2017 marks the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, with an abundance of exhibitions, conferences, panel discussions, readings and celebrations examining its international impact.
The Reformation was not only a German event, something which was brought into focus in 2016 with a theme year on Reformation and One World. Of course, the main emphasis of the events is still on Germany. It was from here that the crucial impulses for the Reformation emanated. In 2017, the country is celebrating the anniversary of the Reformation with a wide array of activities. Here we provide an overview of a small selection of the many events:
The National Special Exhibitions
Over the course of the year, three National Special Exhibitions will shed light on various aspects of the history of the Reformation. The first will be held by the Deutsches Historisches Museum in Berlin, with its exhibition “The Luther Effect. Protestantism – 500 Years in the World” from 12 April–5 November. Many outstanding exhibits from around the world will be on display in an exhibition covering 3,000 square metres.
A few days later, on 4 May, the second National Special Exhibition, “Luther and the Germans”, opens at Wartburg Castle in Eisenach. It was here that Martin Luther translated the New Testament into German, ultimately laying the foundations for a standard German written language. The exhibition examines the leitmotifs of the Reformation as well as the various images of Luther in different periods of German history.
The third National Special Exhibition takes place from 13 May to 5 November in Lutherstadt Wittenberg. The double exhibition “Luther! 95 People – 95 Treasures” presents 95 people and their relationship with Martin Luther, thereby examining 95 approaches to the historical figure and asking what the reformer means to us today. But it also wrestles with Martin Luther himself, in an attempt to free him from five centuries of historical reception. This is achieved via the “95 treasures”, outstanding loans from home and abroad. Exhibits include Martin Luther’s private Bible, on loan from the castle Veste Coburg, archaeological finds from the stations of his life and his will written in his own hand from the year 1542. Tickets for the exhibitions can already be pre-booked. A combined ticket is also available.