An examination of the careers of nineteenth-century theologians Gottlieb Thomasius and Konrad von Hofman illustrates the revival of Lutheran confessional theology and interest in the contribution to contemporary theology of Martin Luther. While there are criticisms to be made of the appropriation of Luther by Thomasius and Hofmann, it cannot be at the cost of overlooking the contributions offered by their readings of Luther. In comparison to existing portrayals of Luther, theirs was an intentionally theological depiction—while perhaps lacking in historical contextualization—that helped rediscover Luther's unique theological voice. They took Luther's theological vision seriously. More specifically, Thomasius and Hofmann were instrumental in the recovery of the Christological center of Luther's soteriology. While Hegel had utilized aspects of Luther's Christology for his speculative philosophy, the research of Thomasius and Hofmann was instrumental in retrieving the Christological complexity of Luther's theology. The scholarship of Thomasius and Hofmann should be considered as the emergence of a path of Luther research that sought to circumvent the shortcomings of either a "neo-Protestant" or "conservative-Lutheran" rendering of the sixteenth-century reformer. Moreover, in concentrating on Luther's understanding of the relationship between justification, the atonement, and Christology, Thomasius and Hofmann were forerunners of trends in later Luther research that helped to lay the foundation for the Lutherrenaissance.


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pp. 249-269
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