As Timothy J. Wengert notes in the forward, the early years of Martin Luther has been a long time interest for researchers and readers alike. Roland Bainton’s Here I Stand dedicates half of the work to Luther’s life up to 1521 (This classic work is still the best introduction to the life of Luther). Berndt Hamm’s The Early Luther (Eerdmans, 2014) continues this trend in this volume translated by Martin J. Lohrmann.
Instead of a negative depiction of Luther’s monastic days, Hamm deems Luther’s early years as instructive to his mature thought. He situates Luther firmly within his late medieval, Catholic, and monastic context. As an eager student, Luther worked in conjunction with these traditions for many years, formulating much of his theological categories. Hamm demonstrates not only his years of research in medieval thought, but also rightly conveys Luther’s debt to late medieval theology.