Lyndal Roper (Oxford, Great Britain)
Martin Luther, Aggression and Masculinity
Martin Luther is famed as the man who split the Catholic church and started the German Reformation, one of those rare individuals who really do ›make history‹. An extraordinarily courageous man, he could also be extremely belligerent. His was a Reformation which worked by upholding the power of secular rulers, and so he is often accused of being subservient to them. But he also wrote a series of tracts that took on key rulers of the day. These pamphlets are full of vivid and scurrilous abuse, and they revel in the rhetoric of manhood and the feud. Most theologians attack other theologians: why did Luther attack rulers in this way? What does this tell us about manhood in the sixteenth century, and how the Reformation might have changed models of masculinity?