This volume brings together two important contemporary accounts of the life of Martin Luther in a confrontation that had been postponed for more than 450 years. The first of these accounts was written after Luther's death, when it was rumoured that demons had seized the reformer on his deathbed and dragged him off to Hell. In response to these rumours, Luther's friend and colleague, Philip Melanchthon, wrote and published a brief encomium of the reformer in 1548. A completely new translation of this text appears in this book.
It was in response to Melanchthon's work that Johannes Cochlaeus completed and published his own monumental life of Luther in 1549, which is translated and made available in English for the first time in this volume.
These two translations will prove to be very valuable additions to the collection of primary accounts of German Reformation history in the English world. The works offer unique, detailed, engaging accounts of the events surrounding Luther's reform movement; the translations are eloquent; and the introductions to both lives provide a very helpful framework for understanding the primary texts."
By placing accurate new translations of these two "lives of Luther" side by side, Vandiver and her colleagues have allowed two very different perceptions of the significance of Luther to compete head to head. The result is as entertaining as it is informative, and a powerful reminder of the need to ensure that secondary works about the Reformation are never displaced by the primary sources. -- .