Martin Luther's Theology
Its Historical and Systematic Development
Publication Year: 2011
Published by: Augsburg Fortress Publishers
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Title Page, copyright
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SUMMARY OF CONTENTS
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The Dialogus de potestate papae of Silvester Prierias (1518) 107 The Urgency of the Question Concerning Monastic Vows in 1520/1521 ...
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For some time I intended to write a description of Martin Luther's theology. In October 195S, while at work on my study of reason and faith in Luther,1 Paul Althaus suggested that I should later write a volume purely from the standpoint of a church historian. After the late sixties I often lectured on Luther's theology, always keeping at center the description of the origin and further shaping of his Reforma ...
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Due to die nature of the work, which opens with die genetic followed by die sys tematic treatment of Ludier's dieology, die reader may begin at eidier point widiout harm to die audior's purpose. The newcomer to Ludier's thought, however, will profit greatly from commencing widi die historical treatment. Indeed, diis portion of die work may initially be of more profit to both learner and scholar than the sys ...
P A R T O N HIntroduction: Preliminary Considerationsand Presuppositions Relative to aDescription of Luther’s Theology
Chapter ICRITERIA FOR DESCRIBINGLUTHER'S THEOLOGY
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The attempt to describe the theology of an important person of the past requires a few preliminary remarks about die possibilities and difficulties of such an undertak ing. The attempt is easily in danger of assigning to die diought of die dieologian to be described a systematic tendency more suitable to diat of die interpreter dian to die one to be interpreted. That such danger in fact exists can be shown merely by ...
Chapter 2THE SITUATION IN THE CHURCHAROUND 1500
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The situation of the church around 1500 was in many respects quite different than, say, around 1450 or 1400. Since for everyone who became a dieologian in the early sixteenth century, die ecclesiastical and spiritual climate was no doubt of greater weight than in the High or late Middle Ages, and since many theologians in one way or anodier dealt widi questions of die day, die historical background must be briefly ...
Chapter 3THE THEOLOGICAL SITUATIONAROUND 1500, ESPECIALLY INERFURT AND WITTENBERG
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When Luther became a monk and soon thereafter studied theology, he was faced not only with a multilayered situation in the church, but in a philosophical-dieological respect was subject to the influence of more than one school of thought. The weight that these various persuasions had for Luther was quite varied. At the University of Erfurt and also at the Augustinian eremite cloister that ...
Chapter 4LUTHER'S PERSONALDEVELOPMENT
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In the main, very little can be said of Luther's parental home or of the relations between Luther and his parents, since the relevant sources are sparse, and occasional statements later made by Luther on the subject are quite casual. In sum, Luther's parental home and the education he received there might not have differed in any real sense from conditions existing then in odier comparable families. The modern ...
Chapter 5THE UNIQUENESSOF LUTHER'S THEOLOGY
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Early on, Luther displayed an appreciation for the theological task markedly differ ent from views otherwise held around 1500.' Naturally, what is new in Luther's position cannot be defined in such fashion that it is simply seen in opposition to par ticular scholastic tendencies or even to humanism. As noted, Ludier could read some scholastic works widi great relish, diose of Biel, for example.2 The distinction ...
P A R T T W OLuther’s TheoIogyin Its Historical Development
Chapter 6BASIC THEOLOGICAL IDEASIN LUTHER'S MARGINAL NOTESON AUGUSTINE AND PETERLOMBARD ( I 5 0 9 / I 5 I 0 )
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Apart from a few letters from Luther's early years after 1501, his first coherent written efforts date from 1509/1510. They involve marginal notes on die numerous writings of Augustine as well as on Peter Lombard's (ca. 1100-1160) great dogmatic work; The Four Books of the Sentences. Soon after its composition this work had already caught on as a foundational text, and in Luther's time served as "textbook." Many of ...
Chapter 7EARLY REFORMATIONTHEOLOGY IN THE FIRSTPSALMS LECTURE ( I 5 I 3 - I 5 I 5 )
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Compared with die marginal notes of 1509/1S10, the first Psalms lecture reflects a totally different dieological climate.The reason for diis is first of all that we are deal ing here widi Ludier's first exegetical lecture, no longer widi mere criticisms or comments on die texts of odiers. In addition, die first Psalms lecture makes clear diat while his interpretation to a great extent leaned on earlier expositions, of which ...
