The University of Alabama to Observe the Quincentennial of the Protestant Reformation

This image shows the painting Martin Luther, by Lucas Cranach der Ältere (1529)The Protestant Reformation 1517-2017: 500 Years of Faith, History, and the Arts

Monday October 30, 2017
Moody Music Building Concert Hall
The University of Alabama
Reception and Book Exhibit 5:00 p.m.
Program 6:00 p.m.

Scholarly presentations and performances by University of Alabama faculty, as well as a curated book exhibit, to commemorate the Protestant Reformation.

Sponsored by The University of Alabama College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Music, University Libraries Special Collections, and the Hudson Strode Program in Renaissance Studies.

History remembers October 31, 1517, as the beginning of the Protestant Reformation. On that date, the German friar Martin Luther posted a collection of academic arguments, his “95 theses,” against the practice of indulgences. The debate Luther inspired soon fueled a transformation of Christian teaching and life whose legacies live on today. On Monday October 30, 2017, The University of Alabama will host a symposium in which we commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. University faculty will present brief lectures and musical performances, in which we explore the historical origins of Protestant traditions that remain strong in the modern world and in our own community. A curated exhibit of rare books and prints will also accompany the presentations and performances.

The event is free and open to the public.


5:00-6:00 p.m. Opening Reception and Exhibit. Light refreshments provided.

6:00-7:30 p.m. Presentations and Performances

Dean’s Welcome

Tricia McElroy, Associate Dean of Humanities and Fine Arts

J.S. Bach (1685-1750), Chorale Prelude: Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott, BWV 720

Faythe Freese, organ

Passports to Paradise? Making Sense of Indulgences and the World that Made Them

James Mixson, Department of History

Martin Luther: The Penitent and the Reformer

George McClure, Department of History

The Reformation and the Powers of Heavenly Harmony

Don Fader and University Singers, directed by Andrew Minear, School of Music

  • Josquin des Prez (d. 1521), Motet: Ave Maria, Veni redemptor gentium (Gregorian chant)
  • Martin Luther, Nun komm der Heiden Heiland (Chorale melody)
  • Michel Altenburg (1584-1640), Nun komm (4-part “hymn” setting)
  • Altenburg, Nun komm (6-part motet setting)
  • Johann Walter (1496-1570), Aus tiefer Not

John Calvin: Theologian of the Reformation

Kirk Summers, Department of Modern Languages and Classics

Music in Calvinist Contexts

Don Fader and University Singers

  • Louis Bourgeois (1510-59), Psalm 134, Orsus serviteur (melody)
  • Claude Goudimel (1510-72), Orsus serviteur (4-part setting)
  • William Kethe (d. 1594), Psalm 100, “All People that on Earth Do Dwell”

The Radical Reformation: From Pacifists to Militants and Everything in Between

Dan Riches, Department of History

Congregational Hymn: “A Mighty Fortress is Our God” (please stand)