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Dictionary of Luther and the Lutheran Traditions

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In the five hundred years since the publication of Martin Luther's Ninety-
Five Theses, a rich set of traditions have grown up around that action and the subsequent events of the Reformation. This up-to-date dictionary by leading theologians and church historians covers Luther's life and thought, key figures of his time, and the various traditions he continues to influence.

Prominent scholars of the history of Lutheran traditions have brought together experts in church history representing a variety of Christian perspectives to offer a major, cutting-edge reference work. Containing nearly six hundred articles, this dictionary provides a comprehensive overview of Luther's life and work and the traditions emanating from the Wittenberg Reformation. It traces the history, theology, and practices of the global Lutheran movement, covering significant figures, events, theological writings and ideas, denominational subgroups, and congregational practices that have constituted the Lutheran tradition from the Reformation to the present day.


"An immensely valuable resource. Wide-reaching in scope and brimming with first-rate scholarship, this dictionary will be indispensable for anyone interested in Luther and the global history of Lutheranism."

Carlos Eire, T. Lawrason Riggs Professor of History and Religious Studies, Yale University

"This comprehensive dictionary of Lutheranism will be a welcome addition to the library of anyone with interest in the Lutheran Reformation or the progress of Lutheranism to the present day. It is a gold mine of useful information on the topic, all contained conveniently between two boards."

Tony Lane, professor of historical theology, London School of Theology

"Remarkable in its comprehensiveness, this volume is at once deeply attentive to the figures and ideas that spawned the Lutheran movement in sixteenth-century Germany and truly catholic in its coverage of that movement's subsequent theological development and global expansion. The scope and precision of the hundreds of entries, penned by leading scholars from across (and beyond) the Lutheran world, make the Dictionary of Luther and the Lutheran Traditions an essential reference work for pastors and scholars seeking to engage the full breadth of Lutheran faith and practice in all its diversity."

Ian A. McFarland, Regius Professor of Divinity, University of Cambridge

"This book is a most welcome and highly informative tool for commemorating five hundred years of the Reformation. In an impressive way, it presents not only the complex cosmos of the Reformation in the sixteenth century but also the spread of Lutheranism through time and space, offering an overview of Lutheran intellectual history. Especially helpful are the entries on Lutheranism in various countries and on unfamiliar but remarkable personalities."

Theodor Dieter, Institute for Ecumenical Research, Strasbourg

"Rarely if ever has there been such a treasure trove of resources about Martin Luther and the traditions that bear his name gathered in one place. Well-researched, thorough, and highly readable, the Dictionary of Luther and the Lutheran Traditions draws from a constellation of the world's most highly regarded Luther scholars to produce the definitive guide to the Lutheran church. It is a singular and remarkable achievement."

David J. Lose, senior pastor, Mount Olivet Lutheran Church, Minneapolis; past president, The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia

"The new Dictionary of Luther and the Lutheran Traditions is a welcome addition to the historical and theological reference shelf. Timothy Wengert and his editorial board have assembled an impressive roster of scholars to produce a well-designed work that brings up-to-date scholarship to bear on topical and biographical studies of Lutheranism from the Reformation to the present day."

Richard A. Muller, senior fellow, Junius Institute for Digital Reformation Research, P. J. Zondervan Professor of Historical Theology, Emeritus, Calvin Theological Seminary

"This exceptional reference work contains outstanding, wide-ranging, and well-written contributions covered by a superb group of scholars."

Jon Balserak, senior lecturer in early modern religion, University of Bristol; visiting scholar in history, University of Illinois at Chicago

"This impressive work will undoubtedly adorn many bookshelves and enlighten many readers from laypersons to seminarians and from clergy to teachers in higher education. The editors have gathered an impressive team of contributors writing on the historical development of the Lutheran Reformation, its global outreach, and its present significance. One can only congratulate Baker Academic for producing such a massive, easily accessible, and valuable resource."

