Slide Collection
Erwin Weber

The Slide Collection consists of eight (8) major categories which have been divided into twenty-three (23) major groups. The major portion of the collection depicts scenes in the life and work of Luther and the Reformation period of the 16th century. In addition, there are slide series illustrating events in Reformation History, and slide series depicting individuals who became notable followers of Luther, such as, Johann Sebastian Bach, Gottfried Silbermann, and August Herman Francke. Another devout follower of Luther was Lars Paul Esbjorn, the Swedish Lutheran pastor, who, in 1860, was instrumental in the establishment of Augustana College, now located in Rock Island, Illinois.

1 - Life of Martin Luther

This series of 280 slides depicts persons, places, and events in the life of Martin Luther beginning with his ancestral home in Moehra, and continuing with his place of birth in Eisleben in 1483, his early life in Mansfeld, his Latin studies in Magdeburg and Eisenach, his university studies at Erfurt, his entry into the monastery, his trip to Rome, his call to the university in Wittenberg, his appearance at the Diet of Worms to defend his writings in 1521, his place of hiding at the Wartburg Castle in Eisenach, his return to Wittenberg to settle the unrest of the fanatics, his marriage in 1525 and his role during the Peasant’s Revolt, his religious debate with Zwingli in Marburg, his stay at Coburg Castle during the Diet of Augsburg in 1530, his completion of the first German Bible in 1534, and his trip to Schmalkalden. The series concludes with his death in Eisleben in 1546. All of these slides appear in Historical Videos titled Life of Luther. The video was purchased by Aid Association for Lutherans, Appleton, Wisconsin, the nation’s largest fraternal benefit society, to distribute copies free of charge. Among them are Lutheran churches, colleges, universities, seminaries.

2 - Other Luther Slides

These slides are not part of the slide series Life of Luther. Most of them were taken during my three-months stay in East Germany during the Luther Year of 1983 commemorating the 500th anniversary of Luther’s birth, when I visited more than 50 places in the German Democratic Republic associated with Luther and the Reformation period of the 16th century. Some of them slides appear in Illustrated Articles, e.g., “Luther in Eisenach”, “Luther at the Wartburg”, “Luther Picture Gallery”, “Luther’s 95 Theses”, “Luther and Christmas”, “Luther in Eisleben”, “Luther in Erfurt”, “Luther’s House in Wittenberg”, and “Luther in Death”.

3 - Life of Philip Melanchthon

This series of slides portrays persons, places, and events in the life of Philip Melanchthon beginning with his birth in Bretten, and continuing with his early studies in Pforzheim to the University of Heidelberg, his lectures at the University of Tuebingen, his call to the University of Wittenberg as a professor of Greek and Latin, his friendship with Luther, especially during the religious debate in Leipzig, his writings dealing with the dogma of the forthcoming Lutheran Church, especially his Loci communes and the Augsburg Confession of 1530, his controversies with other Reformers, notably those after the death of Luther such as Agricola and Flacius Allyricus, his attempt at reconciliation with the Church of Rome, his sorrow over his family especially the death of his wife. The series concludes with the death of Melanchthon in 1560 and his burial in the Castle Church next to his friend, and collaborator, Martin Luther.

4 - Other Melanchthon Slides

These slides are not part of any particular slide series. However, they do belong to the group that deals with Life of Philip Melanchthon. Most of them were taken during my two weeks stay in Germany during the Melanchthon Year in 1997 marking the 500th anniversary of Melanchthon’s birth in 1497, and my three-week stay in Germany and Switzerland in 1999.

5 - Life of Lucas Cranach

Whereas Luther and other reformers preached the Gospel from the pulpit, wrote religious tracts with fiery words which every German could readily understand, Lucas Cranach and his son painted “sermons” with brush and pigment for churches and chapels, so that the people, many of whom were unable to read, would be able to see with their own eyes and understand the meaning of the Holy Scripture. This series of slides touches upon the life and work of Lucas Cranach the Elder beginning with his place of birth in Kronach in 1472, his studies in Vienna and the Danube School, his call to Wittenberg by the Elector of Saxony, Frederick the Wise in 1504, and his friendship with Luther from 1519 until Luther’s death in 1546, his capture by emperor Charles V following the defeat of the Protestant forces in 1546, and his stay in Augsburg, and Innsbruck, Austria The series will conclude with Cranach’s epitaph and his death in Weimar in 1553.

