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Authors: Jody Hedlund

Luther and Katharina (41 page)

BOOK: Luther and Katharina
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Katharina and the other nuns risked their lives to leave the convent. What were some of the factors that motivated them to attempt such a dangerous escape?

Like the nuns, have you ever faced a tough choice between staying safe in the life you've always known versus moving out of your comfort zone into something unknown, risky, and perhaps even scary? What was the experience like?

Luther encouraged other former monks and nuns to get married, and he proclaimed the goodness of marriage. Did you respect Luther's reasons for not wanting a wife or family for himself? Why do you think he changed his stance?

As you think about the prevalence of cloistered life in the Middle Ages and of all the many men and women who became monks and nuns, what were some of the benefits of such a life? And what were some of the problems?

What expectations did the nuns have about what life would be like for them in the “real world”? What were some of the realities they faced once they left the convent?

Sometimes we have high expectations for what our lives should be like, but the reality of our experiences doesn't always live up to those expectations. Have you ever faced disappointment when something didn't turn out the way you thought it would?

Luther was torn over who to support during the Peasants' War: the peasants or the princes. Whom did he eventually side with? Do you think he made the right choice? Why or why not?

Have you ever made a tough choice that you later questioned or regretted? What kind of repercussions did you face as a result of that choice?

Katharina and Luther had their own battle of the classes going on—one that mirrored that of the princes and peasants. During the Middle Ages, class differences were often considered “God-ordained” so marrying outside of one's social class was rare. Did anything surprise you about the class system of that time? Why is such a rigid system difficult for us to understand in our modern times? What examples can we see now of class differences in society?

What were some of the abuses of the Church of Rome (the Catholic Church) at that time? What were some of the ways Luther and his followers tried to make changes?

Luther felt like he was a disappointment to his father. He didn't think he could live up to his father's expectations. Have you ever disappointed anyone in your family or failed to live up to expectations? How did that make you feel?

Were you surprised by the very last scene, either by the person who was sabotaging Luther or the person who ended up rescuing Katharina?

Katharina struggled to let go of customs, traditions, and titles. She was accustomed to the accepted way of doing things, both socially and religiously. Why is it so hard for people to accept new ways of doing things?


ody Hedlund is a best-selling author and winner of multiple awards including the Carol Award for Historical Fiction and the Award of Excellence. Jody comes from a strong Lutheran background, having both a father and uncle as Lutheran ministers. She also attended Lutheran middle school and high school and was always fascinated by the stories of Martin Luther that she learned every year in catechism classes.

She received a bachelor's degree from Taylor University and a master's degree from the University of Wisconsin, both in social work. She lives in Midland, Michigan, with her husband and five busy children. Find Jody online at

BOOK: Luther and Katharina
6.12Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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