2017 marks five hundred years since Martin Luther set in motion the revolution that would become known as the Reformation which transformed church and societies in Europe forever more. Naturally, there will be countless events to make this historic occasion. However, we propose an event that will be something quite different, indeed unique to commemorate the quincentenary: to explore the Reformation as a global event – because the impact of Martin Luther’s revolution was not just upon European churches and societies. The Reformation’s long-term impact can today be seen in all four corners of the Earth.
So this gathering will seek to bring together representatives from every continent to examine the lasting impact of the Reformation in their part of the world, and to engage them in dialogue with leading German scholars. We also propose that this will be a fully ecumenical event – bringing Lutheran scholars and church leaders into dialogue with Roman Catholics, Anglicans and representatives of other Protestant churches, including evangelical and Pentecostal churches, and the many differing branches of the Orthodox Church family. Furthermore, it will be an interfaith event – representatives of other world religions will also engage in exploring the impact of the Reformation vis-à-vis their religion and faith communities as well as wider society.
Therefore, the overall key theme will be global reconciliation – a worthy focal point to celebrate and explore the Reformation anew.