'The Unintended Reformation'

Luther College professors Ruth Caldwell and Robert Christman will give the Luther College Emeriti Colloquia lecture, "A presentation of  'The Unintended Reformation: How a Religious Revolution Secularized Society,' by Brad Gregory" on Thursday, April 13. The lecture will be held at 3 p.m. in the Mott Room on the first floor of Dahl Centennial Union on the Luther campus. Caldwell and Christman will provide an overview of Gregory's argument and offer a critique of his claims.

The presentation is open to the public with no charge for admission.

Caldwell and Christman will focus on "The Unintended Reformation," a book by Brad Gregory, the Dorothy G. Griffin professor of early modern European history at the University of Notre Dame. In his book, Gregory challenges the views that the Reformation had an overwhelmingly positive impact. Gregory's argument explores how the modern Western world's secularism, hyper pluralism and consumerism are all effects of the Reformation.

This lecture is part of Luther College's yearlong commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation that runs throughout 2017. By exploring the impact and legacy of the Reformation, Luther College hopes to consider the importance of that movement's message and impact, and how they are still relevant today.

Author Brad Gregory will visit campus to deliver the opening address at Luther College's symposium "The Reformation of Everything, 1517-2017," on Tuesday, Oct. 31. The lecture is titled "Why the Reformation Still Matters (Whether We Want It or Not)" and is free of charge and open to the public.

Ruth Caldwell retired in 2015 after teaching courses in French, Italian and English for 44 years at Luther College. Caldwell received a bachelor's degree from the University of Southern California and graduate degrees from the University of Chicago and the Middlebury Italian School, where she specialized in early modern literature.

Robert Christman has been a professor of history at Luther College since 2005, with special interests in the German Reformation and late medieval and early modern Europe. Christman received a bachelor's degree from Boston University, a master's from the University of Arizona and a Ph. D. from the University of Arizona.

Christman's course topics include Europe to 1648, Christianity and Islam, and Rome: Republic and Empire. During January Term, Professor Christman leads the special topic course Christianity and Islam. In this course, students investigate the varieties of contact between Christians and Muslims, as well as the changing perceptions and attitudes each side had of the other during the period from the rise of Islam to the Battle of Vienna.

A national liberal arts college with an enrollment of 2,150, Luther offers an academic curriculum that leads to the Bachelor of Arts degree in more than 60 majors and pre-professional programs. For more information about Luther visit the college's website: http://www.luther.edu.

Ruth Caldwell
Robert Christman