One of the most important holidays on the Christian calendar, Christmas is also the most controversial. The so-called "Christmas Wars" garner headlines every year for battles over manger scenes and the use of "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Holidays" (and other seasonal greetings). But Christmas is also a time for theological and spiritual reflection on important foundations of the Christian faith, including the Incarnation and the Virgin Birth.
October 1, 1529: The Colloquy of Marburg, which attempted to unify the followers of Martin Luther and Ulrich Zwingli, begins. It would close in failure October 4. While the Reformers agreed on 14 of the 15 articles, they remained divided over the Lutheran doctrine of the Eucharist (consubstantiation). Thus Switzerland remained Reformed and Germany stayed Lutheran—and dreams of a united European front against Roman Catholicism died (see issue 39: Luther's Later Years).