Luther's Reformation Gang

Episodes

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01The Essay2017050120171218 (R3)

Lyndal Roper profiles the father of the Reformation, Martin Luther.

Essays from leading writers on arts, history, philosophy, science, religion and beyond

Martin Luther is a larger than life figure, a difficult hero who escapes any pigeon-holes you might try to stuff him into. Over the last five hundred years he has been made into a nationalist hero, the founder of the German language, the original pater familias of the pious parsonage, the man who ushered in the modern era.

He was a complex character, an angry anti-Semite who made enemies easily; he was also brilliant, courageous, and revolutionary. In the first of five essays this week which look at the most influential figures who brought about the Reformation, Lyndal Roper, Regius Professor of History at Oxford University, profiles the man who has caused her so much fascination and delight and frustration.

Producer: Rosie Dawson

Part of Radio 3's Breaking Free series of programmes exploring Martin Luther's Revolution.

02The Essay2017050220171219 (R3)

Andy Drummond profiles Thomas Muntzer, the failed revolutionary of the Reformation.

Essays from leading writers on arts, history, philosophy, science, religion and beyond

Thomas Muntzer was a fire and brimstone apocalyptic preacher and reformer who was more popular than Martin Luther in his day. As leader of 'The Peasants' War' in 1525 he is hailed as the forerunner of Communist revolutionaries. Though not a communist himself, he had no respect for the social hierarchy - neither princes, dukes, bishops nor civic dignitaries and this was based on his belief that every man was equal before God. It was the task of princes to wield the sword on the side of God - but with the people and not against the people. He initially saw Luther as a comrade-in-arms but he went on to write two major pamphlets against Luther in 1524 describing him as 'soft-living flesh', 'Dr Liar', 'the Wittenberg Pope' and worse. Luther denounced him as a devil and Thomas Muntzer ended up losing his head. Edinburgh writer Andy Drummond profiles the man that Luther later admitted had been his most dangerous opponent.

Producer: Rosie Dawson

Part of Radio 3's Breaking Free series of programmes exploring Martin Luther's Revolution.

03The Essay2017050320171220 (R3)

Charlotte Woodford on the contribution of Katharina Von Bora to Luther's Reformation.

Essays from leading writers on arts, history, philosophy, science, religion and beyond

Dr Charlotte Woodford, fellow in German at Cambridge University, tells the story of the woman who won Martin Luther's heart.

If ever there were a power behind the throne, none was stronger than Katharina von Bora. Known as 'The Lutherine', this former nun found her true vocation as Luther's 'Power-Frau,' arguing the finer points of Theology with him as well as raising their six children and providing hospitality for Luther's fellow-reformers in Wittenberg.

Luther had told friends he didn't intend to take a wife, and when he eventually decided to marry Katharina he wrote to a friend that he did not feel 'passionate love' for her. But later he described her in the most glowing terms possible for a biblically-minded theologian, comparing his devotion to her with that which he felt for one of St Paul's epistles. 'The epistle to the Galatians is my dear epistle. I have put my confidence in it. It is my Katy von Bora'.

Producer: Rosie Dawson

Part of Radio 3's Breaking Free series of programmes exploring Martin Luther's Revolution.

04The Essay2017050420171221 (R3)

Dr Stephen Rose discusses Johann Walther, the man behind Luther's musical Reformation.

Essays from leading writers on arts, history, philosophy, science, religion and beyond

Johann Walther was adopted out of poverty as a boy and could sing like a canary. Initially taking a series of courtly composer and cantor roles, he jumped at the chance to edit the people's first Protestant hymn book. It's a great untold story - the hymns of Luther and Walther began a rich musical tradition in Protestant Germany which changed the musical world. Without Luther and Walther we would not have the oratorios, cantatas and passions of Bach and the word-centred, 'Protestant' tradition of high-quality and complex music and hymnody we know today. Dr Stephen Rose from Royal Holloway University of London tells the story of Johann Walther, the man behind Luther's musical Reformation.

Producer: Rosie Dawson

Part of Radio 3's Breaking Free series of programmes exploring Martin Luther's Revolution.

05The Essay2017050520171222 (R3)

Brian Cummings tells the story of Philip Melanchthon, Martin Luther's right-hand man.

