Illuminating the truth behind Martin Luther

St Peter's School

Illuminating the truth behind Martin Luther

Peter Stanford at St Peter's School
Giants of history are often the subjects of rumour and mythmaking, and the man who triggered the Protestant Reformation in 1517, Martin Luther, is prime example of this, according to author and broadcaster Peter Stanford.

Speaking to an audience of over 200 at St Peter’s School as part of the York Festival Ideas, Stanford set about debunking the myths that have plagued the study of Luther and his life, notably asserting that the famous quotation so often attributed to Luther, “Here I stand, I can do no other”, is most likely a paraphrase from a biography written after his death.

Stanford’s investigation touched upon the extensive research that has informed his new book, Martin Luther: Catholic Dissident, painting a vivid picture of a man whose steadfast belief in his faith, in the face of fierce opposition, has continued to inspire people throughout the centuries.

The speaker also took questions from the audience, covering similarities and differences with another Protestant icon, John Calvin, and comparisons with the current political climate.

Christian Bembridge, Head of Religious Studies, said: “The depth of research that has gone into this talk and the energetic and entertaining manner in which Peter delivered it were hugely impressive. His evident fascination with the subject really brought it to life for the audience – theologians, historians and casual listeners alike. On behalf of everyone at St Peter’s, I would like to thank Peter for sharing this talk with us.”