This morning at the Library of Law and Liberty site, I review the Morgan Library’s recent exhibit on the 500th anniversary of the 95 Theses, Martin Luther’s questions about Church teaching that sparked the Protestant Reformation. Although the exhibition doesn’t take sides, expressly, it’s pretty clear that Luther is the hero of their story — and I explain why:
Why does the Morgan favor Luther in his debate with the Church? It’s not because the management is Lutheran. It’s because, whatever the debate within Christianity on Faith versus Works—and both Lutheran and Catholic theology show more nuance than people typically understand—in the secular world, Luther has come to stand for the overthrow of traditional authority in favor of individual subjectivity. We typically mean something very different by “conscience” than he did in that statement at Worms, but his emphasis on individual conviction rather than received wisdom anticipates the preeminence of personal authenticity as a social and political value. That’s why Luther continues to appeal to our wider culture today.
You can read the whole post here.
On Thursday February 9, The King’s College and Princeton University’s James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions is sponsoring a panel discussion titled “Religious Freedom and Anti-Semitism in Contemporary Europe” at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York. A description of the event follows:
Following the Second World War, the world said “never again” to the hatred that produced the Holocaust, but Anti-Semitism, which was never fully eradicated in Europe, has returned with a vengeance. According to the French Interior Ministry, over 50 percent of France’s bias motivated crimes in 2014 targeted Jews, even though French Jewry makes up less than one percent of the population. The currents driving this tragedy across Europe are several: the scapegoating of Jews for social decline by right-wing nationalists; the radicalization of Muslim immigrants by certain extremist Imams goading them to violence; and the “open-mindedness” of secularized Europe, which refuses to acknowledge Islamist violence and combat it. This toxic environment has led some to ask whether the Jews living in Europe today may soon leave the continent altogether.
Please join us on Thursday evening, February 9th for a panel discussion at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in Manhattan. Co-sponsored by The King’s College and Princeton University’s James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions, the panel will explore the sources of and possible responses to the revival of Anti-Semitism in Europe.
Rabbi Dr. David G. Dalin, Author and Professor Emeritus of History and Politics at Ave Maria University
Professor Mary Ann Glendon, Learned Hand Professor of Law at Harvard Law School
Rabbi Dr. Meir Y. Soloveichik, Rabbi at Congregation Shearith Israel
Professor Robert P. George, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence, Director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University
More information on the event can be found here.
In March, Brill Publishers will release Politics and Piety: The Protestant ‘Awakening’ in Prussia, 1816-1856 by David L. Ellis (Augustana College). The publisher’s description follows:
In Politics and Piety: The Protestant ‘Awakening’ in Prussia, 1816-1856, David L. Ellis analyzes the connections between political conservatism and Prussia’s neo-Pietist religious revival, especially in Brandenburg and Pomerania, in the years surrounding the revolution of 1848. Awakened conservatives waged a cultural struggle against political and religious liberalism, impacting the state church, the outcome of the revolution, and Prussia’s controversial neutrality in the Crimean War. Awakened leaders, in their effort to recover and adapt a pre-Napoleonic order, ironically modernized conservatism with individualistic rhetoric, widely circulated newspapers, and political organization.