Das Reformationsjubiläum von 1921 - 10.1628/004435413X669870 - Mohr Siebeck

Dorothea Wendebourg

Das Reformationsjubiläum von 1921

Volume 110 () / Issue 3, pp. 316-361 (46)

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The article deals with the Reformation Jubilee of 1921, the 400th anniversary of Luther's appearance before the Diet of Worms 1521 which was celebrated throughout Germany with Worms and Stuttgart as the centers. Today this event is completely forgotten, but at the time it made the headlines in the German media for days. Celebrated in the midst of the immediate aftermath of Germany's defeat in the First World War – with all the political and economic turmoil this entailed – the 1921 jubilee is particularly interesting for the historian today because its programs mirrored the ecclesial, theological as well as social trends and tensions within German society in the early Weimar Republic. Each segment of church and society projected its despair and hopes on the »Hero of Worms«. Thus largely stripped of his theological message, Martin Luther appeared as the champion of enlightenment, the German nation, confessionalism, ecumenical endeavours and – most of all – as the saviour who could rescue the German people from a life characterized by political shock, existential disillusion, and religious void.

Dorothea Wendebourg war zuletzt ordentliche Professorin für Mittlere und Neuere Kirchengeschichte/Reformationsgeschichte an der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.