Heiko A. Oberman IN MEMORIAM: HEIKO A. OBERMAN In April of this year, at his home in Tucson, Arizona, Heiko Augustinus Oberman died of cancer at the age of seventy. In his chosen field of Reformation studies, no scholar of the second half of the twentieth century has had an impact comparable to Prof. Oberman's. By showing how Martin Luther and John Calvin made use of fourteenth and fifteenth-century the- ologians, he made historians rc-think the relationship between the medieval and modern eras; and by insisting that neither Luther nor Calvin was a reformer in the conventional and optimistic sense of the term, he discon- certed established interpretations even more. Those who knew him will remember above all his personal qualities. Because he had the imagination to see many possible answers to a question, and the discipline to accept no solution that failed to meet rigorous standards of evidence, he spoke and wrote with a rare authority. In an age when historians have mastered the rhetoric of the escape-hatch, he made no apologies for his considered opinions; in an age of consensus-seekers, he relished debate. Hence through a long career at major universitics-Harvard, Tubingen, and Arizona-he peopled the
Journal of Early Modern History – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2001
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