Poem project selections

The mission of LutheranArts is to promote and enrich theological thinking through the arts. The year 2017 marks the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s 1517 publication of 95 Theses protesting the church’s abuses, the precipitating event of the Reformation movement. As part of our commemoration of that event, LutheranArts invited selected poets to submit poems which encourage us to think about the Reformation in new ways. 

Each month, beginning in February 2017, we will publish a new poem in this series, with the whole collection continuing to be available on the website. The result will be a delightful and thoughtful collection of lyrics that use the poet’s personal experience as a filter to allude to, embody, interpret, or in some way respond to, something about the Reformation—theological ideas, church practice, historical events or lives. 

Since the Reformation was actually several “Reformations” in different regions of Europe, including a Catholic Reformation, we have made this project ecumenical, including poets from non-Lutheran Protestant traditions as well as Catholic poets. The Reformation Poem Project builds upon decades of ecumenical dialogue of some Lutheran traditions, including the Lutheran Church-ELCA with the Reformed Churches (Formula of Agreement, 2000) and with the Episcopal Church (Called to Common Mission, 2001). And decades of international dialogue between Lutheran and Roman Catholic leaders have brought agreements about various issues of theology and practice and, most recently, led to a joint “Declaration on the Way” to full unity (2015). 

We hope that you will find enjoyment as well as provocative thought in these poems. Please tell others about this collection and feel free to share them with others.* May these poems re-form us to see things anew!

* For reprinting rights, please email your inquiry to gilbertc@luther.edu.