The Scatological Luther

The Wilson Quarterly, Summer 2012 | Go to article overview

The Scatological Luther


THE SOURCE: "Martin Luther's Humor" by Eric W. Gritsch, in Word and World, Spring 2012.

"I resist the devil, and often it is with a fart that I chase him away." The fragrant author of this boast? Martin Luther (1483-1546), who ushered in the Protestant Reformation by railing against the sale of indulgences and other practices of the Catholic Church in his famous Ninety-Five Theses (1519).

One would naturally assume that the German monk was a stern and proper man, but Luther was actually rather earthy. That quality reflected an integral part of his understanding of Christianity, argues Eric W. Gritsch, emeritus professor of church history at Lutheran Theological Seminary in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. "The promise of Christ's imminent return made Luther serene and saved him from being dead serious about his own self," Gritsch says.

Luther was exceptionally pious early in life. As a Catholic priest, he struggled mightily with guilt and the spiritual hierarchies of the church. While poring over Scripture at the University of Wittenberg, Luther grew convinced that the heart of Christian life was faith in God, rather than virtuous deeds, as Catholic doctrine held. "We do not depend on our own strength, conscience, experience, person, or works but depend on that which is outside ourselves, that is, on the promise and truth of God, which cannot deceive," he wrote (emphasis Luther's).

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

What followed for Luther was that people's lives on earth had relatively little effect on whether they would receive God's grace. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Scatological Luther
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.