Sarah Hinlicky Wilson

70 Days on the Road with Luther

An ecumenical pilgrimage from Erfurt to Rome.

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Outside the cities, the fields are probably as full of crops as they were in Luther's time, but the crops we look at are certainly different: corn, sunflowers, and potatoes are all New World plants, and though beets were to be found in Europe they hadn't yet been bred into sugar beets. Even the rivers have changed. We spent a couple of days walking along the Iller, which used to have countless little branches amidst a wide flood plain. Modern people have hemmed it into a geometrically simpler canal. There will be something reassuring about crossing the Alps, however uphill and snowy. There's one thing, at least, that five hundred years can't change. But even they're not permanent. The grass withers and the flower fades, but the word of the Lord endures forever.

If you'd like to follow along on the rest of our journey (or read up on the first half), take a look at our pilgrimage website (and learn more about its ecumenical component).

Sarah Hinlicky Wilson is a research professor at the Institute for Ecumenical Research in Strasbourg, France, and the editor of Lutheran Forum.

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