6 - Other Reformation Paintings and Altarpieces

This series of slides is based on a slide lecture titled Sermons in Paint. It depicts paintings and altarpieces by not only Cranach the Elder and Cranach the Younger, but also other Reformation painters. The series will conclude with Duerer paintings of the “Four Apostles”. Several slides in this series appear in Illustrated Articles titled “Lucas Cranach, Painter of the Reformation” and “More of Cranach and the Reformation”.

7 - Reformers before Luther

This series of slides is based on articles written in The Lutheran Journal titled “Dissidence from Hus to Havel”, and “Girolamor Savonarola”.

8 - Olavus Petri and the Reformation in Sweden

When Luther received his doctor’s degree in 1512 and the professorship of Old and New Testament Studies was turned over to him at the University of Wittenberg, his fame began to spread. As a result, he attracted more and more students from all of Europe. When these students returned to their homeland the Reformation began to spread and took root. One such student attending Luther’s lectures was Olavus Petri. This series of slides appears in the video titled Olavus Petri and the Reformation in Sweden. It begins with his place of birth in Oerebro, Sweden in 1493, his studies at Uppsala University, his travel to Germany to study at Leipzig and University of Wittenberg in 1516 under Luther and Melanchthon, his return to his homeland in 1518 and with the support of the Swedish King Gustav Vasa I, transformed the Swedish Church from Catholicism to the Lutheran faith. The slides series concludes with Petri’s death in 1552 and burial beneath the pulpit of the Great Church in Stockholm from which he so often preached.

9 - Life of Ulrich Zwingli

This slide series deals with persons places and events in the life of Ulrich Zwingli, beginning with his place of birth in Lisighaus, a mountain community near Wildhaus, Switzerland to his Latin studies in Basel, his ordination to the priesthood, his parish in Glarus, his retreat to the monastery in Einsiedeln, his call to the Cathedral in Zurich in 1518 and his work as a Swiss Reformer until his death in the Battle of Kappel in 1531.

10 - Gustavus Adolphus and the 30-Years War (1618-1648)

Some of slides appear in Illustrated Articles titled “A Mighty Fortress”, Part I and II.

11 - Johann Sebastian Bach, Cantor, Composer, Organist

Music played an important part in the life of Martin Luther. He played the lute and wrote more than 36 hymns. And his music and theology continued to live in the works of such musicians and composers as Heinrich Schuetz, Johann Sebastian Bach, Friedrich Haendel and Felix Mendelson, some of whom played on instruments built by such organ builders as Johann Gottfried Donati, Heinrich Trost and Gottfried Silbermann. This series of slides is based on the slide lecture titled Music, a Luther Legacy and Illustrated Articles, “Music, A Luther Legacy”. It begins with Bach’s place of birth in Eisenach in 1685, his early education in nearby Ohrdruf, his studies in Lueneburg, his call to Weimar by the Duke of Weimar to join the orchestra at the court, then to Arnstadt as organist at Bonafatious Church, his studies of Buxtehude, his assignment at Blasius Church in Muehlhausen, where he composed Cantata #80 Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott, his appointment as Court organist and chamber musician to Duke Wilhelm Ernst of Saxe-Weimar, his appointment as concert master in Koethen, to his post as cantor, concert master and director of music at the St. Thomas Church in Leipzig where he remained for 27 years composing a great number of fuges, chorals, and cantatas until his death in 1750.

12 - Gottfried Silbermann, 18th century Organ Builder

The most famous organ builder during the time of Bach and Handel was Gottfried Silbermann. This series of slides is based on the slide lecture titled Music, a Luther Legacy and Illustrated Articles, “Music, A Luther Legacy”. It begins with Silbermann’s place of birth in Kleinbrobritzsch a tiny farm community in the rolling hills near Dresden in southern East Germany in 1683, and continue to his early youth in nearby Frauenstein where he learned the art of organ building, to his workshop in Freiberg located in the rich silver mining region where he created more than 45 organs before his death in 1753. Illustrated are Silbermann organs in Pfaffroda, Freiberg, Roetha, Forchheim, Dittersbach, Reinhardtsgrimma, Grosshardtmannsdorf, Burgk, Nassau south of Freiberg, and the Hofkirche in Dresden.

