Luther, Martin (1483-1546) - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Philosophy

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Theological Development

Three stages may be distinguished in Luther's theological development. Between 1512 and 1517, and probably (in the judgment of most scholars) not later than 1515, his biblical studies led to a theological reorientation, at the center of which was an interpretation of the justice of God in Romans 1:17, not as a divine attribute expressed in punishment and reward, but as the activity by which God makes men just ("justifies" them). This justice of God is identical with His grace: It is not conditional upon human merit, but is received by faith alone (faith itself being a work of God in man). The working out of this basic insight made Luther increasingly critical of late scholastic theology and of ecclesiastical abuses. The appearance of the Ninety-five Theses on indulgences (1517), although they were not intended as "un-Catholic," was interpreted by Luther's opponents as ecclesiastically disloyal and subversive. Luther had, indeed...

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This section contains 3,938 words
(approx. 14 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Luther, Martin (1483-1546) Encyclopedia Article
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Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Luther, Martin (1483-1546) from Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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