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To me, it's a kind of stewardship not to waste such opportunities when they present themselves.And, considering that, this project was a gift from heaven. I hit it off with ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton when I first met her, and I knew I'd have her support in this undertaking. I'm really thankful this has come together and pleased that virtually every public television station in the country will air our work several times. " when covering something as tumultuous as the Protestant Reformation and the horrific period of wars it ignited.Sharing it at home with friends and family explains things we feel and believe that we may have had a tough time verbalizing.
How did you decide what you most wanted to focus on in this special?
I wanted to make it interesting and appealing to non-Christians and non-Lutheran Christians alike.
Five hundred years ago, Martin Luther kicked off the Protestant Reformation, which contributed to the birth of our modern age.
In this one-hour special — filmed on location in Europe — Rick Steves tells the story of a humble monk who lived a dramatic life.
Did your approach to this special differ in any notable ways from how you typically create your shows?
My regular shows are 30-minute episodes simply featuring a particular travel destination. It's weightier in subject matter, more delicate in things to consider (being a strong witness in secular media without proselytizing), and tougher to make easy to view (as there is no action and the script is much harder to "cover" with images).
Was there something particularly impactful for you that you learned or experienced while making it?
The more I struggled with the script to sort out the world in which Luther lived and worked, the more respect I gained for him both as a struggling human being and as a courageous hero who understood change was both necessary and unpredictable.
Rick visits key sites relating to the Reformation (including Erfurt, Wittenberg, and Rome) and explores the complicated political world of 16th-century Europe — from indulgences to iconoclasts, and from the printing press to the Counter-Reformation.
It's a story of power, rebellion, and faith that you'll never forget.