Chapter 8THE STRUCTUREOF REFORMATION THEOLOGYIN THE PERIOD OF PAULINEEXEGESIS ( I 5 I 5 - I 5 I 8 )
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By itself, the choice of biblical texts interpreted by Luther in his early lectures has programmatic significance. The Psalter as prayer book, but in certain instances as a mirror to confession, could serve to develop more precisely the new understanding of sin. When, after this first great exegeticai attempt Luther resolved to interpret three epistles of Paul (Hebrews then taken to be Pauline), he obviously wanted to ...
Chapter 9THE REFORMATION DISCOVERY
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In Luther and in Reformation research few topics have been as persistently disputed as those regarding the moment and exact content of Luther's Reformation discov ery. Though important lecture manuscripts as well as some letters and odier writ ings are extant from Luther's early period, and though the mature Ludier often speaks of his breakthrough, many of the relevant texts have been variously inter ...
Chapter 10LUTHER'S ATTACKON INDULGENCES ( I 5 I 7 / I 5 I 8 )
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The dispute over indulgences commencing in the fall of 1S17 may first appear to be a continuation or new phase in die course of odier disputes. Only during 1518 did it become known that not only the dimensions of this new conflict but also its The various early-sixteenth-century debates involving humanists and scholas tics as well as humanists and representatives of die official church led Ludier as well ...
Chapter I ILUTHER'S DISPUTEWITH CAJETAN OVERJUSTIFICATION, FAITH,AND CHURCH AUTHORITY
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After the spring of 1518 the conflict between Luther and Rome occurred on several levels. First, the questions broached by the Ninety-five Theses and the Explanations on indulgences were given wider treatment in the various literary disputes, with both points of view given greater clarity and precision. Next, preparations had begun for the canonical proceeding against Luther, all of which had its affect on ...
Chapter 12LUTHER'S DEBATE WITH ECKON THE AUTHORITY OF POPEAND COUNCIL (1519)
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No doubt, the Leipzig Disputation represents another high point in early Reforma tion history. More than ever, it sharply formulated the views of both sides regarding conciliar and papal authority. In addition, die charge of heresy against Ludier was given greater stress. Further, Luther developed his view of the authority of Holy Scripture in greater detail. We should also note that with the intensifying of the con ...
Chapter 13LUTHER'S DISPUTEWITH THE SACRAMENTALTEACHING OF HIS TIME( I 5 I 9 / I 5 2 0 )
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The debate arising over Luther's Ninety-five Theses spread wider and wider. First, if the polemics of his traditionalist opponents set the topic of papal authority at cen ter, the teaching on die sacraments soon came to be intensively discussed. In his Explanations of the Ninety-Jive Theses (1S18) Luther stated diat it is not the sacrament but radier faidi that justifies. At die Augsburg hearing Cajetan had contested diis ...
Chapter 14LUTHER'S DISPUTEWITH THE MONASTIC IDEAL( I 5 2 0 / I 5 2 I )
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Until 1519, the perennial overhaul of monasticism in theology did not yet induce Luther to reject the monastic vow. On the contrary, as early as in his first Psalms lecture he construed it on the basis of the baptismal covenant, which could open the door once more to monastic life. On such terms, Luther could still recommend monasticism in The Holy and blessed Sacrament of baptism (1519). ...
Chapter 15LUTHER'S DISPUTEWITH THE WITTENBERGREFORMERS
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The circle of Wittenberg dieologians involved since 1S16 in reforming theology and the university, thus with linking humanistic goals to Reformation renewal, was never entirely homogeneous. In the years of dieir attack on scholasticism differences within the circle had been muted. The more university reform progressed and the sharper Luther's dispute widi Rome grew, die more differences appeared that till dien had ...
Chapter 16LUTHER'S DISPUTEWITH RADICAL TENDENCIESTO "RIGHT" AND "LEFT"
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Certain basic ideas appearing later in Ludier's distinction between the two king doms can be documented early on in his work. On the basis of Augustine's great work, De ciritate Dei, he customarily identified the church with die "City of God."1 In view of die various symptoms of decline in die late medieval church, he clearly placed more confidence in political dian in ecclesiastical government.2 ...
