An “Inner dialogue” with Luther’s Bible in Wartburg

Luther’s room at the Wartburg, Germany. Photo: Wartburg-Stiftung Eisenach
Luther’s room at the Wartburg, Germany. Photo: Wartburg-Stiftung Eisenach

Three distinguished authors to spend a month at Wartburg Castle for a literary encounter 

(LWI) - From August this year, three distinguished German authors will spend a month each at Wartburg Castle in Eisenach, Germany, following in Martin Luther’s footsteps who had stayed here incognito for some months. Right next to the Reformer’s writing room, where he translated the New Testament, they will conduct “an inner dialogue, a dialogue with Luther’s Bible,” announced Thomas Seidel, chairperson of the board of the International Martin Luther Foundation and initiator of the project.

The “Wartburg Experiment” is intended to provide an unusual approach to Luther’s translation of the Bible. His translation was a break-through and laid the foundation for the High German language, “with far-reaching consequences for economy and science, trade and change, art and culture,” Seidel said. The movement triggered by Luther continues; the experiment wants to raise awareness of this treasure. 

The three award-winning German authors who will spend a month in Wartburg are committed to the “Wartburg Experiment” are Thea Dorn, Martin Mosebach, and Senthuran Varatharajah. During their stay at the Wartburg in August, September, and October, they will do their respective interpretations of reflecting their encounter with Luther’s Bible. Readings and special media events are also planned. 

The historical background for the “Wartburg Experiment” is Luther’s staged abduction on 4 May 1521 and his stay at the Wartburg Castle until early 1522. It prevented him from being seized by Emperor Charles V after the Diet of Worms. During his stay at the castle under the pseudonym “Junker Jörg”, he translated the New Testament from Greek into German in just three months. 

Source: epd. English translation and editing: LWF/A.Weyermüller