Langsam Library Exhibit Marks the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation

martin luther

Martin Luther

In 1517, Martin Luther wrote his 95 theses criticizing the practice of indulgences of the Catholic church. He was disturbed by the fact that the faithful were allowed to offer money as penance for their sins. The publication of the 95 theses is considered as the starting point of the Reformation, which marks its 500th anniversary on October 31, 1517, the date long assumed that Luther nailed his theses to the door of the Castle Church at Wittenberg.

A new exhibit on display on the 4th floor lobby of the Walter C. Langsam Library, as well as spread throughout the 4th floor of the library, highlights the complex and multifaceted legacy of the Reformation. It combines publications from the University of Cincinnati Libraries’ collections and the poster exhibition “Here I Stand. Martin Luther, the Reformation and its Results.” Included in the exhibit is a list of other Cincinnati events that commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation (listed below). The exhibit was curated by Richard Schade, professor emeritus of German studies in the College of Arts and Sciences, and Olga Hart, coordinator of library instruction in the Research and Teaching Services Department and German subject librarian. It was designed and produced by Sami Scheidler, summer communications co-op design student from the College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning, and Melissa Cox Norris, director of library communications.

95 thesesMartin Luther, and the movement he triggered in 1517, remain central topics in the history of the Western civilization. The Reformation forever altered the face of Europe. Century-old institutions disappeared, to be replaced by new ones. Borders changed, national churches emerged and religious tensions erupted into global conflicts. The Reformation’s positive repercussions can be seen in the intellectual and cultural flourishing it inspired on all sides of the schism—in the strengthened universities of Europe, the Lutheran church music of J.S. Bach, the baroque altarpieces of Peter Paul Rubens and even the capitalism of Dutch Calvinist merchants. The exhibit includes images of woodcuts, broadsheets, pamphlets and music that show the transmission of information and opinion during the Reformation. A Reformation Bibliography (PDF) of related library resources can be found at the exhibit and online.

Join us Monday, September 18, 3-5pm on the 4th floor of Langsam Library for an opening reception for the Reformation 500 exhibit. Brief remarks will be given by Dan Gottlieb, interim associate dean for public services for UC Libraries, Richard Schade, Martin Wilhelmy, honorary consulate for Germany in Cincinnati, and Herbert Quelle, consulate general for Germany.


Other Cincinnati Reformation Events:


Reformation Lecture Series

  • “Luther and Visual & Literary Culture,” presented by Dr. Richard E. Schade, University of Cincinnati
    Sunday, 8 October 2017, 2 PM
  • “Luther, Melanchton, Reformation, and Education,” presented by Dr. Andrea Fieler, Northern Kentucky University
    Sunday, 22 October 2017, 2 PM

German Heritage Museum (logo at )


Exhibition: Albrecht Dürer: Reformation Era Artist

University of Cincinnati, DAAP Library



Bach, Magnificat

November 4, 8 PM | November 5, 2 PM | Cincinnati Music Hall

Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra

Louis Langrée leads the CSO and May Festival Chorus in a program pulled from its history – J.S. Bach’s “Magnificat” and Brahms’ “Triumphlied,” plus the world premiere of a new choral work by Julia Adolphe. The program echoes the 1875 May Festival, when a thunderstorm pounding on the tin roof of the old Exposition Hall ruined the performance, inspiring businessman Reuben Springer to raise funds to build Music Hall.


Ein feste Burg: 500th Anniversary of the Reformation

November 11, 7:30 PM

 The Catacoustic Consort (logo at or or contact them for a bigger one)

First Lutheran Church
1208 Race Street
Cincinnati, (OTR) OH 45202


Lecture: Mysticism as Anti-Protestantism, presented by Dr. Carlos M. N. Eire.
November 15, 7  PM

Carlos Eire is T. Lawrason Riggs Professor of History and Religious Studies at Yale University. His award-winning scholarship examines religion from the Late Middle Ages through the Early Modern eras from both Protestant and Catholic perspectives. His latest book Reformations: The Early Modern World, 1450-1650 (2016) has won numerous prizes, and his memoirs, most notably Waiting for Snow in Havana (2003), has garnered Eire recognition outside academic circles. Professor Eire’s lecture offers insights into interpretations of direct, emotive experiences of God within the context of this 16th century schism within Christendom.

Location: Conaton Board Room, Schmidt Hall

Xavier University (logo at )
3800 Victory Pkwy, Conaton Board Room, Schmidt Hall
Cincinnati, OH 45207


Exhibition: Albrecht Dürer: The Age of Reformation and Renaissance

November 17, 2017 to February 11, 2018

Cincinnati Art Museum (logo at )

Symposium: The Reformation in Historical, Literary, Religious, and Legal Perspective
November 17, 9:30 AM – 6 PM

Cincinnati Art Museum
Faith Auditorium

Discover the age of reformation through this day-long symposium in collaboration with the University of Cincinnati. Explore multiple perspectives on the time in which Albrecht Dürer lived through panel discussions, lectures and musical performances.
FREE. Reservations Recommended.

Gallery Experience: Albrecht Dürer’s Nuremberg

December 17, 3:00 PM
Cincinnati Art Museum

Enjoy a discussion about the time of Albrecht Dürer’s Nuremberg. Join award-winning McMicken Professor Richard Schade to explore the artwork in Albrecht Dürer: The Age of Reformation and Renaissance and focus on everyday life in Germany during the turn of the 16th century.