If you enjoy reading about reformation history, you probably already know that the 31st of October is the date we remember that Martin Luther nailed his 95 thesis to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg.
I personally am fascinated by this time in history, not only because of the rich meaning it has for Protestants, but also because of the role the printing press played in the spread of Luther’s ideas. There is no doubt that printing technology of the day, had a profound effect on the Reformation.
Instead of having a scribe painstakingly copy a book letter by letter, documents could be reproduced quickly and with comparative ease. I wouldn’t exactly call working with metal or wooden type a piece of cake, but compared to the alternative, movable type probably felt like a copy machine.
Not only could Luther’s ideas be spread, but the scripture could be printed and put into the hands of the common people. A thrilling and fascinating time to be sure.
Roughly 500 years later, I can’t help but feel that I’m watching history unfold in a similar way, as technology continues to change how we communicate. Now, with the near ubiquity of instant publishing, online and offline, ideas can spread even faster than before. Finding a medium to express your ideas is no longer a challenge, but finding an audience for your ideas might be.
There are a some thorough articles on Wikipedia, for those interested. Let us know your thoughts in the comments.