In the presence of several hundred invited guests, Minister of State for Europe Michael Roth opened the unique exhibition “Here I Stand” on the life and work of Martin Luther, at the Minneapolis Institute of Art.
This exhibition in the Midwest, the Lutheran heartland of the United States, includes items never displayed outside Europe before and provides a comprehensive overview of the life and work of the great reformer.
“Luther set boundaries for secular and clerical power.”
In his opening speech, Roth underscored the political dimension in Luther’s work: “He set boundaries for secular and clerical power. He emphasised freedom of conscience, critical judgement, and the personal responsibility of the individual. We owe the crucial impetus for how we understand freedom, education, and social coexistence today to Luther and other reformers.”
To this very day, questions concerning the relationship between religion and the state as well as freedom and responsibility have lost none of their relevance.
It becomes clear when walking round the exhibition that Luther was a great communicator who made extensive use of his eloquence as well as the visual arts. “I am quite sure that, if he were alive today, Luther would be an enthusiastic user of Twitter”, the Minister for Europe said in his speech.
The exhibition, which has been partially funded by the Federal Foreign Office, can be viewed in Minneapolis until February 2017. The organisers are certain it will be a great success. The number of pre-bookings has already exceeded those for any other exhibition at the Minneapolis Institute of Art.