Nailed to the door

Nailed to the door

On the desk in front of me is a Playmobil® figure of Martin Luther. I don’t think it’s an exact replica, I mean, apart from anything else, he hasn’t got a nose. Anyway, the figure was released to mark ‘500 years of Reformation’.

Now, it’s not easy to get into the Playmobil® Hall of Fame. As far as I can find out, the only other historical characters they have ever done are Cleopatra, Caesar and the Butterfly Fairy. But amazingly, the Luther figurine became Playmobil®’s fastest-selling figure, ever, with some 34,000 of the tiny plastic toys selling out within 72 hours.

Not bad for a 500-year-old theologian.

So what is this all about? Well, the little brochure accompanying the figure explains that it commemorates Luther’s ninety-five theses nailed to the church door in Wittenberg.

This event has been called “the hammer blow that launched the Reformation”, and here’s the story as it’s commonly recounted. Catholic salesmen are making a killing selling indulgences – basically vo...

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