I’m having a good time reading the (apparently) controversial biography of Martin Luther by Erik Erikson. Erikson was a secular psychologist and the one who coined the phrase “identity crisis” in the 1950s. A lot his talk on what was going on in Luther’s head is probably conjecture, but portions of it make a lot of sense. Never a dull moment. Other than the textbook summary, I actually know very little about Luther, so I feel like this is filling an appropriate void.
From the introduction:
Luther has been both vilified and sanctified, and both by sincere and proven scholars, who have spent a good portion, if not all, of their lifetimes reconstructing him from the raw data – only to create, whenever they tried to encompass him with a formula, a superhuman or a suprahuman robot, a man who could never have breathed or moved or least of all spoken as Luther spoke. In writing this book, did I intend to do better?
-Erik Erikson, Young Man Luther, p.13