In 1517, Martin Luther unleashed an explosive question: whether or how to fundamentally reform the Catholic Church. Unexpected by most, unthinkable to some and unwelcome to many, ‘reformation’ of the Catholic Church was for others like Luther and John Calvin an urgent and obvious necessity: they ‘protested’ their aims very publicly and very soon they and their supporters were known as Protestants. What started as a ‘protest for reformation’ eventually brought much greater change than anyone could have foreseen in the form of a religious revolution: the Protestant Reformation. This exhibition of rare books from the Old Library attests to the thousands of books and millions of words that were written and printed arguing the merits of each case.
Curator: Tom Byrne, research fellow at the Centre Culturel Irlandais, 2012