Reformatoren als Konvertiten
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Countering the widespread practice in ecumenical contexts of referring to Luther as, say, a »reformed Catholic«, this contribution emphasises that as his progression to reformer was completed in the summer of 1520, it was coupled with the awareness that a profound rift with the papal church would result. The concept of conversion seems to be particularly suitable for labelling the change of faith effectuated in the course of the Reformation. The proposition of describing the early Reformation as a movement of converts is made plausible by way of diverse groups of reformatory converts, such as monks, secular priests, and laypersons of both sexes, and the strategies they employed to change from one form of Christianity to another as well as the Augustine-influenced tactics Luther later used. Against the backdrop of this analysis, it appears that the fissure and profound historical schism opened up in 1520 with Luther's excommunication and his burning of canonical law is in danger of disappearing from view in a memorial culture fixated on 1517.