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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Luther: Man of the millennium

When reporters and editors who cover religion for the secular media cast their votes for the most significant religious story of the last 1,000 years, they picked a certain former Augustinian monk's act of vandalism (as it may have seemed then to some religious leaders).

"Martin Luther's nailing of 95 theses to a church door in Wittenberg, Germany, in 1517, sparked a Protestant Reformation whose results are still being felt," said the 240-member Religion Newswriters Association.

Luther received high marks in other millennium "top" lists. He was third on Life's list of the 100 most influential people of the last 1,000 years, behind Thomas Edison and Christopher Colombus.

He was also the third most important person of the millennium on Biography of the Millennium, which aired on Arts & Entertainment. The show placed Johann Gutenberg, inventor of the printing press, first, and physicist Isaac Newton, second.


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