CLEMSON — In 1517, a handful of papers shook the world.

The Protestant Reformation, however, was much larger than Martin Luther’s singular act of defiance, his posted critique of the Roman Catholic Church and the indulgences it granted to those who paid for the privilege to sin.

Bruce Gordon is Titus Street Professor of Ecclesiastical History at Yale Divinity School

Bruce Gordon of Yale Divinity School
Image Credit: Jay Henington Photography

A leading scholar on the subject, Bruce Gordon of Yale University, will share his insights in a public lecture, “The Bible, Authority and the Struggle for History in the Reformation.” The free event at Clemson University will take place at 7 p.m. Nov. 9 in Holtzendorff Hall, room 100.

Gordon is Titus Street Professor of Ecclesiastical History at Yale Divinity School and the author of the books “John Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion” (Princeton 2016), “Calvin” (Yale, 2009) and numerous other publications on the Reformation and religious history.

His lecture on the Reformation is presented by the philosophy and religion and history departments in the College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities.

“Five hundred years after an Augustinian friar named Martin Luther is said to have nailed 95 theses to the door of the church in the provincial Saxon town of Wittenberg, in what is now Germany, the events that have come to be called the Reformation are celebrated as the birth not only of Protestantism but also of European secular modernity,” said Richard Amesbury, chair of the philosophy and religion department.

“In reality, the Reformation was less a singular event than a series of often competing movements centered around questions of authority, interpretation, political power and salvation. Together, they were influential enough to shape the categories in terms of which we understand the world today — church and state, religion and politics, faith and history,” Amesbury said.

“We are pleased to welcome professor Gordon, whose work on the Reformation is an invaluable guide to understanding what the events of the 16th century might mean for the 21st,” he said.

“The Bible, Authority and the Struggle for History in the Reformation” is a Humanities Hub program made possible through the support of the Humanities Advancement Board.

The Humanities Hub, created in 2016, aims to advance the outreach, scholarship and teaching of the humanities at Clemson. A schedule of upcoming events is available on the Hub website and Facebook page.

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