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Junker Jörg on Patmos

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Luther’s Experience of Exile in the Wartburg

image of Church History and Religious Culture

During his time spent in the Wartburg Castle, Martin Luther experienced an intense exile and a crisis of identity that played a distinct role in the formation of his theology. This crisis of identity was brought about by his loss of friends, family, and purpose. My attestation in this article is that this exilic crisis quickly moved Luther to a radical rejection of monastic celibacy, thus preparing him for his own marriage three years later, and also created the perfect conditions in which Luther was able to accomplish the astounding feat of translating the New Testament into German in the course of only eleven weeks. Understanding Luther’s experience at the Wartburg as an exile allows us to properly assess the intense transformation of identity that Luther underwent and better understand how this radical shift of theology and impressive feat of translation were possible.

Affiliations: 1: Baylor University, Waco, TX, USA


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