Hans Schwarz, professor emeritus of systematic theology and contemporary theological issues, University of Regensburg, Germany

"Can a dictionary be both informative and inspiring? The Dictionary of Luther and the Lutheran Traditions certainly is. The contributing scholars have given us a remarkably informative volume that explains theological doctrines, explores controversies, and describes Lutherans engaged in varied historical, global, and ecumenical contexts. The volume serves as an inspirational reminder that Lutherans continue to be a worldwide, five-hundred-year-old reforming movement within the church catholic, for the sake of the gospel."

Mark S. Hanson, executive director, Christensen Center for Vocation, Augsburg College

The Authors

  1. Timothy J. Wengert

    Timothy J. Wengert

    Timothy J. Wengert (PhD, Duke University) is Ministerium of Pennsylvania Emeritus Professor of Church History at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia. He has authored or edited twenty books, including The Book of Concord (2000 translation,...

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  2. Mark A. Granquist

    Mark A. Granquist

    Mark A. Granquist (PhD, University of Chicago Divinity School) is the Lloyd and Annelotte Svendsbye Professor of the History of Christianity at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota. His publications include the acclaimed Lutherans in America: A New...

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  3. Mary Jane Haemig

    Mary Jane Haemig

    Mary Jane Haemig (ThD, Harvard Divinity School) is professor of church history and director of the Reformation Research Program at Luther Seminary.

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  4. Robert Kolb
    Tony Carosella

    Robert Kolb

    Robert Kolb (PhD, University of Wisconsin) is Mission Professor of Systematic Theology Emeritus at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri. He is the author or coauthor of numerous books, including The Genius of Luther's Theology, Luther and the...

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  5. Mark C. Mattes

    Mark C. Mattes

    Mark C. Mattes (PhD, University of Chicago) is professor of philosophy and religion at Grand View University in Des Moines, Iowa. He previously served parishes in Illinois and Wisconsin. Mattes has authored, edited, or translated a number of books and is an...

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  6. Jonathan Strom

    Jonathan Strom

    Jonathan Strom (PhD, University of Chicago) is professor of church history, associate dean of faculty and academic affairs, and director of international initiatives at Candler School of Theology, Emory University.

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"A most outstanding, one-volume reference work not only for the study of Luther, but also for the development of Lutheran traditions--to the present day. Here is a compact, accessible dictionary which is a reliable and substantial work that will endure as a standard source. General editor Timothy J. Wengert is a highly-respected Luther scholar who has enlisted other distinguished scholars as Associate Editors. They assembled a broad, international array of Lutheran and non-Lutheran scholars who display breathtaking competence. This assures top quality for each entry making this an authoritative volume which is clearly-conceived with entries reflecting the best scholarship. . . . The bibliographies following each entry direct us to further means of study. . . . This is a splendid help for locating specific items of interest further enhancing the usefulness of this marvelous dictionary. . . . When it comes to heavy-duty theological entries the dictionary is especially strong. . . . This superb dictionary itself bears witness to the impetus that drove Luther himself and his followers to articulate and express their Christian faith."

Donald K. McKim,

Journal of Ecclesiastical History

"A massive compendium of all things Luther and Lutheran. . . . The more than 600 entries are primarily historical and descriptive and show a close acquaintance with Luther. As Lutheran tradition unfolded, of course, changes took place for good and for ill, and they are reflected here also. This valuable resource is one every church history buff will want to have available."

Fred Zaspel,

The Gospel Coalition

"An impressive team of experts . . . write hundreds of articles introducing readers to the rich and deep well of Luther scholarship. . . . The Dictionary is impressive for a variety of reasons. Not only are the traditional Luther/Lutheran topics covered, but a slew of articles put forward the influence and legacy of this tradition as well. . . . Articles are devoted to sometimes the most surprising and fascinating of topics. . . . Noticeable, and to the credit of the editors, is the strong emphasis throughout on the global influence and success of Luther's thought. . . . Many articles countered misconceptions and misinterpretations of Luther with applaudable historical and theological acumen. . . . The Dictionary is not only a historian's playground; it is full of rock climbing walls theologians of any tradition will be eager to ascend. At the top of this mountain not only sits Luther but a host of his theological heirs whose ideas cannot afford being ignored. Granted, climbing this mountain will take work (nearly 900 pages of work!), but with each step the reader seems to discover a new altitude of historical, theological, and cultural insight."

Matthew Barrett,