Luther: An Introduction to His Thought

Luther: An Introduction to His Thought

Luther: An Introduction to His Thought

Luther: An Introduction to His Thought

Excerpt

The attempt made in this book to provide an introduction to the thought of Luther does not assume any specialist knowledge oil the part of the reader, but only that he is prepared to think along with and through what is presented here. Instead of producing a popular work, and making extensive use of the more striking elements of Luther's biography—such portraits of Luther are perhaps partly responsible for the ignorance of Luther on the part of educated persons in our day—I have taken on the task, the most difficult from the theological point of view, of examining the tension that runs through the whole of Luther's thought, the play between the harsh opposition of opposing theses and the spirit of compromise which reconciles both sides of an issue. But I have tried to do this not by compiling a list of individual ideas to illustrate this theme, or by giving an account of Luther's theology as a whole, but by concentrating as it were on the inner dynamic of his thought; this seemed the best way to make clear its contemporary validity.

The chapters that follow were first given as lectures to members of all faculties of the University of Zürich in the winter term 1962/63, and a selection also as public lectures at Drew University, Madison, New Jersey, in the autumn term of 1963.1 have also included a lecture first given on 10th December 1963, as one of a series of lectures on the subject 'The Idea of . . .

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