This penetrating intellectual biography of the man who made the Reformation traces Luther’s thought as it developed from his humble beginnings through his historic confrontation in 1521 with Charles V at the Diet of Worms to his death while attentpint to meditate in a local dispute between feudal lords. Luther’s inspiration flowed from the thought and piety of his times, and to clarify Luther’s though for the modern reader, Professor Marius brings to life the social and intellectual climate of the Middle Ages – an era rent by plague, war and the fear of change. From this background Luther emerges as one of the most gifted and courageous reformers our culte has produced, as well as one of the most vicious and narrow-minded. In demthologizing Luther, professor Larius shows conclusively that the seemingly irreconcilable conflict between the bold young radical and the reactionary older polemicist involved no betrayal of the principles on which Luther based his reformation. The author ends his study by asking the question that is central to it: What is the value of Luther’s thought in today’s worl? His answer is as controversial as Luther himself.