Once in a while, a book comes up that you can only dream about buying it, and have to conform to just hope that your local theological library will fork out $600 dollars, or in Australia, I am sure it will be around $800.
The Oxford Encyclopedia of Martin Luther is a smart move taking into consideration that this year it's the 500th celebration of the Reformer's nailing of his 95 theses at the Wittenberg church's door.
Here it's the sales pitch from Oxford University Press. Who knows, you may be convinced and fork out a week's wages...
This encyclopedia is a collaboration of the leading scholars in the field of Reformation research and the thought, life, and legacy of influence - for good and for ill - of Martin Luther. In 2017 the world marks 500 years since the beginning of the public work of Luther, whose protest against corrupt practices and the way theology was taught captured Europe's attention from 1517 onward. Comprising 125 extensive articles in three volumes, the Oxford Encyclopedia of Martin Luther examines:
- the contexts that shaped his social and intellectual world, such as previous theological and institutional developments
- the genres in which he worked, including some he essentially created
- the theological and ethical writings that make up the lion's share of his massive intellectual output
- the complicated and contested history of his reception across the globe and across a span of disciplines
This indispensable work seeks both to answer perennial questions as well as to raise new ones. Intentionally forward-looking in approach, the ORE of Martin Luther provides a reliable survey to such issues as, for instance, how did Luther understand God? What did he mean by his notion of "vocation?" How did he make use of, but also transform, medieval thought patterns and traditions? How did Luther and the Reformation re-shape Europe and launch modernity? What were his thoughts about Islam and Judaism, and how did the history of the effects of those writings unfold?
Scholars from a variety of disciplines - economic history, systematic theology, gender and cultural studies, philosophy, and many more - propose an agenda for examining future research questions prompted by the harvest of decades of intense historical scrutiny and theological inquiry.