History department's Victoria and Robert Christman to present Reformation Day lecture Oct. 31

Oct. 28, 2010

Victoria and Robert Christman of the Luther College history department will present the lecture "Heretics and Martyrs: A Documentary History of the Executions of Hendrik Voes and Johann van den Esschen" on Sunday, Oct. 31, 1:30 p.m. in Room 102 of the Franklin W. Olin Building.

The presentation, Luther's Reformation Day Lecture for 2010, is open to the public with no charge for admission.

"Heretics and Martyrs" is a joint project of professors Christman. Hendrik Voes and Johann van den Esschen were the first two individuals to die for their beliefs during the Protestant Reformation.

The Reformation was the European Christian reform movement that established Protestantism. It began in 1517 when Martin Luther published "The Ninety-Five Theses" and concluded in 1648 with the Treaty of Westphalia that ended years of European religious wars.

The execution of Voes and van den Esschen sent a shockwave across Europe, eliciting responses from a variety of individuals from across the social and intellectual spectrum, but no one was more moved by it than Martin Luther. 

The Christmans' presentation will address the social, political and religious circumstances under which these men were executed, then examine in detail Luther’s response to the event. Their research was supported by the Doris and Ragnvald Ylvisaker Endowment for Faculty Growth.