Today’s Thanksgiving feast has its origins in an English Reformation tradition carried on by the pilgrims who arrived at Plymouth in 1620. In an affront to the Catholic liturgical calendar, Puritans celebrated days of fasting and days of feasting—notably the day of feasting at the end of the fall harvest—in gratitude for God’s provision. In an age where consumption of food is often far removed from fields where it is produced, a growing number of evangelicals have reinterpreted the holiday as a time not only to thank God for abundance, but to examine where abundance comes from and the ethics of food, hunger, and environment.
October 31, 1517: Martin Luther posts his 95 Theses in Wittenberg (see issue 34: Luther's Early Years).
October 31, 1825: George Muller, who founded orphanages that would house more than 10,000 orphans by his death in 1898, converts to Christianity at a Moravian mission.
October 31, 1992: Pope John Paul II formally admits the Roman Catholic Church's error in condemning Galileo Galilei in 1633 for believing the sun, not the earth, was the center of the universe (see issue 76: Christian Face of the ...