Martin Luther: Shaping and Defining the Reformation, 1521-1532

By Martin Brecht; James L. Schaaf | Go to book overview

Translator's Preface

This second volume of Martin Brecht's masterful three-volume biography of Martin Luther covers his life from the Diet of Worms in 1521 to the death of Elector John the Steadfast in 1532. The third volume, the translation of which is already in progress, will deal with the final fourteen years of Luther's life.

The style of this volume generally conforms to that adopted for the first volume of the series, published by Fortress Press in 1985. Since that time, however, the long-awaited index volume of the American Edition of Luther's Works (vol. 55; Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1986) has appeared. English forms of proper names included in that invaluable reference are used in the present work, even though they may differ from those employed in the first volume.

As in the first volume, the author's original notes have been supplemented by references to the locations of English versions of Luther's writings included in Luther's Works, 55 vols. (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House; Philadelphia: Fortress "Muhlenberg" Press, 1955–86). Where available, quotations in the text have generally been cited according to this standard English translation. The notes also include selected bibliographical references to works that have been translated into English.

The practice of not translating the German word Anfechtung (pi. Anfechtungen) followed in the first volume has been continued. The equivalent of the Latin tentatio, it may mean trials sent by God or refer to the temptations of Satan.

The author, once again, has read through the English translation. He has offered many helpful suggestions and clarified some difficult renderings. It has been a pleasure to work with him. I owe special thanks to my student and colleague, Dr. Roger M. Laub, who read through the manuscript and offered extremely valuable advice for improving its style and readability. I also acknowledge the careful proofreading done by my wife, Phyllis, and thank her for her help and patience during this project.

JAMES L. SCHAAF

Columbus, Ohio August 1989

-ix-

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