Barton plans lecture on Luther’s Reformation

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A professor and prolific author on Christianity and church tradition will discuss the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation in a live webcast Monday evening at Barton College.

Bill Leonard, the James and Marilyn Dunn professor of Baptist studies and professor of church history at the Wake Forest University School of Divinity will be featured speaker for the 2017 Allan R. Sharp Religion in Life Series lecture, scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday in Barton’s Hardy Alumni Hall.

Leonard’s presentation is titled “Luther and the Reformation: Captive to the Word” and will be available in a live, high-definition webcast. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Martin Luther, a German monk who challenged Roman Catholic practices including the sale of indulgences, sparked the Reformation by publishing his 95 Theses, causing a schism in the Catholic church and laying the foundation for Lutheranism and other Protestant denominations.

Reformation Day marks the date Luther sent the document to the Archbishop of Mainz — Oct. 31, 1517.

Leonard has written and edited more than 20 books, including the 2017 Fortress Press release “Homebrewed Christianity Guide to Church History: Flaming Heretics and Heavy Drinkers” and the 2014 Abingdon Press title “A Sense of the Heart: A History of Christian Religious Experience in the United States.”

His edited volume “Christianity in Appalachia: Profiles in Regional Pluralism” (University of Tennessee Press, 1999) brought together a collection of authors who provided important profiles of a variety of denominations in that region.

Established in 1991, the Allan R. Sharp Religion in Life Series brings to campus each fall semester distinguished performers and lecturers who focus on topics of practical Christian significance for the general public relating to contemporary issues. This lecture series was named in honor of the late Allan R. Sharp, professor emeritus of religion and philosophy, at the time of his retirement. Sharp served on the Barton College faculty from 1953-91.

For more information on the Monday lecture, contact Rodney A. Werline, Marie and Leman Barnhill endowed chair in religious studies and director of the Barton College Center for Religious Studies, at 252-399-6447 or rawerline@barton.edu.

This story has been corrected and updated from an original version.