On October 30, 2017, The University of Alabama commemorated the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s nailing of the Ninety-Five Theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany on October 31st, 1517, which began the Protestant Reformation. The event featured professors from the Department of History, Modern Languages and Classics, and Music, as well as performances by the University Singers and Faythe Freese, Professor of Organ. Additionally, there was a collection of rare books from the University’s and several private collections, all of which related to the Reformation and its theologians.
History’s Dr. James Mixson began the evening by explaining the medieval roots of the sixteenth-century indulgence crisis, and Dr. George McClure followed with a look at Martin Luther and his theology. Dr. Don Fader then spoke on Renaissance and Lutheran sacred music. Dr. Kirk Summers explained the significance of Calvin’s reform movement, and Dr. Fader followed with a discussion of the music in Calvinist worship. Finally, our own Dr. Dan Riches ended the program with a look at the Radical Reformation. The evening came to a close with the singing of Luther’s hymn “A Mighty Fortress is Our God,” accompanied by the University Choir.
The History Department was pleased to have been able to spend this historical evening with members of our University family and friends within the community. The night was a spectacular success, and thank you to everyone who was involved and attended!