On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther published his 95 theses on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences. Luther’s famous posting of his theses on the door of the Wittenberg castle church were the prelude to the Reformation, one of the central events in European history. His religious, social, political and cultural affects gained historical importance globally. The Reformation encouraged the development of an image of humanity that was based on a new Christian concept of freedom. Therefore the formation of autonomy and the question of conscience for each individual person gained center stage. The Reformation crucially influenced enlightenment and basic human rights, just like modern democracy. Luther’s translation of the Bible into German was essential for the growth of a uniform written German language and opened a door to education for a vast part of population that had had no access to it before. There is hardly any sphere of life that wasn’t touched by the Reformation.
On October 31, 2017, the posting of the theses celebrates its 500th anniversary. This anniversary is preceded by the Luther decade that started in 2008. It unfolds the second spectrum of subjects of the Reformation and its impulses, which even reach into our time, and each year has its own theme. In cooperation with many organizations from states, culture, tourism and church, themes of the Reformation and the present shall be connected to find international motivations. The anniversary of the Reformation ought to be shaped by openness, freedom and ecumenism.