C. L. Johnson, D. M. Luebke, M. E. Plummer, and J. Spohnholz

Jan 29, 2021

Archeologies of Confession

Writing the German Reformation, 1517-2017

Berghahn Books 2017

Carina Johnson is coeditor -- with David Luebke, Marjorie Elizabeth Plummer, and Jesse Spohnholz -- of Archeologies of Confession: Writing the German Reformation, 1517-2017 (Berghahn, 2019) and she is also the author of the introduction to this collected volume. Today she talks about these fifteen essays written by both German and American experts of Reformation History and how they see the towering figure of Martin Luther looming over 500 years of German history and identity.

In terms of theology and confession, then later (in the nineteenth century) of nationalism, and (finally) the post-national, almost Pan-European politics of today, Martin Luther has been asked to wear many hats over time. In this discussion, Professor Johnson considers the agendas those hats have contained, while also considering the details of social history of real people who lived their lives oblivious to the political questions in the stratosphere. In the second half of this discussion, Dr. Johnson considers the changing role of ‘Great Men’ in the service of public memory, including Martin Luther King (on whose holiday we recorded) and Christopher Columbus whose quincentenary preceded Luther’s by 25 years and is still fresh in our minds.

Carina Johnson is Professor of History at Pitzer College. She is the author of Cultural Hierarchy in Sixteenth-Century Europe: The Ottomans and Mexicans (2011). Her current research includes “cross-cultural encounters, proto-ethnography, memory, and the experience of violence in the sixteenth-century Habsburg Empire.”

Krzysztof Odyniec is a historian of the Early Modern Europe, the Spanish Empire, and the Atlantic World, specializing in sixteenth-century diplomacy and travel.

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Krzysztof Odyniec

Krzysztof Odyniec is a historian of the Early Modern Europe, the Spanish Empire, and the Atlantic World, specializing in sixteenth-century diplomacy and travel.

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