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Martin Luther’s Concept of Doctrine  

Friederike Nüssel

Online publication date:
Mar 2017
Oxford Research Encyclopedia:
Religion

... Martin Luther’s Concept of Doctrine Luther’s Concept in Light of Later Development Before we explore Martin Luther’s understanding of doctrine, it may increase awareness of the character of Luther’s approach to put him in context with earlier and especially later developments in the theological use of the concept of doctrine. While from the origins of Christianity, the fundamental task of theology has been to distinguish and preserve the “ sacra doctrina ” from heresy and defend orthodoxy against heterodoxy, post-Reformation emphasis on theological...

Martin Luther on the Church and Its Ministry  

Cheryl M. Peterson

Online publication date:
Mar 2017
Oxford Research Encyclopedia:
Religion

... Martin Luther on the Church and Its Ministry Luther’s Understanding of the Church Apart from the fact that Luther never wrote a comprehensive treatise on the doctrine of the church, scholars have long pointed out the difficulty inherent in any study of Luther’s ecclesiology, that is, the apparent inconsistencies in his various ecclesiological writings, especially regarding the nature of the church. In some he emphasized the “invisible” or hidden nature of the church as an assembly of hearts in faith, 1 leading Hermann Preus to propose that Luther “only...

Martin Luther’s Sermons and Postils  

John M. Frymire

Online publication date:
Mar 2017
Oxford Research Encyclopedia:
Religion

...Annotated Luther , eds. Hans J. Hillerbrand , Kirsi I. Stjerna , and Timothy J. Wengert , 4 of 6 vols. to date (Minneapolis: Fortress, 2015 and following). 124. Reprinted as The Sermons of Martin Luther: The Church Postils , ed. John Nicholas Lenker , 8 vols. in 4 (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1996); reprinted as vols. 1–4 of The Complete Sermons of Martin Luther (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2000). This translation is mistakenly identified as Luther’s House Postil in Timothy F. Lull , “Luther’s Writings,” in The Cambridge Companion to Martin Luther , ed. Donald...

Martin Luther in North America  

Mark A. Granquist

Online publication date:
Nov 2016
Oxford Research Encyclopedia:
Religion

...question of whether Luther and later Lutheran theologians had a doctrine of Scripture that could be expressed in the term “inerrancy.” Some more conservative American Lutherans agreed, employing the term inerrancy in doctrinal statements, such as the “Chicago Theses” ( 1919 ), though it is uncertain whether they intended the term in the same way as the Reformed Fundamentalists. Other American Lutherans suggested that Luther’s concept of the Word of God was incompatible with the use of the term. Luther scholar Johann M. Reu maintained a position that Luther did not...

Martin Luther, History, and Its Meaning  

Curtis L. Thompson

Online publication date:
Mar 2017
Oxford Research Encyclopedia:
Religion

...1983), 100, 234n34. 12. Gritsch, Martin—God’s Court Jester , 100. Gritsch refers to the “Reckoning” of 1541, WA 53:22. 13. Gritsch, Martin—God’s Court Jester , 101. 14. Gritsch, Martin—God’s Court Jester , 99. 15. Headley, Luther’s View of Church History , 267. 16. Headley, Luther’s View of Church History , 68. 17. Oswald Bayer , Martin Luther’s Theology: A Contemporary Interpretation , trans. Thomas H. Trapp (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2007), 311. On this point Boyer refers to Heinrich Bornkamm , Luther’s Doctrine of the Two Kingdom , trans. Karl H...

The Luther Renaissance  

Heinrich Assel

Online publication date:
Mar 2017
Oxford Research Encyclopedia:
Religion

...particularly Melanchthon’s “forensic” doctrine of justification, for instance in the Augsburg Confession. Elert, however, interprets the “forensic” doctrine of justification as an adequate expression of Luther’s original experience. Holl problematizes the foundational framework of the teachings on reconciliation and justification. He criticizes and transforms several concepts: Luther’s incarnational Christology and the Christology of the confessions in the era post-Luther; the dialectic of the “personal union of Christ”; the “communication of attributes” in relation...

Martin Luther’s Theology of the Lord’s Supper  

R. David Nelson

Online publication date:
Mar 2017
Oxford Research Encyclopedia:
Religion

...invaluable for its clarification of the continuities and discontinuities between Luther’s concept of the Lord’s Supper and the antecedent Catholic tradition. In another important, untranslated German work (a published dissertation), the Catholic liturgical studies specialist Reinhard Messner traces the trajectory of Luther’s doctrine of justification through to its liturgical and practical ramifications, demonstrating his retention of certain aspects of the late medieval Mass within a broader program of reform. 53 Robert C. Croken frames Luther’s opposition to contemporaneous...

