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Martin Luther’s Reform of Worship  

Dirk G. Lange

Published Online:
Mar 2017
Subject:
Religion

... Martin Luther’s Reform of Worship Liturgy and Theology Luther’s reform of theology begins with a reform of liturgical practice. It can be argued that the Reformation is first and foremost a critique and a reform of practices. Theology and worship were intimately linked in all of Luther’s writing, mutually shaping each other. The Ninety-Five Theses themselves are a critique of practice, the sacramental practice of contrition and confession. 1 Liturgical practice does not arrive on the scene after the fact or as an addendum to doctrinal debate but is at the...

Martin Luther's Life, 1517-1525  

Christopher Boyd Brown

Published Online:
Mar 2017
Subject:
Religion

...seen in both phases of his response, the pace of events outstripped the intended relevance of Luther’s advice. Luther’s Roman Catholic opponents pointed to the revolt as the inevitable result of Luther’s religious disobedience, whereas many who were sympathetic to Luther deplored the sanguinary outcome of Luther’s advice. Luther and Erasmus Dissatisfaction with the results of Luther’s reforms at quite a different social level was also in the background of another public separation, with the publication of Erasmus’s De libero arbitrio in the fall of 1524 . 52 Erasmus...

Martin Luther’s Sermons and Postils  

John M. Frymire

Published Online:
Mar 2017
Subject:
Religion

...73 Inasmuch as the events of the last four years had made Luther something of a headache for Frederick, the elector must have welcomed the prospect of Luther engaged long-term with a postil as a practical means of keeping him out of trouble. Preachers convinced of Luther’s message certainly welcomed the work, evidenced by six Latin printings and a German translation over the next ten months. Luther was less concerned with scholastic theology than with the proper proclamation of the Gospel and worship of God. He took Elector Frederick’s wishes seriously as well, and...

Martin Luther’s Understanding of Earlier Reformers  

Phillip N. Haberkern

Published Online:
Mar 2017
Subject:
Religion

...published as Martin Luther , “Preface to Confession of the Faith and Religion of the Barons and Nobles of the Kingdom of Bohemia” (1538), LW 60:214–219, at 216–217. This was actually the second preface that Luther wrote to one of the Brethren’s confessions during this decade; in 1533 he gave his stamp of approval to a text written by the Brethren for Margrave George of Brandenburg-Ansbach. That preface was similar to this one, but had less of a historical orientation. See Martin Luther , “Preface to Account of the Faith, Worship, and Ceremonies of the Brethren in...

Martin Luther’s Occasional Writings: Table Talk, Letters, and Prefaces  

Wolf-Friedrich Schäufele

Published Online:
Mar 2017
Subject:
Religion

... Martin Luther’s Occasional Writings: Table Talk, Letters, and Prefaces Table Talk Origins and Transmission Luther’s so-called Table Talk causes a strange fascination. This collection of short anecdotes and quotes seemingly allows us, even more than Luther’s sermons and letters, to encounter the reformer immediately and personally and to hear his own voice. It was the Luther of Table Talk who for centuries shaped the wider public’s idea of the reformer. The term “table talk” ( Tischreden ) goes back to the basic edition by Johann Aurifaber. 1 With...

Martin Luther in the German Enlightenment  

Albrecht Beutel

Published Online:
Mar 2017
Subject:
Religion

...Schroeckh, Martin Luther , 3. 102. Schroeckh, Martin Luther , 33. 103. Schroeckh, Martin Luther , 64–65. 104. Cf. Ibid. 105. Schroeckh, Martin Luther , 69. 106. Ibid. 107. Schroeckh, Martin Luther , 71. 108. Schroeckh, Martin Luther , 74. 109. Schroeckh, Martin Luther , 9. 110. Schroeckh, Martin Luther , 76. 111. Schroeckh, Martin Luther , 86. 112. Schroeckh, Martin Luther , 80. 113. Cf. Schroeckh, Martin Luther , 93, 104–105, and more. 114. Schroeckh, Martin Luther , 100. 115. Schroeckh, Martin Luther , 101. 116. Schroeckh, Martin Luther , 89...

