Tuesday, January 17, 2012

"Martin Luther's Easter Book" ed. Roland H. Bainton

 Fortress Press sent me a review copy of Martin Luther's Easter Book ed. Roland H Bainton. Bainton compiles selections from Luther's sermons during Holy Week. Luther's material is divided up into five main sections: "The Journey to Jerusalem and Holy Week," :The Lord's Supper," "Arrest and Trial," "The Crucifixion," and "The Resurrection." Unlike the the Christmas book, the Easter book is subdivided by topic within those sections. The subdivisions don't flow together very well but they allow the reader to read shorter portions.is also an introduction and a list of source material. The listing of the source material was helpful and was a nice improvement over the Christmas Book which only gave hints at the source material. I didn't have time to verify my suspicions, but I suspect that the Easter book is closer to the original source material than the Christmas book is which is both good and bad. The book contains several reproductions of woodcuts and these are much clearer than the ones in Martin Luther's Christmas Book. Luther takes fewer liberties with the text in his Easter sermons than he does with his Christmas sermons but still manages to apply the narratives in a creative way to his contemporaries. Just like in Martin Luther's Christmas Book, Luther takes quite a few swipes at the papacy.

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