The perspective on Luther from a Lutheran historian
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Ernest G. Schwiebert (b. 1895 – d. 2000) numbered among the Reformation and medieval historians of the early twentieth century who came out of the Ivy League; in his specific case, Cornell. Schwiebert’s legacy places him in high regard among Reformation and particularly Lutheran scholars, but in terms of a larger historiography figures such as Roland H. Bainton and Preserved Smith generally overshadow him. Nevertheless, Schwiebert’s research provides a unique perspective on the Reformation as he used primarily German sources due to his time spent teaching in Germany whilst he wrote his book, Luther and His Times . Schwiebert also provides a unique view of Luther in that he himself confessed the Lutheran faith, and thus viewed his familiarity with the Reformer’s work as an advantage. Overall, Schwiebert’s view on Luther places Luther as a product of medieval times, who thought like a medieval man would have and in many ways reasoned like one, thereby questioning the distinction between medieval and early modern figures.
This undergraduate student paper was originally included in K-REx and was written for the course, History 586-B: Undergraduate Research Seminar on the Middle Ages, offered by the Kansas State University history department in 2015.