Today, Halloween 2017, marks the beginning of our civilization’s sixth century of Protestantism.

Martin Luther “mailed” his 95 Theses to the Archbishop of Mainz on October 31, 1517 AD. Well, he wrote a letter and enclosed his infamous argumentative document. (Martin Luther was a professor of theology at the time of his authorship of the 95 Theses.) He may also have nailed the Theses to the All Saints’ Church door, and other church doors of Wittenberg, on the same day. Or else a few weeks later.

By doing so, he was actually following a custom.

But what followed was more revolutionary than customary.

The Reformation gave birth to the Counter-Reformation (thereby giving the Renaissance a twist) as well as to civil and ecclesiastical unrest, protracted warfare, communist experimentation, repression, liberation, political realignments, and, eventually, to what we think of as the modern world.

Note that 1517 is almost a generation after the discovery of the Americas by the Spaniards and almost that same amount less than a century after Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press.

The modern age is five centuries old.

twv

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