Martin Luther nailed a copy of his 95 Theses to the Wittenberg Castle church door 499 years ago today. This year, Professor Christine Helmer and Northwestern University launched an open online course Luther and the West. This mooc explores the world of Luther and his impact in three parts: his views of the 16th century bible readership, Luther’s views on freedom and how it still resonates today, and the complicated relationship between religion and politics – which is still very relevant in our contemporary world. In many ways, the Roman Catholic Church schism that began with in 1517 with Luther’s Ninety-Five Theses can be broadly interpreted to have been one of the primary acts that shaped our modern Western world. This course delves deeply into the writings and acts of Luther that have impacted many of the most important and critical 20th century theologians and social activists, such as Martin Luther King, Jr. Of the course, Dr. Helmer states, “The way that we teach the humanities here at Northwestern is a worthwhile enterprise for a worldwide audience.”
Dr. Helmer’s mooc – Luther and the West – can be found at: https://www.coursera.org/learn/luther-and-the-west.