Chapter I 7LUTHER'S DISPUTEWITH ERASMUS
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While the debate about reforms was still going on and Luther was developing in greater detail his view of die temporal authority against opponents to "left" and "right," the next great dispute occurred, this time between Luther and Erasmus.The dispute had to do with die starting point of Reformation dieology, widi die radical view of sin and bondage of die human will in respect of grace, which, oddly enough, ...
Chapter 18LUTHER'S DISPUTEWITH ZWINGLI
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From approximately IS 17 to IS20, when Luther's dispute with Rome reached its zenith, no attention was paid to differences among the evangelicals over sacramen tal doctrine. Controversy with the traditionalists relegated all other viewpoints to the periphery. Only from a later perspective did it become clear diat as early as in the attack on the late medieval doctrine of the sacrifice and celebration of the Mass ...
Chapter 19LUTHER'S DISPUTEWITH THE ANTINOMIANS
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Another important dispute, which led Luther more precisely to develop his view and in part also to modify it, had to do with establishing a basis for repentance as well as with the entire range of law and gospel doctrine. Fundamentally at issue was the Reformation view of justification and to that extent the heart of Luther's theol ogy. At the same time the various contestants were united in rejecting the Roman ...
PART THREELulher’s I hcclogy in Its Syslnniiilic Co/;te.v/
Chapter 20SOLA SCRIPTURA
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The conviction that Scripture is or should be die primary audiority in die church was shared by die ancient church as well as die medieval church. Ludier himself said diat as early as among his scholastic teachers he learned diat "faidi" is due die Bible alone, while only an "opinion" should be assigned all odiers.' His extraordinarily intensive occupation widi die meaning of Scripture, as reflected particularly in his ...
Chapter 2 1REASON AND FAITH
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Ludier did not develop a theory of cognition comparable to the various views of high or late scholasticism, nor, as at times has been maintained,1 did he dismiss rea son from theology. No doubt, he could speak very harshly of the arbitrariness of human reason over against revelation. He often spoke in "opposed totalities."2 Nev ertheless, all his theological work reflects an established as well as extensively devel ...
Chapter 22THE VIEW OF GOD
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Generally, trinitarian dogma was not in dispute, either between Luther and Rome or between Luther and the other great reform movements. Specific questions, of course, were at times the object of controversy. For Luther, debates with anti-Trinitarians were of relatively little concern.' Neverdieless, in his last years he reg ularly allowed for the discussion of trinitarian doctrine in conjunction with ...
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In all essential points christological dogma was not a matter of dispute between Ludier and Rome. Within the various Reformation groups diere were certain dif ferences, as especially between Ludier and Zwingli over die doctrine of die Lord's Supper. Neverdieless, die doctrine of die two natures was not in dispute. There were differences regarding die consequences to be drawn from Christology for die ...
Chapter 24SPIRITUS CREATOR
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With respect to the doctrine of the Holy Spirit, Luther adopted die same attitude toward die doctrinal decisions of the ancient church and die tradition of Western dieology as he had advocated toward die doctrine of die Trinity generally and toward statements about God and Christ. His pneumatology nonetheless reflects Older research supposed diat the Holy Spirit had no further significance in ...
Chapter 25HUMANITY ASCREATURE OF GOD
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As often as particular aspects of Luther's view have been researched, until now only David Lofgren has attempted a comprehensive description of Luther's theol ogy of creation. Lofgren's intent was to pursue Luther's ideas throughout almost all the important dogmatic themes, with a salvation-historical sketch as the basis. In this way ideas customarily treated in a doctrine of creation are in the back ...
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In Luther's own biography as well as in the structuring of his new dieology a rad ical view of sin had been given preeminence. It is not an exaggeration to state diat in his Reformation theology this new view of sin comprises die actual motif for practically all other themes. Luther arrived at his new interpretation partly through critical self-examination and partly through intensive study of Paul. He ...