Martin Luther’s Perspectival Eschatology  

Vítor Westhelle

Online publication date:
Aug 2016
Oxford Research Encyclopedia:
Religion

...Edwards, Luther’s Last Battles . 105. Oberman, “ Teufelsdreck ,” 435–450. 106. Winfried Vogel , “The Eschatological Theology of Martin Luther, Part I: Luther’s Basic Concepts,” Andrews University Seminary Studies 24.3 (Autumn 1986): 249–264 ; and Vogel, “Eschatological Theology of Martin Luther, Part II.” 107. Modalsli, “Luther über die Letzten Dinge.” 108. The Helsinki school of Luther interpretation represents this interpretation, but it has a broader impact, e.g., in Ulrich Asendorf , “Die Einbettung der Theosis in die Theologie Martin Luthers,” in Luther und...

Martin Luther in the German Enlightenment  

Albrecht Beutel

Online publication date:
Mar 2017
Oxford Research Encyclopedia:
Religion

...to Erasmus, “whereas neither Zwingli nor Luther first found or discovered a single new idea or major concept.” 121 The latter “did” only “very little” anyhow, and had he died immediately, then “a reformation would have made […] fairly good progress anyway.” 122 Luther’s personality remained of interest to him, not his doctrine. Luther’s “honest attitude, his knowledge and holy practice of inner religion as well as his true contact with God” 123 seemed especially estimable to Semler. On the other hand, his violent manner of writing was inexcusable, not to mention...

Martin Luther in Modern European Philosophy  

Simon D. Podmore

Online publication date:
Mar 2017
Oxford Research Encyclopedia:
Religion

... presence of Christ’s body in the eucharist”; Backus, 917. 23. Daniel C. Fouke , “Metaphysics and the Eucharist in the Early Leibniz,” Studia Leibnitiana 24.2 (1992): 145–159, here 145–147. 24. Leonard S. Smith , Religion and the Rise of History: Martin Luther and the Cultural Revolution in Germany (Eugene, OR: Cascade, 2009), 103, 258. Smith also regards Luther’s development of the doctrine of Christ’s real presence in the Eucharist as providing a “ simul ” perspective which perceives God’s hidden presence in the world. Smith also reads Kant’s phenomena-noumena...

Martin Luther’s Understanding of Earlier Reformers  

Phillip N. Haberkern

Online publication date:
Mar 2017
Oxford Research Encyclopedia:
Religion

... Martin Luther’s Understanding of Earlier Reformers The Notion of the Forerunner When approaching Luther’s understanding of religious reformers who came before him, no concept is as important, if potentially misleading, as that of the forerunner. For the past half-century, scholars have followed Heiko Oberman’s lead in casting doubt on, but carefully employing, this category to describe medieval theologians and religious dissidents whose thought shared certain attributes with that of Martin Luther. 1 On the one hand, the search for such antecedents...

Martin Luther’s Biblical Commentary: New Testament  

Erik H. Herrmann

Online publication date:
Mar 2017
Oxford Research Encyclopedia:
Religion

...and death of the elector in August of 1532 . Even so, Luther’s exposition of the chapter goes well beyond the traditional ars moriendi literature that addressed the spiritual preparations for Christian death. Taking up the chapter, verse by verse, Luther focused closely on the background and rhetorical structure of Paul’s argument, offering one of his most thorough treatments of the Christian doctrine of resurrection. Moreover, Luther drew parallels between the Corinthian controversy and the more radical representatives of the Reformation movement, Luther’s so-called...

Martin Luther in the Age of Confessionalization  

Jens Wolff

Online publication date:
Mar 2017
Oxford Research Encyclopedia:
Religion

...Martin Luther in the Age of Confessionalization Definition of the Confessional Age The confessional age as a key concept of European history was invented by Ernst Troeltsch. 1 It describes the political, cultural, and religious situation as polarization and interplay between the confessional powers of Protestant, Catholic, and reformed societies in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Luther himself remained an important point of reference in all three of the confessional cultures—but he would not make himself a point of reference for future times: he saw history...

