437. Luther: A World Torn Apart (Part 5)

‎The Rest Is History


“I think there is not a devil left in hell, they have all gone into the peasants… smite, stab and slay all”. 

Following on from Martin Luther’s dramatic abduction by his powerful protector, Frederick III, he had been secretly kept safe at Wartburg. There, he abandoned his priestly garments for good, and violently wrestled against the devil, in unorthodox ways…Meanwhile, the religious revolution that he had ignited was sweeping through Europe, and setting everything aflame. A sense of apocalyptic flux saw waves of destructive violence unleashed upon all the old customs and idols, as rebellions erupted throughout Christendom. Luther’s reformation had taken on a terrifying new form of zealotry, which saw him transformed from radical to reactionary. His determination to destroy the new reformers enraged and infuriated many of his old followers. None more so than Andreas Karlstadt – the former chancellor of Wittenberg university against whom Luther unleashed a savage smear campaign – and Thomas Müntzer; an apocalyptic prophet who sought to discredit Luther’s reputation. Then, in May 1524, there exploded an uprising in Germany that would change everything, as militant evangelical peasants came up against their Catholic overlords. A religious war had broken out at last…

Join Tom and Dominic as they discuss the radical turn of Luther’s religious revolution and his efforts to quash it, the groundbreaking Peasants’ War, his unexpected marriage, and the colossal legacy of Luther’s ideas, and the Reformation.



*The Rest Is History LIVE in 2024*

Tom and Dominic are back onstage this summer, at Hampton Court Palace in London! 

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Producer: Theo Young-Smith

Assistant Producer: Tabby Syrett

Executive Producers: Jack Davenport + Tony Pastor

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