Light on Luther


The winds of change: before the gates of Erfurt in 1505, law student Martin Luther experienced such a frightful storm that he vowed to become a monk. Two weeks later, the 22-year old entered the Augustinian monastery, bringing about a radical change in his life. This was the beginning of a journey that has changed the world of religion even today.

The lightning bolt that showed the way is the symbol of the Erfurt Kirchentag. The old university and cloister town gave Luther his academic and spiritual tools. Come and see Luther's old haunts: the Augustinian monastery, his student accommodation, the Latin Quarter, the cathedral, the Church of St. Michael.

At the Kirchentag in Erfurt, Christians from East Germany, the most secularised regions in the world, will bring with them their particular perspectives on the burning social issues of today. What does being Protestant mean today?

It's good taking a look back in time, including to the origins of the Reformation, for example looking at the ecumenical relationships in Erfurt that have been contractually governed since as early as 1530. Or the Jewish-Christian dialogue that was contaminated by Luther's harsh words against the Jewish race. Today, Erfurt, with its mediaeval synagogue, a Jewish gold and silver collection, and the active Jewish Regional Association, is a treasure trove of Jewish religion and culture.

The Kirchentag in Erfurt offers you the opportunity to experience historical sites, discuss issues of the Reformation in a modern-day context, and participate in a colourful celebration. There are plans for a classic-distance Luther Run that takes in the historical Old Town, the old Via Regia, and the Luther Stone at Stotternheim – run, walk or continue the pilgrimage, either alone, in a team or with the family. The companion programme is dedicated to those on the road, from pilgrims to refugees.