s Center for Reformation Research and the documentary’s executive producer. “We often don’t realize how profoundly the actions of a lone monk shaped the Western world in its religious, social and political makeup. But here we are, 500 years later, in a world that could only exist because of those tumultuous times.” 

The documentary is available in a variety of versions, including a free, downloadable five-part series with Bible study and a feature-length version for purchase.

Scholars who appear in the documentary include:

  • Rev. Dr. Martin Marty, professor emeritus, University of Chicago;
  • Rev. Dr. Oswald Bayer, professor emeritus, University of Tübingen;
  • Father Jared Wicks, Josephinum scholar-in-residence, Pontifical College;
  • Dr. Ronald Rittgers, professor of history and theology, Valparaiso University;
  • Dr. Mary Jane Haemig, professor of church history, Luther Seminary;
  • Rev. Dr. Timothy Wengert, professor emeritus, Lutheran Theological Seminary;
  • Dr. Stephen Burnett, professor, University of Nebraska-Lincoln; and
  • Rev. Dr. Jon Diefenthaler, president emeritus, The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod Southeastern District.

The documentary also includes Concordia Seminary scholars, including Herrmann, President Rev. Dr. Dale A. Meyer, Rev. Dr. Charles Arand, Rev. Dr. Paul Robinson, Rev. Dr. William Schumacher, Rev. Dr. Joel Biermann; and Professors Emeriti Rev. Dr. Robert Kolb, Rev. Dr. Robert Rosin and Rev. Dr. James Brauer.

Four years in the making, portions of the documentary were shot on location throughout Germany where the Reformation events occurred. The documentary is hosted by St. Louis Fox News Anchor Sandy Miller.

Find a trailer, poster and other Reformation resources at reformation500.csl.edu.

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