October 2017 marked the 500th anniversary of one of the most consequential events in Western history. In 1517 Martin Luther, an Augustinian monk in the Saxon city of Wittenberg, drafted 95 debating points, or theses, which he subsequently nailed to the doors of the city’s main churches. The theses concerned the selling of indulgences, papal-sponsored certificates that could lessen a person’s time in Purgatory.

If you go

What:  The Reformation: 500 Years and Counting

When: Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2-3:30

Where: Raccoon Mountain Room, University Center

Info: This event is free and open to the public.

While Luther never meant to break away from the Catholic Church, the 1521 Diet of Worms saw to his excommunication all the same. In the following years, Luther’s contrasting view of Christianity spread quickly, affecting various aspects of European life, from education and print culture to capitalism and politics. By the next century, the Reformation also proved instrumental in the settling of large areas of North America.

The event on November 1 observes this historic event though a round-table discussion moderated by Michelle White, a UTC history professor who specializes in early modern England. Five panelists will join Dr White.

The first is Carl Springer, UTC SunTrust Chair of Excellence in the Humanities, who has published extensively on Martin Luther.

The Second is Rev. Louisa Parsons, rector of St. Francis of Assisi Episcopal Church, who can offer a valuable perspective on the English Reformation, which stemmed from King Henry VIII’s effort to annul his marriage to Catherine of Aragon.

The third panelist is Rev. Scott Williamson, pastor of Pilgrim Congregational Church, the local affiliate of the United Church of Christ, which traces its roots in part to the New England Puritans of the early-seventeenth century.

The fourth panelist is Rev. W. T. Ladd, pastor of First Baptist Church, one of the oldest African American congregations in Chattanooga.

The round table will be completed by Ralph Hood, UTC Professor of Psychology, who has extensively researched the religious fundamentalism of the Appalachian region. Each in his or her own way, these scholars will explain how the Protestant Reformation resonates either directly or indirectly in the lives we live today.

The event is sponsored by the George C. Connor Professorship of American Literature and the SunTrust Chair of Excellence in the Humanities. Questions can be directed to Dr. Aaron Shaheen at aaron-shaheen@utc.edu.


Media Relations Contacts: Email Chuck Cantrell or call (423) 425-4363.
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1 Comment » for Scholars and Clergy discuss the Reformation, Nov. 1
  1. Samantha L Smith says:

    You couldn’t get an actual Catholic Priest for this?

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