He was studying to be a lawyer when he was caught in a thunderstorm. It was quite the storm, or at least we can assume it was, for he prayed to Saint Anne, a fictional character, supposedly the mother of the Virgin Mary, to intervene. He vowed to enter the monastery if he lived, and he did live to tell the tale, and the rest, as they say, is history. This coming Halloween will mark the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s defiantly nailing his theses against the sale of indulgences to the door of a church in Wittenberg, often used to post notices, though the original doors are long gone, burned by invading French troops during the Seven Years War.
In 1522, five years after Luther’s defiant act and four hundred and sixty seven miles to the south, in Zurich, another religious revolution would develop, or maybe an offshoot of Luther’s, it is hard to tell. If Luther’s reform can be said to have started with 95 theses, the Zurich reform can be said to have started with, of all things, a sausage. That sausage was boldly and publicly consumed during Lent, a violation of Roman church discipline, an intentional provocation. Continue reading →