Cover image for Historical dictionary of Lutheranism
Historical dictionary of Lutheranism
Gassmann, Günther.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Lanham, Md. : Scarecrow Press, [2001]

Physical Description:
xxiii, 420 pages ; 22 cm.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BX8007 .G37 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating

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This historical dictionary examines the development of Lutheranism from its inception in the 16th century to its place as one of the largest and most influential Protestant churches in the modern world. It covers the basic theological convictions of the Lutheran tradition and their interpretation through the centuries; eminent Lutherans from the sixteenth through the twentieth centuries; the broad social and cultural impact of Lutheranism; Lutheran participation in the great religious and intellectual movements of the last four centuries; and portrayals of the members of the world-wide family of Lutheran churches. Truly a reference book for a wide audience and an informative tool for theological scholars and teachers.

Author Notes

Dr. G#65533;nther Gassmann now teaches at the Gettysburg Seminary and was previously president of the Central Office of the United Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Germany, then associate director of the Department of Studies of the Lutheran World Federation and finally director of the Commission on Faith and Order of the World Council of Churches. Dr. Duane H. Larson is president of the Wartburg Theological Seminary at Dubuque. Dr. Mark W. Oldenburg is professor of liturgics at the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Gettysburg.

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

Gassmann (former director, World Council of Churches Faith & Order Commission; Fortress Introduction to the Lutheran Confessions), Duane H. Larson (former president, Wartburg Theological Seminary; From Word and Sacrament), and Mark W. Oldenburg (Lutheran Theological Seminary) cover topics, figures, and events important to Lutheranism from its founding to the present day. Prefacing the dictionary entries are a comprehensive chronology that details the beginning of Christian communities dating from around the time of the death of Jesus Christ through the present day and a mention of the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation in 2017. An introduction clarifies some terminology and discusses the rise and expansion of Lutheranism, the Lutheran identity, and the Lutheran world presence. With a few exceptions, such as the essay on Martin Luther, which runs about two pages, most of the entries are no more than a page or so in length. Each entry has the topic capitalized and bolded, employing in-text bolding for important concepts. The information is concise and provides snapshots of myriad elements important to the faith. An appendix includes a list of Lutheran churches along with their membership statistics. A comprehensive bibliography is also included and is organized according to a variety of topics, including general reference works, history, the life and theology of the founder, significant followers, and Lutheranism and ecumenism. BOTTOM LINE Researchers and others interested in topics surrounding the Lutheran faith will find this comprehensive dictionary a good place to start their investigations.-Annette Haldeman, Dept. of Legislative Svcs., Maryland General Assembly, Annapolis (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Written and edited by a team of three Lutheran scholars (Gassman, Lutheran World Federation; Larson, Wartburg Theological Seminary; Oldenburg, Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg), this reference work on the history and theology of Lutheran Christianity is one of a series on religious and philosophical movements and is organized in a standard series format. The entries themselves seem solid: one could argue about the inclusion or exclusion of certain individuals or topics, but in general coverage is broad and inclusive, and the quality of the entries uniform and acceptable. There are no entry-specific bibliographies, but the excellent general bibliographies at the end include most of the major English-language studies on Lutheran topics. Though this work is not as comprehensive as older multivolume works, it is more up-to-date than anything else available and better than single-volume alternatives. Essential for any decent reference library, it will prove valuable to readers who want good, basic information on the subject. M. A. Granquist Gustavus Adolphus College