Women and the Reformation

Speaker┬áDr. Sarah Hinlicky Wilson talked about the roles of women in the Reformation and some of the effects the Reformation had on gender. Although there is precious little we know about the majority of the women in the Reformation, she spent a good amount of time talking about the leadership and faithfulness of Katharina, Martin Luther’s wife. After discussing the life of Katharina and the controversy of Martin Luther leaving his inheritance to her and not their sons, Dr. Wilson talked about Elisabeth Cruciger, a female hymn writer from the time of the Reformation. Her hymn was for a time attributed to a male author, but finally was restored to rightful recognition. She then discussed Argula von Grumbach, a woman who defended Arzatius, a young man who had embraced Luther’s theology, by writing several open letters to those persecuting him.

Integrate – This convocation relates to the topic of our Honors class, hearing the voices of the marginalized. Women in this time period were largely unrecognized and unacknowledged, and this convocation brought to light the role that women played in the Reformation and brought us the voices of portions of that community.

Evaluation – I thoroughly enjoyed her lecture. It is always interesting to learn more about Martin Luther and the Reformation as they are the historical roots of my denomination. I also very much appreciated the fact that she openly acknowledged that the Reformation was not really about gender or gender roles, although the Reformation certainly had an influence on ideas about these things. Over all, it was a very informative and interesting event, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

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