German embassy screens LutherArchive
Burgard Brinksmeier, cultural and press counsellor at the German embassy, welcomed guests to the screening of Luther, a 2003 film directed by Eric Till and starring Joseph Fiennes, at the embassy’s auditorium last week.
Ambassador Martin Kobler was also present, but sat among the audience after greeting fellow envoys, diplomats and guests.
The film tells the story of Martin Luther, a key figure in the Protestant Reformation. This year marks the 500th anniversary of the beginning of the establishment of the Protestant Church, which broke away from the Catholic Church.
Before the film began, Mr Brinksmeier, who is a theological scholar, spoke about religion and society in Germany at the time, nothing that the schism was not only about religion but also about politics, the role of secular powers verses the church and the role of the pope based in Rome.
“I found the film very enlightening,” said a Pakistani guest. “The fact that the German language and traditions were given more prominence in Protestantism was essential for the revolution, or reformation as it is termed.”
A European guest added that Latin used to be used in religious services and the Bible was interpreted only by the clergy, and people had a subordinate role in their own faith and spiritual lives.
“With the establishment of the Protestant Church, German language was used, and later, local languages in other countries, as Protestantism spread. This happened as the printing press was invented, and religious books and pamphlets could be distributed widely, and that led to the demand for reading skills and education,” said a Pakistani teacher from a local Christian school.
At an information reception after the screening, a guest noted that it would be useful if more films and lectures were held on the history of Christianity in Europe and the world, as well as the history of Judaism and Islam, as part of immigration and people’s movement.
In his introduction, Mr Brinksmeier noted that religious freedom had played a significant role in the migration of Europeans to America.
Published in Dawn, October 23rd, 2017