Luther’s Leucorea: Research in Wittenberg

Where Martin Luther once taught in Wittenberg, researchers today are working together on an interdisciplinary basis to study the history and effects of the Reformation. Two research projects, funded by the State of Saxony-Anhalt, are examining these topics at the Leucorea Foundation at the University of Halle.

Courtyard of the former Leucorea University in Wittenberg (Photo: Stiftung Leucorea)

“Ernestine Wittenberg: University and City (1486 – 1547)” is the only research project in the State of Saxony-Anhalt to directly examine the period of the Reformation in Wittenberg. The research group, which was established in 2009, consists of nine junior scientists and six professors from the universities of Halle and Leipzig and the Technical University of Berlin. Archaeologists, German studies experts, historians, political scientists, theologians, jurists, and literature and art scholars are using yet-to-be-analysed manuscripts, images and evidence from archaeology, art and building history in order to jointly study how the city of Wittenberg has changed since the beginning of Frederick the Wise’s reign in 1486. The elector of Saxony, who founded the University of Wittenberg – the Leucorea – in 1502, supported his rebellious professor, Martin Luther, as a patron, holding a protective hand over him.

The Graduate School “Cultural Influences of the Reformation” began its work at the Leucorea in October 2014. In its initial four years, PhD students from different disciplines, have been studying the transformation processes in different areas, such as art, philosophy, education, sociology and law, which were triggered by the Reformation.

Reformation research is not only being conducted in Wittenberg. As early as 2006, the Reformation History Society was founded at the University of Halle at the initiative of the church historian and current rector, Professor Udo Sträter. This platform enables 18 researchers from various disciplines to develop new knowledge about the effects of the Reformation on science and education through workshops, conferences and in two comprehensive publications. cb

Conference on the effects of the Reformation

Where Martin Luther once taught in Wittenberg, researchers today are working together on an interdisciplinary basis to study the history and effects of the Reformation. Two research projects, funded by the State of Saxony-Anhalt, are examining these topics at the Leucorea Foundation at the University of Halle.
Information about the conference can be found online at: http://bit.ly/ref-17

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