Martin Luther’s Life, 1526–1546  

Mickey L. Mattox

Published Online:
Mar 2017
Subject:
Religion

...and a new order of worship was also instituted, thus advancing the church reform along evangelical lines. Luther’s two catechisms, the Small Catechism and the German, or Large Catechism , also derive from these years, and they surely should be counted among his most influential works. In 1528 , Luther preached a series of catechetical sermons, 24 which eventually became the catechisms. The Small Catechism was eminently practical. Initially, it offered short and memorable explanations of the Ten Commandments, the Apostles’ Creed, the Lord’s Prayer, and the...

Martin Luther in Finland and the Baltics  

Antti Raunio

Published Online:
Mar 2017
Subject:
Religion

...emphasize the Lutheranism of the Latvian Christianity but was more inclined to its “classic” and common foundation. 33 Of course, this may also be seen as a Lutheran feature of theology. In the 1930s, Maldonis published both a biography of Martin Luther and a presentation of evangelical dogmatics. The biography was written for the public, as Maldonis was not a specialist on Luther. In Talonen’s evaluation, Maldonis’s picture of Luther emphasized the Protestant and evangelical aspect of the reformer but was not strongly polemical. Maldonis’s magnum opus, the dogmatics...

Martin Luther’s Biblical Commentary: New Testament  

Erik H. Herrmann

Published Online:
Mar 2017
Subject:
Religion

...lectionary shaped Luther’s exposition, with his usual practice of taking up the assigned Gospel reading at the chief service in the morning and the Epistle reading for the afternoon’s sermon. But Luther also introduced regular serial preaching on weekdays as part of his reform of worship in Wittenberg. On Wednesdays the Gospel of Matthew was read and expounded, and on Saturdays it was the Gospel of John. Yet even when limited to an examination of his published commentaries, one must be careful not to merge the genres of 16th-century exegesis with modern forms of biblical...

Martin Luther’s Treatises and Essays  

Mark D. Tranvik

Published Online:
Mar 2017
Subject:
Religion

...Edward Mellen, 2010. Rosin, Robert . “Humanism, Luther, and the Wittenberg Reformation.” In The Oxford Handbook of Martin Luther’s Theology . Edited by Robert Kolb , Irene Dingel , and Lubomír Batka , 91–104. New York: Oxford University Press, 2014. Stolt, Birgit . “Luther’s Faith of the Heart: Experience, Emotion and Reason.” In The Global Luther . Edited by Christine Helmer , 131–150. Minneapolis: Fortress, 2009. Vind, Anna . “Luther’s Thought Assumed Form in Polemics.” In The Oxford Handbook of Martin Luther’s Theology . Edited by Robert Kolb , Irene Dingel...

Martin Luther on the Church and Its Ministry  

Cheryl M. Peterson

Published Online:
Mar 2017
Subject:
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 as a Polemicist  

Thomas Kaufmann

Published Online:
Mar 2017
Subject:
Religion

... Martin Luther as a Polemicist Research on Martin Luther as a polemicist has been carried out in the context of his biography; none of the accounts of his life since Johannes Cochläus’s Commentaria ( 1549 ) or from the sermons of Mathesius ( 1564 ) on up to the most recent portrayals could refrain from giving the attention due the theological controversies in which Luther engaged. Research in the media studies of the Wittenberg Reformer (Edwards; Pettegree) 1 has examined the quantitative, strategic and linguistic aspects of his polemical works. Study...

Martin Luther and John Calvin  

Bruce Gordon

Published Online:
Mar 2017
Subject:
Religion

...in the wider context of contemporary reformers. Toward the end, I offer some brief remarks on comparison of their thought. John Calvin never met Martin Luther; indeed, they never communicated directly. 5 It is not clear what Luther actually thought of Calvin, as the young Frenchman hardly appears in the German’s correspondence, 6 although by the end of his life, Luther had placed Calvin among the reviled “sacramentarians” of Zurich. 7 Given the one-sidedness of the evidence, this article is necessarily about Calvin’s relationship to Luther, and not the other way...

