Fortress Press

Martin Luther, Volume 1: His Road to Reformation, 1483-1521

Martin Luther, Volume 1

His Road to Reformation, 1483-1521

Martin Brecht (Author), James L. Schaaf (Translator)


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This first volume in Martin Brecht's three-volume biography recounts Luther's youth and young adulthood up to the period of the Diet of Worms. Brecht, in a clear, eloquent translation by James Schaaf, discusses Luther's education at the University of Erfurt, his monastic life, his canonical trial in 1519, the Leipzig debate, and his earliest contributions to the beginning of the Reformation. Illustrations enrich the text.
  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • Format Paperback
  • ISBN 9780800628130
  • Dimensions 6 x 9
  • Pages 576
  • Publication Date January 1, 1985


"This felicitous translation by James L. Schaaf...recounts with precise and telling detail the story of Luther's development to the Diet of Worms...Brecht's work long will remain a basic book on Luther's progress to 1521. It is thorough, reliable, clearly written, divided into manageable segments, and convincing in the total picture that he gives of the great reformer."
— Lewis W. Spitz

"Brecht's scholarship is impeccable and his book is indeed original. He displays a remarkable talent for precision and conciseness of statement."
— David W. Lotz

Table of Contents

    Translator's Preface
    Source of Illustrations

  1. Ancestry, Childhood, Schooling
  2. Study at the University of Erfurt
  3. First Period in the Monastery
  4. The Scene of Luther's Real Activity: Wittenberg—the City and University in Electoral Saxony
  5. His Initial Stages and Critical Definitions in Theology and Piety, 1512-17
  6. The Twofold Turning Point: The Attack on Indulgences and the Reformatory Discovery (Fall 1517-Summer 1518)
  7. The First Phases of Luther's Canonical Trial to the Summer of 1519
  8. Reform of University and Scholarship in League with Humanism
  9. The Leipzig Debate and Its Consequences
  10. The Reformatory Program
  11. The Excommunication
  12. Luther and the Diet of Worms of 1521