Essays from leading writers on arts, history, philosophy, science, religion and beyond

Martin Luther and Philipp Melanchthon are the odd couple of the Reformation, inseparable in the religious revolution they inaugurated, and yet in personality chalk and cheese - and there's no doubt that it's Luther who is the cheese: volatile, colourful, impassioned; ripening majestically but also suddenly going off, like one of those goats' cheeses in the middle of France that could easily double up as an explosive device. Luther has priority in terms of being older, and by force of personality. Melanchthon seems monochrome by comparison. It has been easy for history, outside of specialists, to forget him. But if Margaret Thatcher once said of her right-hand man William Whitelaw that "every Prime Minister needs a Willie", this is all the more the case with true revolutionaries. Revolutions seem to need an odd couple: Robespierre and Danton, or Marx and Engels. Melanchthon is hardly a household name these days but he is (if you like) a revolutionary's revolutionary. Intellectual, serious, endlessly patient, he kept clearing up the mess that Luther left around him. Professor Brian Cummings, from the University of York, tells his story.

Producer: Rosie Dawson

Part of Radio 3's Breaking Free series of programmes exploring Martin Luther's Revolution.

1Martin Luther20170501

Lyndal Roper profiles the brilliant and flawed father of the Reformation, Martin Luther.

01Martin Luther20170501

Lyndal Roper profiles the brilliant and flawed father of the Reformation, Martin Luther.

Martin Luther is a larger than life figure, a difficult hero who escapes any pigeon-holes you might try to stuff him into. Over the last five hundred years he has been made into a nationalist hero, the founder of the German language, the original pater familias of the pious parsonage, the man who ushered in the modern era.

He was a complex character, an angry anti-Semite who made enemies easily; he was also brilliant, courageous, and revolutionary. In the first of five essays this week which look at the most influential figures who brought about the Reformation, Lyndal Roper, Regius Professor of History at Oxford University, profiles the man who has caused her so much fascination and delight and frustration.

Producer: Rosie Dawson

Part of Radio 3's Breaking Free series of programmes exploring Martin Luther's Revolution.

Lyndal Roper profiles the brilliant and flawed father of the Reformation, Martin Luther.

01Martin Luther20170501

Lyndal Roper profiles the brilliant and flawed father of the Reformation, Martin Luther.

Martin Luther is a larger than life figure, a difficult hero who escapes any pigeon-holes you might try to stuff him into. Over the last five hundred years he has been made into a nationalist hero, the founder of the German language, the original pater familias of the pious parsonage, the man who ushered in the modern era.

He was a complex character, an angry anti-Semite who made enemies easily; he was also brilliant, courageous, and revolutionary. In the first of five essays this week which look at the most influential figures who brought about the Reformation, Lyndal Roper, Regius Professor of History at Oxford University, profiles the man who has caused her so much fascination and delight and frustration.

Producer: Rosie Dawson

Part of Radio 3's Breaking Free series of programmes exploring Martin Luther's Revolution.

01Martin Luther20171218

Lyndal Roper profiles the father of the Reformation, Martin Luther.

Martin Luther is a larger than life figure, a difficult hero who escapes any pigeon-holes you might try to stuff him into. Over the last five hundred years he has been made into a nationalist hero, the founder of the German language, the original pater familias of the pious parsonage, the man who ushered in the modern era.

He was a complex character, an angry anti-Semite who made enemies easily; he was also brilliant, courageous, and revolutionary. In the first of five essays this week which look at the most influential figures who brought about the Reformation, Lyndal Roper, Regius Professor of History at Oxford University, profiles the man who has caused her so much fascination and delight and frustration.

Producer: Rosie Dawson

Part of Radio 3's Breaking Free series of programmes exploring Martin Luther's Revolution.

2Thomas Muntzer20170502

Andy Drummond on Thomas Muntzer, the failed revolutionary of the Reformation.

02Thomas Muntzer20170502

Andy Drummond on Thomas Muntzer, the failed revolutionary of the Reformation.

