While the early stages of the Reformation focused on doctrinal issues and the abuses of the medieval church, Luther’s ideas also came to influence the social realm. His assertion of the universal priesthood of believers sanctified each person’s labor, and his emphasis on marriage and rejection of the monastery revolutionized the family in early-modern Europe. Luther, of course, married Katherine von Bora who is commonly known today simply as Katie Luther.
Specific anecdotes about Luther's and Katie's home life are few, but sources strongly suggest that the Luther home was vibrant, warm, and exceptionally loving. We know that his household was full of children and that the Luthers’ guests greatly appreciated their unmatched hospitality. Theophilus Stork’s little book, Luther at Home, adds narrative to what we know about Luther’s home life, displaying it as the realized ideal that shaped family life in Protestant households. Providing implicit social commentary in-line with classical Protestantism, this book examines how Luther and Katie lived their theology and in so doing created a home environment that emphasized love, grace, and joy.
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Theophilus Stork (1814–1874) is the author of Luther’s Christmas Tree, Jesus in the Temple, Luther and the Bible, and Luther at Home. He and his family were beloved leaders in nineteenth-century American Lutheranism, contributing significantly to the church in ministry and scholarship.