Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Iserloh: Der Thesenanschlag Fand Nicht Statt

Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Iserloh: Der Thesenanschlag Fand Nicht Statt

Article excerpt

Iserloh: Der Thesenanschlag fand nicht statt. By Uwe Wolff. Edited by Barbara Hallensleben. (Basel: Friedrich Reinhardt Verlag. 2013. Pp. xvii, 267. euro25,00. ISBN 978-3-7245-1956-0.)

Next year, the Protestant and Catholic Churches will commemorate an event that probably did not happen. The dramatic story of Martin Luther at the church door in Wittenberg came under close scrutiny in the 1960s in the work of Erwin Iserloh who, with Joseph Lortz and others, helped to reshape Catholic approaches to the Reformation. Iserloh's thesis, the title of this volume, is only partially about the iconic portrayal of the heroic biblical scholar publicly issuing a challenge to the late-medieval doctrine of purgatory and its associated practices. More significantly, Iserloh's argument about October 1517 reassesses Luther's intentions by raising questions about the doctrines and practices of the Church and offers a path toward seeing the beginnings of the Reformation as a moment within Catholic history.

Uwe Wolff combines several pieces intended to set Iserloh's life and work in the context of mid-twentieth-century German Catholicism. Wolffs own biographical study of Iserloh, drawn from his recollections and research in the Iserloh archive at the Institute for Ecumenical Studies at Freiburg, shows us Iserloh's student years, academic training, ordination and the war years, and a distinguished career as priest and academic. This biography is the Catholic component of Wolff s "trilogy of believing hearts" (p. 120), the other two subjects being the prolific German writer Edzard Schaper and Walter Nigg, a Reformed theologian known for ecumenical engagement with Roman Catholicism and Orthodoxy. Paired with this is Iserloh's own memoir (Lebenserinnerungen), published in Römische Quartalschrift in 1987 and his final publication; it appears as appendix E of the present volume.

The diptych of biographical sketches is the heart of this work, and there is bound to be duplication in the two accounts of Iserloh's life. But Wolff provides details (about Iserloh's mentors, for example) that Iserloh leaves out, whereas Iserloh's autobiographical observations allow us to see mid-century German Catholicism through the eyes of one of its major figures. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.