Luther, Bach And Germany
Germany is getting ready to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. Chancellor Merkel, who has been revealing her Christian faith these past few weeks, says she wants the celebrations to have a missionary element and revive the Protestant spirit. John Laurenson travels to Germany to find out what that spirit is.
For many Catholics, the Reform was a disaster. A splitting in two of Western Christianity which sparked the Wars of Religion. For many Protestants it was the greatest, most constructive revolution the world has ever known, ushering in the Age of Enlightenment.
In Wittenberg, where legend has it that Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door of the church launching his rebellion against the Pope-run church, we hear about the ideas that changed the World.
In Berlin, John speaks to Angela Merkel’s biographer about the faith of the most powerful woman in the World and meets an old friend for winter soup and talk of sex, drugs and rock & roll in the Protestant Church of the 1970s.
And in Leipzig, we hear how a Church built on Luther’s peaceful revolution sparked the peaceful revolution that brought down the Berlin Wall. And how, in the city where Johan Sebastian Bach was musical director, the mysticism of Protestantism lives in his music.