Legacy of Protestant Reformation Celebrated at New Exhibition

The News Letter (Belfast, Northern Ireland), April 10, 2017 | Go to article overview

Legacy of Protestant Reformation Celebrated at New Exhibition


A major exhibition marking the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation has officially opened at the Museum of Orange Heritage in Belfast.

'Staunch and True' examines the impact and legacy of the momentous event, and its enduring relevance in terms of theology, politics and wider society.

In October 1517, Martin Luther nailed his '95 Theses' on the castle door in Wittenberg in Germany -- an act widely seen as the beginning of the Protestant Reformation, which spread throughout Europe.

Focusing on Luther's principle role in what was a watershed moment for Christianity, the exhibition also explores the impact of pre-1517 reformers and how figures within the Loyal Orange Institution have played their part in fanning the 'spreading flame'.

The Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, Edward Stevenson, formally opened the exhibition.

He said: "As an organisation wedded to the reformed faith and based on Biblical principles, it is only natural that we should pause in this 500th anniversary year of the Reformation and celebrate, not merely the events of 1517 and the 16th Century, but the impact and legacy these events have bequeathed to the modern world.

"Our latest major exhibition provides an informative insight into the historical context of the Reformation and how its powerful legacy impacted and inspired future generations."

The exhibition looks at a number of key protagonists in the story of the Reformation.

Beginning with Martin Luther, who nailed his 95 theses to a door at Wittenberg on October 31, 1517, the exhibition charts the path and the legacy of the Reformation through to the present day.

"There were a number of earlier figures who were important, but it was Martin Luther who broke the dam," said Dr Jonathan Mattison, curator at the Museum of Orange Heritage.

"The exhibition looks at theological aspects of the Reformation as well as its impact on everyday life through politics, arts, music, education, economics and architecture. …

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