Religion: Luther & the Church Door

Every schoolboy thinks he knows how the Reformation began: on Oct. 31, 1517, Augustinian Friar Martin Luther took hammer in hand and nailed his list of 95 angry theses on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg. That challenge to church teaching has always been said to mark Luther's real break with Rome, and for more than 400 years Protestants have celebrated the anniversary of this clerical Sarajevo.

Now comes a respected German historian who says this tale of Luther's dramatic Thesenanschlag (thesis posting) is pure legend. Dr. Erwin Iserloh, Roman Catholic professor of church history at Trier, declares that Luther...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!