Chapter 2 7JUSTIFICATION
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There is no doubt that the heart and soul of Luther's Reformation theology is the article on justification. If his dieology has its peculiarity not least in the fact that all its topics are intimately linked, so that ultimately none may be treated in isolation, then in a quite spe cial way the doctrine of justification is decisive for all theological questions, for opening as well as carrying on their discussion. It is with this doctrine that "die church stands or ...
Chapter 28LAW AND GOSPEL
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For Luther die distinction between law and gospel coheres most intimately with his doctrine of justification, since diat doctrine can be developed only on die basis of diat distinction. For diis reason one might ask whedier a systematic treatment should not first deal widi die doctrine of law and gospel and only dien widi die doc trine of justification.The answer is diat we dealt first widi justification, and now will ...
Chapter 29THE CHURCH
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In order to evaluate Luther's ecclesiology a few points require particular atten tion. First, in the medieval period ecclesiology was generally dealt with as a sepa rate theme. Naturally, ecclesiological questions were discussed in other dogmatic contexts. It was only in the late Middle Ages that John Wyclif and John Hus com posed their de Ecclesia, not least reflecting their own criticism of the church of diat ...
Chapter 30OFFICE AND ORDINATION
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For more than a hundred years the interpretation of Ludier's statements on the min isterial office and universal priesthood, but also on ordination and not least on the episcopal office, has been the subject of extraordinary controversy. In essence, the fronts observable as early as in the confessional theology of the nineteenth century are still intact. It was chiefly J.W. F. Hofling (1802-1853) who advocated the so-called ...
Chapter 3 IBAPTISM
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Formation of a new, Reformation theology of baptism went hand in hand with Ludier's entire theological development, particularly during his first lectures on the Psalms and Romans.1 In dealing with the sacraments, concentration on questions such as judgment and gospel, righteousness and faith, or on the divine promise and human confidence, led to a new impulse and important consequences: die criterion ...
Chapter 32THE LORD'S SUPPER
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Research into die various phases in Luther's development of die doctrine of die sacraments in general, and of his doctrine of die Lord's Supper in particular, has made clear die extent of die shift in accents.1 If in 1519 or 1520, in dependence on Augustine, Luther gave an entirely independent definition of sacrament widi his dis tinction between sign, meaning, and faith, now, since 1520, die words of institution ...
Chapter 33THE DOCTRINEOF THE TWO KINGDOMS
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In examining Luther's early formation of the distinction between the two kingdoms and the two governments,1 we referred to the fact that the distinction must be seen from die perspective of the history of tradition as well as in the wake of Luther's con flict with Rome. From the perspective of the history of tradition the distinction rep resents a reformulation of die ancient dieme of the two civitates, first developed by ...
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In his own life as well as in all his dieology, die idea of death and die last judgment was Ludier's constant companion. In his biography die question as to how he might stand before God in die judgment played a decisive role. The Reformation under standing of die righteousness of God and die justification of die sinner is unintelligi ble apart from its eschatological context.1 In Ludier's doctrine deadi and die last ...
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Luther's statements concerning the Jews, often represented in placative and abbreviated form, can be evaluated in unbiased fashion only when we first take into account the Jewish situation in the West on the eve of the Reformation, and next, when we evaluate the context in which Luther made these statements. If these two factors are not observed, access is obstructed to historical understand ...
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Theodosius Harnack, Luthers Theologie mit hesonderer Beziehung auf seine Versohungs-und Erlosungslehre. 2 vols. Erlangen: Theodor Blaesing, 1862-86; reprint Munich: Julius Kostlin, The Theology of Luther in Its Historical Development and Inner Harmony, trans, by Charles E. Hay. Philadelphia: Lutheran Pub. Society, 1897. Reinhold Seeberg, Text-hook of the History of Doctrines, translated by Charles E. Hay. ...
INDEX OF NAMES
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INDEX OF SUBJECTS
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..." Hern hard Lohsc was one of the top Luther scholars in the twentieth century, and this book is the rich harvest of a lifetime of Luther study It is the best survey of Luther's theology in any language and supersedes all previous studies, including "This volume is the magnum opus or the leading German Luther scholar in the twentieth century Like an experienced mountain guide, he leads readers through ...
Page Count: 412
Publication Year: 2011