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Luther and the Papacy: Stages in a Reformation Conflict
by Scott H. Hendrix
List Price: Paperback $22.00

Sigler Price: Paperback $11.00 

Cloth - 211 pp
ISBN 0800606582
Fortress Press


Underlying the Protestant Reformation of the sixteenth century was the rupture of the medieval church which was precipitated by the separation of Martin Luther and his supporters from the institution headed by the pope.  Hendrix traces the course of that separation with concentration on the decisive year 1517-1522.

Focusing on Luther's relationship to the papal hierarchy, rather than to the personalities of individual popes, Luther's development as a reformer and the beginnings of the Reformation studied.  The book concentrates on the motivating force that consistently governed Luther's own actions in his encounter with the papacy, viz., his insistence on the obligation of the institutional church to nourish the faith of the people in the church.  Luther emerges from this study as an advocate of the people against a papal hierarchy that was not fulfilling its obligation.

Editorial Comments

In a vivid and comprehensive historical account, Scott Hendrix is a never dogmatic and always skillful guide as he dares to reopen one of the most emotionally-charged and divisive issues of our time.  Luther's appeal to the papacy to abandon power politics for the original preaching pastorate, despite its caustic tone, speaks to the reform hungry in every age.  This is at once a sensitive and forceful book.

Heiko A. Oberman
University of Tübingen

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