Martin Luther’s Views on Mission and Christianization  

Michal Valčo

Published Online:
Oct 2016
Subject:
Religion

...Isaiah (1527–29), WA 25:124, 7–8. Martin Wernisch stresses this point in “Luther and Medieval Reform Movements, Particularly the Hussites,” in The Oxford Handbook of Martin Luther’s Theology , edited by Robert Kolb et al. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015), 66. Available in Oxford Handbooks Online . 42. Foreword to the Confession of Faith and Religion, etc . (1538), WA 50:380, 25–29. 43. Preface to the Complete Edition of Luther’s Latin Writings (1545), LW 34:337. 44. To the Councilmen of All Cities in Germany That They Establish and Maintain...

Martin Luther, Philip Melanchthon, and Their Wittenberg Colleagues  

Timothy J. Wengert

Published Online:
Jul 2016
Subject:
Religion

...support. And both sides evince a way of doing theology and conceiving reform that was typically late medieval, namely, mixing the regulation of worship practices with the Gospel itself. Alongside his enormous literary output, Luther, as well as his colleagues, wear out messengers between Wittenberg and the Wartburg, bearing messages that adumbrate Luther’s relations with the colleagues and students that comprise Wittenberg’s reforming humanist sodality. Letters survive to Melanchthon, von Amsdorf, and Johannes Agricola (Luther’s student since 1515 ) in Wittenberg...

Martin Luther’s Perspective on Political Life  

Ralph Keen

Published Online:
Mar 2017
Subject:
Religion

...The aristocratic patrons of the great Weimar edition of Luther’s works, begun in 1883 on the 400th anniversary of the Reformer’s birth, in their own way created a Prussian Luther, progenitor of an independent Protestant empire. 1 In the 20th century Luther was still for many a heroic figure, a model of the Germanic ideal: untainted by alien influence, a man of the people, a master of the German language, and a model of native Teutonic virtues—uncritical obedience to authority seemingly being one of them. The question of Luther’s view of resistance to unjust or...

Martin Luther’s Disputations  

David Luy

Published Online:
Mar 2017
Subject:
Religion

...all of which belong to Luther) appear in print already by the early 1520s and are distributed well beyond the borders of electoral Saxony. 4 The broad geographical dissemination of these texts is a telling, material indicator of the prominent role Luther’s disputations exercised in extending the influence of Reformation theology outside of Wittenberg. Instances abound of prominent reformers within 16th-century Protestantism (e.g., Martin Bucer, Johannes Brenz, Nikolaus von Amsdorf, etc.) having been converted to the Reformation cause largely as the result of witnessing...

Martin Luther’s Theology of Authority  

Martin J. Lohrmann

Published Online:
Mar 2017
Subject:
Religion

...1953). 12. Scott Hendrix , Martin Luther: Visionary Reformer (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2015), 35. 13. Heiko Augustinus Oberman , Luther: Man between God and the Devil (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1989), 136, 173. 14. Martin Lohrmann , “A Newly Discovered Report of Luther’s Reformation Breakthrough in Johannes Bugenhagen’s 1550 Jonah Commentary,” Lutheran Quarterly 22 (Autumn 2008): 325. 15. Hendrix, Martin Luther: Visionary Reformer , 30–32. 16. WA 9:17, trans. Martin Lohrmann , Bugenhagen’s Jonah: Biblical Interpretation...

The Luther Renaissance  

Heinrich Assel

Published Online:
Mar 2017
Subject:
Religion

...terms of the ontology of person. This is very close to the view of Hermann. Recent research analyzes Prenter’s studies on the concept of worship, on Luther’s understanding of the Mass, and on Scandinavian theology of creation. 42 Upcoming Research: Unity and Diversity within the Various Types of German and Nordic Luther Renaissance Despite their different origins, contexts of discovery, and presuppositions, as well as their different rejections, which are conditioned politically, historically, and ecclesially, the German, Swedish, and Danish types of the...

Baptism in Martin Luther’s Theology  

Kirsi Stjerna

Published Online:
Mar 2017
Subject:
Religion

...published the definitive study on the rites of baptism in 1999 (revised in 2007 to include the newest worship books) as a companion volume to the Documents of the Baptismal Liturgy sourcebook. Johnson states that “Luther was, above everything else, a theologian of baptism.” 89 He provides an overview of Luther’s main theological writings on baptism and then looks at Luther’s two liturgical reforms. Johnson notes the primacy of infant baptism, as well as the fact that faith and repentance are the life-long consequences of baptism. Johnson identifies modern Lutheran...

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