Martin Luther in Finland and the Baltics  

Antti Raunio

Online publication date:
Mar 2017
Oxford Research Encyclopedia:
Religion

...Johannes Briesmann, Luther’s student and friend, to prepare a church order in cooperation with Knopken. Some years later, in 1533 in Wolmar, the councils of the three biggest towns decided to accept Briesmann’s Lutheran order together. The councils also excluded all deviation from Luther’s doctrine. All preachers should be invited by the magistrate or recommended by learned men like Martin Luther and Philipp Melanchthon. 19 Many reformatory influences came to Livonia and Lithuania and to some degree also to Estonia through the Prussian town of Königsberg. Evangelical...

Reason and Philosophy in Martin Luther’s Thought  

Hans-Peter Grosshans

Online publication date:
Mar 2017
Oxford Research Encyclopedia:
Religion

...picture of Luther’s references to Aristotle and of Luther’s positive and critical use of Aristotelian philosophy. Dieter especially examines Luther’s critique of Aristotle’s teleological understanding of the human soul, the background of Luther’s critique of Aristotle’s concept of the justification of the human being and, with that, of Aristotle’s concept of virtues, Luther’s positive receptions of the Aristotelian concepts of knowledge and movement, Luther’s critical and sometimes polemical comments of Aristotelian logic, and the twelve philosophical theses of the Heidelberg...

Martin Luther in Dialectical Theology  

Alister E. McGrath

Online publication date:
Aug 2016
Oxford Research Encyclopedia:
Religion

...function as Barth’s doctrine of the Trinity. 35 So how does Luther fit into Bultmann’s theological concerns? A good case can be made for suggesting that Luther’s doctrine of justification by faith is the defining theological framework around which Bultmann’s notions of the kerygma and demythologization are developed. 36 Bultmann himself emphasized the parallels between his notion of demythologization and Luther’s doctrine of justification. The significance of Jesus Christ for humanity does not lie in some neutral and objective assessment of his historical identity...

Martin Luther and Relational Thinking  

Risto Saarinen

Online publication date:
Mar 2017
Oxford Research Encyclopedia:
Religion

...relevant issues. Then, Luther’s textual evidence can be connected with some broader historical issues of theology and philosophy. Recent scholarship is reviewed. In his influential study on the origins of Luther’s hermeneutics, Gerhard Ebeling argues that Luther replaces the philosophical concept of substance with a theological view, according to which the biblical concept of substance is relational and dependent on “as what” the person takes it to be. Luther adheres to a view that substance does not signify the essence of a thing in itself and for itself. Instead...

Martin Luther’s Disputations  

David Luy

Online publication date:
Mar 2017
Oxford Research Encyclopedia:
Religion

...interact extensively with Luther’s Christological disputations of 1539 and 1540 , and so do the essays within Oswald Bayer and Benjamin Gleede’s Creator est creatura . 138 Other important themes in the late disputations have similarly attracted their own constellation of helpful secondary studies. These include, for instance, Luther’s doctrine of the Trinity (e.g., Christine Helmer’s The Trinity and Martin Luther , Graham White’s Luther as Nominalist, Dennis Bielfeldt et al’s The Substance of the Faith and Simo Knuuttila and Risto Saarinen’s “Innertrinitarische Theologie...

Martin Luther’s Life, 1483–1516  

Volker Leppin

Online publication date:
Jul 2016
Oxford Research Encyclopedia:
Religion

...focus of his doctrine of justification, in 1518 he wishes to explain his path to the 95 theses, which dealt with the proper understanding of repentance. So, strictly speaking, both texts are adapted narrations that express particular, present convictions. They are not historical reports to be used as a template for our modern understanding of Luther’s historical development. The same is true of the so-called “tower experience” ( Turmerlebnis ), which we should simply drop from our biographical narratives. Some Table Talks present the story of Martin Luther having...

The Gift in Martin Luther’s Theology  

Bo Kristian Holm

Online publication date:
Mar 2017
Oxford Research Encyclopedia:
Religion

...version of the concept of gift giving, radicalized in Luther’s doctrine of justification (and Calvin’s doctrine of predestination). 3 This view has to be balanced with the general claim of social anthropology that the idea of the pure gift is a fiction, mainly established to conceal the hard economic reality of all gift giving: a gift is always part of a reciprocal economy. Against this seems to stand the Lutheran claim: divine grace is a free gift. Gift theories challenge Luther studies with a number of questions to be answered, of which the most important relate to...

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