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BOOK REVIEW: "Renegade: Martin Luther, The Graphic Biography"

Plough Publishing House
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BOOK REVIEW: Renegade: Martin Luther, The Graphic Biography (Plough Publishing House) 2017

The Italian authors Dacia Palmerino and Andrea Grosso Ciponte propose a powerful graphic biography of Martin Luther, one the main figure in the Protestant Reformation. Palmerino and Ciponte have already collaborated six times since 2014.

Far different from the traditional (and sometimes boring) historic books composed of hundreds of pages, this graphic novel proposes a new approach more colorful. Therefore, make it easier to read and learn one of the most important and difficult periods of the Christianity, the birth of Protestantism.

Five hundred years ago, a young priest named Luther decided that is was enough of the corruption in the Catholic Church. Convinced of the validity of his request he wrote the 95 Theses, a list of propositions for an academic disputation in 1517, nailing them to the door of a church in Wittenberg, Germany.

Quickly, translated in many languages and with the recent invention of the printing by Gutenberg, Luther’s theses spread throughout Germany and Europe. What comes after is history.

Reading this book I couldn’t stop thinking about what happens today in our modern society throughout the world. Not only concerning religions but more importantly democracy, which today is becoming the new “religion” in our society.

Religious or not, young, senior, black or white people - almost everyone agrees on democratic principles.

But during the last decades (or even maybe since the beginning) the spirit of democracy, which means “power to the people” in ancient Greek, appears to be disappearing.

Look at the national political stage. Look at the legislature here in Oklahoma. Corruption seems omnipresent and the legislators are the new noble caste of our time.

The same can be said concerning the President Donald Trump, elected with a minority of votes, applying the dogma of divide and rule.

Their concerns about the people that elected them are almost none. They like to raise the flag of democracy every time their privileges are in danger.

And so it was the same in Luther’s time. Anyone who dares question the functioning of democracy (the Catholic Church at Luther time) will be considered a renegade.

But the good news is the Internet technology is the equivalent of what was printing for Luther, by quickly helping the circulation of ideas. The revolution is on the way but it may take decades before we see it concludes.

Because as one can see, as in Luther's case, the people in power will do everything to keep it. Perhaps a new Luther could be useful.

Nevertheless, one can peacefully read the Renegade: Martin Luther book, a beautiful example of civil disobedience, to find inspiration.

It is the perfect time and gift to offer as this year the Reformation Day will celebrate its 500th anniversary on Oct. 31.

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About the Author

Olivier Rey

Olivier has traveled in 20 countries on six continents before landing in Norman. Native French...

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