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Brecht here describes the years in which the distinctive aspects of the Reformation took shape. During this time four difficult conflicts -- the Peasants' War, the interchange between Luther and Erasmus, debates on the Lord's Supper, and the rise of Anabaptist groups -- strengthened the need to fashion new orders for governing the church and the need to develop new patterns for worship and the instruction of youth. Luther the theologian was occupied with problems of politics, economy, law, and education. In addition, his own life was altered by his marriage. Martin Brecht, leading Luther Scholar, is Professor of Reformation and Modern Church History at the University of Muenster, Germany.