Thursday, September 28, 2017

Loving Luther (story of Katharina von Bora) by Allison Pittman from Tyndale House Publishers

My thoughts:  The year 2017 marks the 500th anniversary of the Reformation and specifically the year 1517 when Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door taking his stand against teachings prevalent in the Catholic church.

In that same period a child was dropped at the door of a Catholic Nunnery. She was five years old. Her name was Katharina von Bora. While of a prestigious family (in name, at least), there was not fortune. So opens the story as told by Allison Pittman in Loving Luther. A young girl enters the shadowy and harsh life of the convent and eventually takes her vows to become a nun.

The author presents Katharina as a precocious and highly intelligent young girl who carried her thinking capabilities into her adult life enabling her to critique life in the convent, smuggled in bits of information relative to the ensuring reformation movement, and later piquing the interest and conversations of Martin Luther.

Through her years in the convent, she begins to doubt and question and then perchance comes upon smuggled scraps of parchment that contain verses from Scripture, that she has never been allowed to read, and snatches of the forbidden writings of  a defrocked monk, Martin Luther.

About midway the book, Katharina von Bora and a few other nuns are smuggled out of the convent and taken to safekeeping provided by Martin Luther who has searched out potential suitors to marry the nuns. This is in keeping with society of the 1500s when women were either married and under the protection of a husband, still in the keeping of a father, cloistered in a nunnery, or living as a woman of ill repute. Luther ensconced Katharina in the home of a wealthy nobleman where she received the attention of a potential husband, Jerome, though she did not marry him.

As we know from historical fact, Katharina did eventually marry Martin Luther. Her story is not complete in the telling by Allison Pittman but the author gives a good accounting of Katharina's life leading up to her marriage and the events and people who shaped her into the woman that loved Martin Luther.

About the book: Germany, 1505
In the dark of night, Katharina von Bora says the bravest good-bye a six-year-old can muster and walks away as the heavy convent gate closes behind her.

Though the cold walls offer no comfort, Katharina soon finds herself calling the convent her home. God, her father. This, her life. She takes her vows—a choice more practical than pious—but in time, a seed of discontent is planted by the smuggled writings of a rebellious excommunicated priest named Martin Luther. Their message? That Katharina is subject to God, and no one else. Could the Lord truly desire more for her than this life of servitude?

In her first true step of faith, Katharina leaves the only life she has ever known. But the freedom she has craved comes with a price, and she finds she has traded one life of isolation for another. Without the security of the convent walls or a family of her own, Katharina must trust in both the God who saved her and the man who paved a way for rescue. Luther’s friends are quick to offer shelter, but Katharina longs for all Luther has promised: a home, a husband, perhaps even the chance to fall in love.

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from the Tyndale Blog Network on behalf of the author and Tyndale House Publishers to facilitate this review. Opinions are my own and freely given.

1 comment:

  1. I always love reading biographies like this one! Thanks for sharing this at Booknificent Thursday on!


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