Martin Luther: A Very Short Introduction

ISBN : 9780199574339

Scott Hendrix
144 Pages
115 x 175 mm
Pub date
Oct 2010
Very Short Introductions


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  • Presents an overview of Luther's life, his writings, his world, and his legacy
  • Dispels some myths about Luther without destroying the elusiveness of character that keeps this historical figure fascinating
  • Discusses Luther's anti-Judaism and its place in Nazi propaganda
  • Includes chapters on his family and the political and cultural influences around him

This introduction presents Martin Luther as historians now see him. Instead of singling him out as a modern hero, the book emphasizes the context in which Luther worked, the colleagues who supported him, and the opponents who adamantly opposed his agenda for change. 

Scott H. Hendrix explains the religious reformation and Luther's importance, without ignoring the political and cultural forces that led the reformation down paths Luther could neither foresee nor influence. This Very Short Introduction pays tribute to Luther's genius, but also recognizes the self-righteous attitude that alienated contemporaries, offering a unique explanation for that behaviour.

"A useful new book." - Scott Hendrix, The Daily Telegraph

"This is a great addition to OUP's 'Very Short Introductions' series of books, which manages to pack a huge amount of fascinating and useful material into just over a hundred small pages. ... The author is clearly aware of a vast amount of scholarly discussion and secondary literature on Luther and has an enviable ability to summarise and critique it in short compass, and he does a good job of helping us appreciate the historical distance between us and Luther." - Lee Gatiss, Churchman


1: Luther and the reformation
2: Becoming a reformer
3: The labours of reform
4: Luther's Bible
5: The new Christianity
6: The political reformation
7: From monk to family man
8: Angels and demons
Further reading

About the author: 

Scott H. Hendrix is Professor Emeritus of Reformation History at Princeton Theological Seminary. He currently chairs the Continuation Committee of the International Congress for Luther Research. His publications include Luther and the Papacy: Stages in A Reformation Conflict (1981), Tradition and Authority in the Reformation (1996), Preaching the Reformation (2003), and Luther (2009).

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