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In making a psychiatric study of a personality such as Martin Luther's, one must necessarily overcome tremendous difficulties. The story of his life is more than the life history of a single person; it is also the story of his time—in Luther's case a time of chaos and conflict. Luther's personality is both a historical and a psychiatric problem. Paul J. Reiter faced these difficulties by devoting the first volume of his work concerning Martin Luther to the "umwelt"—the environment. He gives a historical analysis of the crisis in the Catholic Church, of the German theology and philosophy of Luther's time, and the sociological and political background of the sixteenth century. Luther's more personal milieu provides the theme for the last part of this book and forms the transition to the second volume, which is as yet unpublished and in which the author will give a detailed psychologic analysis of
Martin Luthers Umwelt, Charakter und Psychose sowie die Bedeutung dieser Faktoren für seine Entwicklung und Lehre. Eine historisch-psychiatrische Studie. JAMA. 1938;110(9):679. doi:10.1001/jama.1938.02790090061027