Martin Luther is not the ogre of unlimited government and tyranny, nor is he the liberal-minded Enlightenment democrat. Luther was an early modern, livingon the cusp of the medieval era and the not yet born modern world. His views are, from today's perspective, largely conservative; but that makes them no less revolutionary in their own time. Luther's understanding of freedom, his distinction between the Two Kingdoms, his rejection of coercion, his definition of authority, and his limited acceptance of resistance to tyranny became the font from which Protestant thinkingdrew throughout the sixteenth century. While others would go farther than he would have, they all acknowledged their debt to Luther. 26 That he did not always live up to his own standards is well known (e.g., he believed that blasphemy ought to be suppressed by the magistrate), but this points not to the fallacy of his convictions but to the frailty of the human condition.
Primary bibliography (selected key works with political implications) Heidelberg Disputation (1518), LW 31 Two Kinds of Righteousness (1519), LW 31 The Babylonian Captivity of the Church (1520), LW 36 To the Christian Nobility (1520), LW 44 The Freedom of a Christian (1520), LW 31 Concerning the Letter and the Spirit (1521), LW 39 A Sincere Admonition by Martin Luther to All Christians to Guard Against Insurrection and Rebellion (1522), LW 45
Invocavit (Eight Wittenberg) Sermons (1522), LW 51 Temporal Authority (1523), LW 45 Admonition to Peace (1525), LW 46 Against the Robbing and Murdering Hordes of Peasants (1525), LW 46 An Open Letter on the Harsh BookAgainst the Peasants (1525), LW 46 Whether Soldiers, Too, Can Be Saved (1526), LW 46 On War Against the Turk (1529), LW 46 The Augsburg Confession (1530) [while not by Luther, it certainly represents his thought], Bookof Concord
Warning to His Dear German People (1531), LW 47 Smalcald Articles (1537), Bookof Concord
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Publication information: Book title: The Cambridge Companion to Martin Luther. Contributors: Donald K. McKim - Editor. Publisher: Cambridge University Press. Place of publication: Cambridge, England. Publication year: 2003. Page number: 190.
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