Thomas Muntzer was a fire and brimstone apocalyptic preacher and reformer who was more popular than Martin Luther in his day. As leader of 'The Peasants' War' in 1525 he is hailed as the forerunner of Communist revolutionaries. Though not a communist himself, he had no respect for the social hierarchy - neither princes, dukes, bishops nor civic dignitaries and this was based on his belief that every man was equal before God. It was the task of princes to wield the sword on the side of God - but with the people and not against the people. He initially saw Luther as a comrade-in-arms but he went on to write two major pamphlets against Luther in 1524 describing him as 'soft-living flesh', 'Dr Liar', 'the Wittenberg Pope' and worse. Luther denounced him as a devil and Thomas Muntzer ended up losing his head. Edinburgh writer Andy Drummond profiles the man that Luther later admitted had been his most dangerous opponent.

Producer: Rosie Dawson

Part of Radio 3's Breaking Free series of programmes exploring Martin Luther's Revolution.

Andy Drummond on Thomas Muntzer, the failed revolutionary of the Reformation.

02Thomas Muntzer20170502

Andy Drummond on Thomas Muntzer, the failed revolutionary of the Reformation.

Thomas Muntzer was a fire and brimstone apocalyptic preacher and reformer who was more popular than Martin Luther in his day. As leader of 'The Peasants' War' in 1525 he is hailed as the forerunner of Communist revolutionaries. Though not a communist himself, he had no respect for the social hierarchy - neither princes, dukes, bishops nor civic dignitaries and this was based on his belief that every man was equal before God. It was the task of princes to wield the sword on the side of God - but with the people and not against the people. He initially saw Luther as a comrade-in-arms but he went on to write two major pamphlets against Luther in 1524 describing him as 'soft-living flesh', 'Dr Liar', 'the Wittenberg Pope' and worse. Luther denounced him as a devil and Thomas Muntzer ended up losing his head. Edinburgh writer Andy Drummond profiles the man that Luther later admitted had been his most dangerous opponent.

Producer: Rosie Dawson

Part of Radio 3's Breaking Free series of programmes exploring Martin Luther's Revolution.

02Thomas Muntzer20171219

Andy Drummond profiles Thomas Muntzer, the failed revolutionary of the Reformation.

Thomas Muntzer was a fire and brimstone apocalyptic preacher and reformer who was more popular than Martin Luther in his day. As leader of 'The Peasants' War' in 1525 he is hailed as the forerunner of Communist revolutionaries. Though not a communist himself, he had no respect for the social hierarchy - neither princes, dukes, bishops nor civic dignitaries and this was based on his belief that every man was equal before God. It was the task of princes to wield the sword on the side of God - but with the people and not against the people. He initially saw Luther as a comrade-in-arms but he went on to write two major pamphlets against Luther in 1524 describing him as 'soft-living flesh', 'Dr Liar', 'the Wittenberg Pope' and worse. Luther denounced him as a devil and Thomas Muntzer ended up losing his head. Edinburgh writer Andy Drummond profiles the man that Luther later admitted had been his most dangerous opponent.

Producer: Rosie Dawson

Part of Radio 3's Breaking Free series of programmes exploring Martin Luther's Revolution.

03Katharina Von Bora20170503

Charlotte Woodford on the contribution of Katharina Von Bora to Luther's Reformation.

Charlotte Woodford on the contribution of Katharina Von Bora to Luther's Reformation.

Dr Charlotte Woodford, fellow in German at Cambridge University, tells the story of the woman who won Martin Luther's heart.

If ever there were a power behind the throne, none was stronger than Katharina von Bora. Known as 'The Lutherine', this former nun found her true vocation as Luther's 'Power-Frau,' arguing the finer points of Theology with him as well as raising their six children and providing hospitality for Luther's fellow-reformers in Wittenberg.

Luther had told friends he didn't intend to take a wife, and when he eventually decided to marry Katharina he wrote to a friend that he did not feel 'passionate love' for her. But later he described her in the most glowing terms possible for a biblically-minded theologian, comparing his devotion to her with that which he felt for one of St Paul's epistles. 'The epistle to the Galatians is my dear epistle. I have put my confidence in it. It is my Katy von Bora'.

Producer: Rosie Dawson

Part of Radio 3's Breaking Free series of programmes exploring Martin Luther's Revolution.

Charlotte Woodford on the contribution of Katharina Von Bora to Luther's Reformation.

Dr Charlotte Woodford, fellow in German at Cambridge University, tells the story of the woman who won Martin Luther's heart.

