International Women´s Seminar in Wittenberg

At the turn of April and May 2015 was held 2nd International Women´s Seminar in a significant city of Reformation in Wittenberg. The Seminar was sponsored by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Invitation on the seminar received almost 20 women from evangelical church in 12 different countries of all the world, for example Romania, Russia, Indonesia, Madagascar, Tanzania and other. According to the request of invitation we sent from the Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Slovakia sister Anna Balogová and Blažena Zaťková.

The main issue of the seminar was not only to visit places of the Reformation (Wittenberg, Torgau) but it task was to pay attention on the narrow and importance continuing influence in church and society today. The main theme was „Reformation and the Empowerment of Women“. We were inspired by women who have gone before us, very important women but sometime forgotten women of the Reformation. We spoke about wife of Martin Luther Katharina von Bora, Barbara Cranach, Elisabeth of Rochlitz, Argula von Grumbach and other. Those women can be for us a role models because they weren´t ashamed of their faith, but even they strong fought for the idea of Reformation, even sometimes against the resistance of their own husbands or family.

The most influential woman of the Reformation was Elisabeth of Rochlitz, she lived in 1502-1557. She used her position of power and she enforced reformation on her county. Elisabeth allowed the Lutheran doctrine in her territory from 1537 onwards, while rest of Saxony, under her father in law, still adhered strictly to Catholicism. Her brother sent her in the same year the Protestant preacher Johann Schütz. As the only woman she became a member of the Schmalkaldic League in 1538, it was a defensive religious alliance founded on the protection of the Reformation against attack by Charles V.

During the evenings participants had opportunities to share information about the status of women in their own churches and countries, presented their own country and church. This seminar providing also space for discussions, mutual understanding and learning from each other, space for building relationship.

Anna Balogová,  | 11.5.2015

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Grafické spracovanie:Ladislav Menyhart