13 - August Hermann Francke, 18th century Lutheran Pastor in Halle

Luther stated in 1521 while in hiding at the Wartburg Castle, “We must cling to the pure Scripture alone which teaches nothing but Christ, so that we may attain piety through him in faith, and then do all our works in freedom for the benefit of our neighbors. Developing this concern in the late 17th century, August Hermann Francke (1663-1727) established the Francke Foundation in Halle, the oldest private social-pedagogical institution in Germany which provided welfare for the poor and orphaned children in connection with schooling. By the time of his death, more than 2,00- children lived in an enormous complex of buildings which house among other administrative offices and trade shops, an orphanage, schools from kindergarten to graduate schools, a Bible institute, an apothecary, a book store and a publishing company. This unusual ensemble of buildings remains today and represents a European cultural monument. Some of the slides may found in Illustrated Articles, "A Luther Legacy: August Hermann Francke", "Troubled Youth in Germany”, and "The August Francke Kindergarten in Germany".

14 - Julius Axenfeld, 19th century Lutheran Pastor in Bad Godeberg

Some of the slides may be found in Illustrated Articles, “Axenfeld, A Luther Legacy” Part I and Part II. There is an orphanage in Bad Godesberg located on a hill overlooking the Rhine River. It is called Godesheim, established by Julius Heinrich Axenfeld in 1883 in celebration of the 400th anniversary of Luther’s birth. This is the story of Axenfeld a pioneer for social and ecumenical improvement. He establish various institutions in Bad Godesberg, such as, a new Lutheran Church and parsonage, a school for small Lutheran children, a college for girls, a Christian rest home for men, an orphanage and a trade school, an organization of volunteers to care for the sick in the Lutheran congregation, a children’s hospital which took care of 42 children at little or no cost, a building for students and apprentices traveling throughout the country, a Christian rest home for women with little income and a college of education. It concludes with a look at these institution today and how they survived throughout the entire 20th century.

15 - Lutheran Churches in Rome and Athens

It must have been hours before dawn, early in October of 1510, when the pious monk, Martin Luther arose from his bunk at the Augustinian Monastery in Erfurt, to prepare himself for a journey on foot, a journey of 850 miles to the south, to the eternal city of Rome. Fortunately, Luther was able to travel light, for along the way were hundreds of monastery which would open their doors to traveling brothers, especially those on official business of the church. This series of slides traces the route Luther and another monk traveled to Rome because Augustinian were not permitted to travel alone. Currently there is a Lutheran Church in Rome in which Pope John Paul II held a sermon on St. Martin’s Day, November 11, 1983, the 500th anniversary of Luther’s baptism. The pontiff entered the Lutheran Church in the spirit of reconciliation and in a sincere effort of promoting Christian unity. There is another Lutheran church in Athens, Greece. It had its beginning in 1837. This series of slides depicts scenes along the Appian Way from Rome to Greece. The series is part of an illustrated lecture titled From the Lutheran Church in Rome to Athens. Some of the slides appear in Illustrated Articles, “Luther in Rome” and “From Rome to Athens”.

16 - Early Lutheran Churches in Illinois

This series of slides depicts early Lutheran churches in Illinois such as St. John’s in Dongola, IL; St. Paul’s in Hillsboro, IL; Zion in Mt. Carmel, IL; Sargent’s Chapel in Sedgewickville, MO; Zion in Trivoli, IL; Jenny Lind Chapel in Andover, IL; Augustana in Andover, IL; Bethany in Wenona, IL; St. Paul in Dixon, IL; St. Paul in Oregon, IL; First Lutheran in Rockford, IL; Old Immanuel in Chicago, IL; St. Stevens in Chicago, IL; Bethlehem in DeKalb, IL. My sketches of the churches are found in Books and Pamphlets, Lutheranism in Illinois 1816-1976.

17 - Jenny Lind Chapel, Pioneer Church in Andover, IL

Jenny Lind Chapel, a Swedish-Lutheran Pioneer Church in Andover, IL, is a national historic site. Swedish immigrants dedicated their house of worship in Andover in 1848 under the leadership of pastor Lars Paul Esbjoern. This series of slides depicts scenes of immigrants on their 68-day journey from their homeland in Sweden to the rugged frontier plains in northwestern, IL. The text and slides are based on a 50-minute video of Jenny Lind Chapel narrated by its host, Dr. Conrad Bergendoff, President emeritus of Augustana College and Theological Seminary in Rock Island, IL. The series of slides is located in Historical Videos.

Last update:  November 14, 2005