Professor Mary Jane Haemig is the editor of “The Annotated Luther, Volume 4: Pastoral Writings,” published in 2016 by Fortress Press. Part of a six-volume series, this book covers selected sermons, hymns, “Little Prayer Book” (1522), “Small Catechism” (1529), and other writings by Martin Luther related to reform, pastoral care, teaching, and prayer.
As Haemig notes in her introduction, “In some sense, all of Luther’s works were pastoral.” But, she argues, Luther’s pastoral role tends to be overshadowed by the other roles people have assigned to him throughout history: “great prophet, steadfast reforming figure, mover and shaker of his time, best-selling writer, brilliant theologian—even the national or denominational hero.” The writings in this volume emphasize his work as a preacher and teacher who offered pastoral care to others.
In a review of the entire series, Ronald Rittgers, Erich Markel chair in German reformation studies and professor of history and theology at Valparaiso University, writes: “As no other comparable series, The Annotated Luther provides the reader, whether lay or ordained, with a collection of the Wittenberg reformer’s most important writings that is at once learned and highly accessible. Here Luther’s works are presented in up-to-date translation with helpful introductions, explanatory notes, and engaging images. A must for the student and scholar of Luther alike!”