If ever there were a power behind the throne, none was stronger than Katharina von Bora. Known as 'The Lutherine', this former nun found her true vocation as Luther's 'Power-Frau,' arguing the finer points of Theology with him as well as raising their six children and providing hospitality for Luther's fellow-reformers in Wittenberg.

Luther had told friends he didn't intend to take a wife, and when he eventually decided to marry Katharina he wrote to a friend that he did not feel 'passionate love' for her. But later he described her in the most glowing terms possible for a biblically-minded theologian, comparing his devotion to her with that which he felt for one of St Paul's epistles. 'The epistle to the Galatians is my dear epistle. I have put my confidence in it. It is my Katy von Bora'.

Producer: Rosie Dawson

Part of Radio 3's Breaking Free series of programmes exploring Martin Luther's Revolution.

03Katharina Von Bora20171220

Charlotte Woodford on the contribution of Katharina Von Bora to Luther's Reformation.

Dr Charlotte Woodford, fellow in German at Cambridge University, tells the story of the woman who won Martin Luther's heart.

If ever there were a power behind the throne, none was stronger than Katharina von Bora. Known as 'The Lutherine', this former nun found her true vocation as Luther's 'Power-Frau,' arguing the finer points of Theology with him as well as raising their six children and providing hospitality for Luther's fellow-reformers in Wittenberg.

Luther had told friends he didn't intend to take a wife, and when he eventually decided to marry Katharina he wrote to a friend that he did not feel 'passionate love' for her. But later he described her in the most glowing terms possible for a biblically-minded theologian, comparing his devotion to her with that which he felt for one of St Paul's epistles. 'The epistle to the Galatians is my dear epistle. I have put my confidence in it. It is my Katy von Bora'.

Producer: Rosie Dawson

Part of Radio 3's Breaking Free series of programmes exploring Martin Luther's Revolution.

4Johann Walther20170504

Dr Stephen Rose discusses Johann Walther, the man behind Luther's musical Reformation.

04Johann Walther20170504

Dr Stephen Rose discusses Johann Walther, the man behind Luther's musical Reformation.

Johann Walther was adopted out of poverty as a boy and could sing like a canary. Initially taking a series of courtly composer and cantor roles, he jumped at the chance to edit the people's first Protestant hymn book. It's a great untold story - the hymns of Luther and Walther began a rich musical tradition in Protestant Germany which changed the musical world. Without Luther and Walther we would not have the oratorios, cantatas and passions of Bach and the word-centred, 'Protestant' tradition of high-quality and complex music and hymnody we know today. Dr Stephen Rose from Royal Holloway University of London tells the story of Johann Walther, the man behind Luther's musical Reformation.

Producer: Rosie Dawson

Part of Radio 3's Breaking Free series of programmes exploring Martin Luther's Revolution.

Dr Stephen Rose discusses Johann Walther, the man behind Luther's musical Reformation.

04Johann Walther20170504

Dr Stephen Rose discusses Johann Walther, the man behind Luther's musical Reformation.

Johann Walther was adopted out of poverty as a boy and could sing like a canary. Initially taking a series of courtly composer and cantor roles, he jumped at the chance to edit the people's first Protestant hymn book. It's a great untold story - the hymns of Luther and Walther began a rich musical tradition in Protestant Germany which changed the musical world. Without Luther and Walther we would not have the oratorios, cantatas and passions of Bach and the word-centred, 'Protestant' tradition of high-quality and complex music and hymnody we know today. Dr Stephen Rose from Royal Holloway University of London tells the story of Johann Walther, the man behind Luther's musical Reformation.

Producer: Rosie Dawson

Part of Radio 3's Breaking Free series of programmes exploring Martin Luther's Revolution.

04Johann Walther20171221

Dr Stephen Rose discusses Johann Walther, the man behind Luther's musical Reformation.

Johann Walther was adopted out of poverty as a boy and could sing like a canary. Initially taking a series of courtly composer and cantor roles, he jumped at the chance to edit the people's first Protestant hymn book. It's a great untold story - the hymns of Luther and Walther began a rich musical tradition in Protestant Germany which changed the musical world. Without Luther and Walther we would not have the oratorios, cantatas and passions of Bach and the word-centred, 'Protestant' tradition of high-quality and complex music and hymnody we know today. Dr Stephen Rose from Royal Holloway University of London tells the story of Johann Walther, the man behind Luther's musical Reformation.

