Luther the Reformer: The Story of the Man and His Career, Second Edition

Luther the Reformer: The Story of the Man and His Career, Second Edition

For nearly thirty years, James M. Kittelson’s Luther the Reformer has been the standard biography of Martin Luther. Like Roland Bainton’s biography of the generation before, Kittelson’s volume is the one known by thousands of students, pastors, and interested readers as the biography that gave them the details of this dramatic man and his history.
The accolades were well deserved. Fair, insightful, and detailed without being overwhelming, Kittelson was able to negotiate a “middle way” between the many directions of historical research and present a more complete chonronological picture of Luther than many had yet portrayed.
For this revised edition, Hans H. Wiersma has made an outstanding text even better. The research is updated, and the text is revised throughout, with images, bibliographies, and timelines to enhance the experience.
It’s a great volume, greatly improved.
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  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • Format Paperback
  • ISBN 9781451488883
  • eBook ISBN 9781506416861
  • Age/Grade Range Adult
  • Dimensions 6 x 9
  • Pages 316
  • Publication Date October 1, 2016


“For three decades James Kittleson’s Luther biography has been the best for a general readership. Hans Wiersma’s revision extends the book’s usefulness for a new generation with its additions and changes. It provides the right balance of theology, politics, and social history, ever inviting us into the story of Luther, all without getting lost in minutiae aimed at experts. This is the right book at the right time for those seeking a faithful compass to Luther’s life and times. It will be the go-to biography for anyone made curious by the upcoming 500th anniversary of the Reformation.
—Mark Mattes
Grand View University, Des Moines, Iowa

“Hans Wiersma’s update of Kittelson’s important book has provided an important service to Reformation scholars, but even more so to the average reader interested in one of the most important figures in world history. Wiersma’s Luther is at once full of passion and intellect, and at the same time fully human. Wiersma has placed his subject firmly in the context of the medieval period, and at the same time argued for Luther’s influence into the modern era, without succumbing to the dangers of teleology or flimsy arguments of causality.”
—Phillip C. Adamo
Augsburg College, Minneapolis, Minnesota

“This thorough updating of a Luther classic is truly welcome. Hans Wiersma has maintained Kittelson’s spirit, while taking advantage of new studies in a variety of early modern areas of research, and so reinvigorating a classic.”
—R. Ward Holder
Saint Anselm College, Manchester, New Hampshire