Martin Luther (1483 1546), the great German Church reformer, is often erroneously seen as someone who suddenly made a complete break with Catholicism and started his own denomination. Nothing could be further from the truth. Rather than intending to break with Catholicism, Luther sought to purge the Church from what he saw as abuses, above all the sale of indulgences as if one could buy one's way into heaven.
The Catholic Luther presents seven writings by Luther that demonstrate his deep Catholicity. The Magnificat Put into German and Explained displays his (lifelong) devotion to the Virgin Mary; the Sermon at Coburg shows how he continued to value the devotion to the saints for evangelical purposes; and the treatise on the Lord's Supper from 1519 demonstrates Luther's nonpolemical and rich eucharistic piety in particular and a sacramental piety in general. Another eucharistic text, one each on the sacraments of baptism and of penance, and a sermon on preparing to die round out the collection.
Prominent Luther scholars Philip Krey and Peter Krey offer an extensive introduction to this aspect of Luther's work along with brief introductions to each of Luther's texts. For Catholics and Protestants alike who are interested in coming to know this little known and genuinely appealing side of Martin Luther, The Catholic Luther is an indispensable resource.
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