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Pitts exhibit, Reformation Day to highlight the Ten Commandments

By Claire Asbury Lennox | Emory Report | Oct. 6, 2015

The fall exhibit at Candler School of Theology’s Pitts Theology Library showcases works from its Richard C. Kessler Reformation Collection, with a focus on the significance of the Ten Commandments to the Protestant Reformation. “That We a Godly Life May Live: Luther’s Interpretation of the Ten Commandments” runs through Jan. 15 in the library’s exhibit hall.

The exhibit is free and open to the public. Free guided tours are scheduled for Oct. 16, Oct. 30, Nov. 13 and Dec. 4 at 2 p.m.; advance registration is required for guided tours.

The exhibit, which takes its name from a hymn Martin Luther penned about the commandments, offers context for the 28th annual Reformation Day at Emory on Oct. 22, which will explore the Ten Commandments’ role in Scripture, Luther’s reform, and contemporary American life.

“The Ten Commandments occupy a place of special significance in the writings of Martin Luther,” says exhibit curator and Pitts’ head of cataloguing Armin Siedlecki. “This focus may be surprising to some, since one of Luther’s chief contributions to the history of theology is the idea of salvation by faith alone. However, Luther did not regard the Ten Commandments as the legal basis of a system of ethics, but rather as the starting point for a moral life and a necessary reminder of human sinfulness and the need for God’s grace.”

Objects on display include tracts by Luther on sin and prayer related to the commandments, Luther’s large and small catechisms, interpretations of the commandments by other Reformation theologians, images of Moses from medieval and Renaissance art, and sermons and hymns from the Reformation era.