You are not currently logged in.
Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:
If You Use a Screen ReaderThis content is available through Read Online (Free) program, which relies on page scans. Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Luther and Literacy
H. G. Haile
Vol. 91, No. 5 (Oct., 1976), pp. 816-828
Published by: Modern Language Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/461557
Page Count: 13
Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Preview not available
Luther studies have traditionally been confessionally oriented. Today, this author's significance is also secular, and it is most readily interpreted by disinterested literature teachers. Disputes about his writings radically increased European literacy rates. His songs and pamphlets engaged popular tradition in order to achieve broad, democratic appeal. Aside from the increase in readership after 1518, Luther as critic and interpreter brought about a more important qualitative change in literacy. In this way, he influenced writings of other lands and of later centuries. He treated the Bible as literature with great relevance to the individual life. Karl Holl and Heinrich Bornkamm give excellent accounts of his hermeneutics, but the literature student is most impressed by Luther's imaginative participation in the text. He took his contemporaries and countrymen into account, and their experiences, in order to achieve a meeting between their passions and those of the biblical authors.
PMLA © 1976 Modern Language Association