Martin Luther and the Origins of Protestant Christianity

Saint Mary’s College of California

Martin Luther and the Origins of Protestant Christianity

Saint Mary’s College of California

Five hundred years ago, one man forever changed the face of Christianity—and the Western world—as we know it.

On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther, a German monk and theologian, issued his 95 Theses against indulgences. Like a pebble starting a landslide, this event triggered a wave of change across Europe.

Today, Martin Luther’s ideas remain as relevant as ever. Now, this course introduces you to Luther’s life, late-medieval theology and politics, and the ideas that sparked a revolution.

Although he remains the most famous, Luther was by no means the first or last Christian reformer. Understanding his unique importance means situating him in the context of the larger story of Church reform. Why did indulgences become the defining issue of the Protestant

Five hundred years ago, one man forever changed the face of Christianity—and the Western world—as we know it.

On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther, a German monk and theologian, issued his 95 Theses against indulgences. Like a pebble starting a landslide, this event triggered a wave of change across Europe.

Today, Martin Luther’s ideas remain as relevant as ever. Now, this course introduces you to Luther’s life, late-medieval theology and politics, and the ideas that sparked a revolution.

Although he remains the most famous, Luther was by no means the first or last Christian reformer. Understanding his unique importance means situating him in the context of the larger story of Church reform. Why did indulgences become the defining issue of the Protestant Reformation?

Next, you’ll turn to the three theological pillars of Luther’s thought and the Protestant tradition: justification by grace through faith alone, sola Scriptura (Scripture alone), and the priesthood of all believers. After gaining a deep understanding of these concepts, you’ll see how they differ from Catholic ideas. Finally, you’ll explore the conflicts among various reformers that were often just as contentious as those between Catholics and Protestants.

We often think of the Reformation as a matter of Catholics versus Protestants, but the truth is much more nuanced—and interesting. As you consider Luther’s context and ideas, you will transform your understanding of Christian history.

Learn about downloadable programs.

$99.95 $29.95

  • Meeting Martin Luther
  • Indulgences
  • The 95 Theses and Their Aftermath
  • Justification by Grace through Faith Alone
  • Sola Scriptura
  • The Priesthood of All Believers
  • Free Will and Predestination
  • The Eucharist
  • The Challenge of the Radical Reformers

David Zachariah Flanagin, Ph.D., is Professor of Theology and Religious Studies at Saint Mary’s College of California, where he teaches courses in the development of Christian thought and in biblical studies. His teaching has earned him recognition by the student body as Faculty Member of the Year. Prof. Flanagin received his doctorate in the History of Christianity from the Divinity School at the University of Chicago. He is the author of a number of articles on late-medieval ecclesiology and biblical interpretation. He is the co-editor (with Christopher M. Bellitto) of Reassessing Reform: A Historical Investigation into Church Renewal, published by Catholic University of America Press. In addition to his academic duties, he lectures frequently at churches on topics in the Bible and theology.

 

Praise for Zach Flanagin

“Zach Flanagin is an outstanding historian… thoroughly grounded in his material, but with special gifts as a lecturer. His works in late medieval spirituality are top-notch and I commend him for searching out the origins of this spirituality in its very beginnings.”
– Gerald Christianson, Professor Emeritus of Church History, Gettysburg Lutheran Seminary        

 

“Zach Flanagin enjoys the unique combination of deep learning and clear teaching, which is why I recommended him to Now You Know Media. He can communicate complicated subjects in an accessible manner that raises the level of conversation. You will leave his courses with greater insights into church history and the spirituality that drives it.”
– Christopher Bellitto, Ph.D., History Department, Kean University

 

“He is an energetic, captivating and enthusiastic lecturer who speaks to both experienced and beginning Bible students. His knowledge and love of the Bible resonates with adults. He not only covers the history and message of each book, but always inspires his listener to find meaning and application for life today.”
– Nora Petersen, Director of Adult Formation at St. John Vianney Parish, CA   

 

“I have the privilege of working closely with Professor Flanagin, who is—and I do not exaggerate—one of the most gifted writers and verbal communicators I know. His scholarship in Christian history is influential, and his classroom teaching is masterful.”
– Michael Barram, Ph.D., Saint Mary’s College of California

Reviews

There are no reviews yet.

Be the first to review “Martin Luther and the Origins of Protestant Christianity”