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 Retired SRU Professor to Detail Life of Martin Luther and His Wife 




Contact: K.E. Schwab  -- 724-738-2199;  e-mail:

EDITOR’S NOTE: Art of Martin Luther and his wife, Katherine, are available at (click on “More”)



           SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – Details of the lives of Martin Luther, whose scholarly writings led to the formation of the Lutheran Church, and the influence his wife, Katherine von Bora, once a Catholic nun, had on him and the Protestant Reformation, will be presented by retired Slippery Rock University Professor Dr. Stephen Glinsky, Jr., as part of Bailey Library’s continuing “Outreach” program.

          The free, 3 p.m., Nov. 16 lecture in Bailey Library’s Special Collections Room will include information from Glinsky’s recent work in translating two books from German to English. The books, “Martin Luther, Rebel and Reformer,” originally written in German by Volkmar Joestel, and “Katherine von Bora, Luther’s Wife,” written by Martin Treu, offer historical views of the lives of the 16th-century former Catholic priest and the one-time Catholic nun who became his wife. The translations were made from books written in 1994 and 1995, respectively.

          Glinsky will present copies of his translations, which were published this year, to Philip Tramdack, Bailey Library director.

          A 30-year professor of German in SRU’s department of modern languages and cultures, Glinsky has traveled extensively throughout Germany and has given presentations both about the fall of the Berlin Wall as well as about Martin Luther, including a 1996 event commemorating the 450th anniversary of the death of the Reformation leader. His presentation “Martin and Katherine: Where They Lived, Loved, Worked and Carried Their Message to the World” will include photographs, and drawings of Wittenberg, Germany, home of the Luther Museum, as well as from Wartburg, Torgau and other Luther sites.

           The professor’s translations, which will be available for purchase at the outreach program, are intended for the general public as well as Luther scholars. “I believe they aid in the understanding of the Protestant Reformation [begun in 1517] brought about by Luther’s scholarly papers outlining what he believed where the fallacies in Catholic Church practices at the time,” Glinsky explains.                    

           “The second book, which focuses on Katherine, gives insight to the support she provided her husband. She was a forerunner and pioneer of today’s move toward women’s equality, and she was clearly among the first women to have a direct influence, if only principally behind the scenes, in religious matters. As a former nun, she worked beside her husband on these important issues and was, in fact, the first role model for what was to become the responsibilities of a ‘pastor’s wife,’” Glinsky explains. The couple had six children.

          The lecture, which will include a question-and-answer period, will also separate fact from myth, Glinsky explains, noting, “Despite drawings and tales of the day, there is no clear evidence that Martin Luther actually nailed his 95 theses against the abuses of indulgences to the Castle church door. Instead, it is clear these 95 items, sent at first to two bishops and a few close friends, were then published and circulated by others. The items were circulated in a time when printing and literacy were quickly growing – and therefore were more readily available to the scholars and leaders of the day, and to all others who could read.”

          Today’s Lutheran Church has some 8 million members.

          The presentation is being co-sponsored by the SRU Women’s Center.



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