Producer: Rosie Dawson

Part of Radio 3's Breaking Free series of programmes exploring Martin Luther's Revolution.

5Philip Melanchthon20170505

Brian Cummings on the story of Philip Melanchthon, who was Martin Luther's right-hand man.

05Philip Melanchthon20170505

Brian Cummings on the story of Philip Melanchthon, who was Martin Luther's right-hand man.

Martin Luther and Philipp Melanchthon are the odd couple of the Reformation, inseparable in the religious revolution they inaugurated, and yet in personality chalk and cheese - and there's no doubt that it's Luther who is the cheese: volatile, colourful, impassioned; ripening majestically but also suddenly going off, like one of those goats' cheeses in the middle of France that could easily double up as an explosive device. Luther has priority in terms of being older, and by force of personality. Melanchthon seems monochrome by comparison. It has been easy for history, outside of specialists, to forget him. But if Margaret Thatcher once said of her right-hand man William Whitelaw that "every Prime Minister needs a Willie", this is all the more the case with true revolutionaries. Revolutions seem to need an odd couple: Robespierre and Danton, or Marx and Engels. Melanchthon is hardly a household name these days but he is (if you like) a revolutionary's revolutionary. Intellectual, serious, endlessly patient, he kept clearing up the mess that Luther left around him. Professor Brian Cummings, from the University of York, tells his story.

Producer: Rosie Dawson

Part of Radio 3's Breaking Free series of programmes exploring Martin Luther's Revolution.

Brian Cummings on the story of Philip Melanchthon, who was Martin Luther's right-hand man.

05Philip Melanchthon20170505

Brian Cummings on the story of Philip Melanchthon, who was Martin Luther's right-hand man.

Martin Luther and Philipp Melanchthon are the odd couple of the Reformation, inseparable in the religious revolution they inaugurated, and yet in personality chalk and cheese - and there's no doubt that it's Luther who is the cheese: volatile, colourful, impassioned; ripening majestically but also suddenly going off, like one of those goats' cheeses in the middle of France that could easily double up as an explosive device. Luther has priority in terms of being older, and by force of personality. Melanchthon seems monochrome by comparison. It has been easy for history, outside of specialists, to forget him. But if Margaret Thatcher once said of her right-hand man William Whitelaw that "every Prime Minister needs a Willie", this is all the more the case with true revolutionaries. Revolutions seem to need an odd couple: Robespierre and Danton, or Marx and Engels. Melanchthon is hardly a household name these days but he is (if you like) a revolutionary's revolutionary. Intellectual, serious, endlessly patient, he kept clearing up the mess that Luther left around him. Professor Brian Cummings, from the University of York, tells his story.

Producer: Rosie Dawson

Part of Radio 3's Breaking Free series of programmes exploring Martin Luther's Revolution.

05Philip Melanchthon20171222

Brian Cummings tells the story of Philip Melanchthon, Martin Luther's right-hand man.

Martin Luther and Philipp Melanchthon are the odd couple of the Reformation, inseparable in the religious revolution they inaugurated, and yet in personality chalk and cheese - and there's no doubt that it's Luther who is the cheese: volatile, colourful, impassioned; ripening majestically but also suddenly going off, like one of those goats' cheeses in the middle of France that could easily double up as an explosive device. Luther has priority in terms of being older, and by force of personality. Melanchthon seems monochrome by comparison. It has been easy for history, outside of specialists, to forget him. But if Margaret Thatcher once said of her right-hand man William Whitelaw that "every Prime Minister needs a Willie", this is all the more the case with true revolutionaries. Revolutions seem to need an odd couple: Robespierre and Danton, or Marx and Engels. Melanchthon is hardly a household name these days but he is (if you like) a revolutionary's revolutionary. Intellectual, serious, endlessly patient, he kept clearing up the mess that Luther left around him. Professor Brian Cummings, from the University of York, tells his story.

Producer: Rosie Dawson

Part of Radio 3's Breaking Free series of programmes exploring Martin Luther's Revolution.