Martin Luther's Theology: Its Historical and Systematic Development  -     By: Bernhard Lohse
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Martin Luther's Theology: Its Historical and Systematic Development

Fortress Press / 2011 / Paperback

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The theology of the great reformer Martin Luther is the foundation of all theological expressions deriving from the Reformation. That Luther's theology is so powerful is attested by its continuing impact on Lutherans and non-Lutherans alike, including the most influential theologian of the 20th century Karl Barth who borrowed from and quoted Luther more than any other theologian.

But Luther's theology was formed in the crucible of persecution by the Roman Catholic church and in the great and intellectually rigorous tradition of scholasticism. Yet, Luther's theology due to its lack of systematic expression is often understood as overly "black & white" or accused of contradiction. However, such accusations forget Luther's training as a logician (just ask Erasmus) and miss the power, consistency, and coherence of Luther's thought.

In Martin Luther's Theology: Its Historical and Systematic Development BernHard Lohse presents the theology of the Reformation's seminal thinker and personality. His work is comprised of three major sections:

  • 1. Introduction
Here Lohse examines methodological issues concerning the possibility of describing Luther's theology, while also noting Luther's historical context both individually and socially on a broad level.

  • 2. Luther's Theology in its Historical Development
In this section Lohse follows Luther's development chronologically beginning with Luther's interaction with The Sentences of Peter Lombard and through his "discovery" sometime during1515-1518. He then examines Luther's engagement with Cajetan, Eck, the Pope, Radical Reformers, Erasmus, Zwingli, and others in relation to the major theological issues raised by these and other interlocutors.

  • 3. Luther's Theology in its Systematic Context
The primary concen in this section is to demonstrate the internal coherence of Luther's theology across a wide spectrum of theological issues. Lohse argument suggests that we to understand Luther we must begin with the Reformation creed Sola Scriptura and then understand Luther's theology built from that point upwards. In addition to traditional points of emphasis such as Justification or the Eucharist, Lohse examines Reason & Faith, Ontology, Eschatology and several other major theological areas.

This study is a fully comprehensive presentation of the development and nature of Luther's intellectual training, output, and life. It is a foundational text for anyone interested in the reformer and his theology, and will make an accessible, clear, and provides cutting edge scholarship for scholars and students.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 412
Vendor: Fortress Press
Publication Date: 2011
Dimensions: 9.00 X 6.00 (inches)
ISBN: 0800698363
ISBN-13: 9780800698362
Availability: In Stock

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Endorsements

Lohse was without doubt the leading Luther scholar. He was better able to deal with both the historical and the systematic better than anyone I know.
-Mark U. Edwards Jr.,
St. Olaf College

Bernhard Lohse was one of the top Luther scholars in the 20th Century, and this book is the rich harvest of a lifetime of Luther study. It is the best survey of Luther's theology in any language and supersedes all previous studies, including that of Paul Althaus.
Scott H. Handrix,
Princeton theological Seminary

This volume is the magnum opus of the leading German Luther scholar in the 20th century. Like an experienced mountain guide, he leads readers through the various levels of Martin Luther's thought to a view from the top of the Reformer's theological range.
Eric Gritsch,
Lutheran theological Seminary at Gettysburgh

In this volume one of the world's leading Luther experts distills a lifetime of reading and research into a relatively succinct but cogent summary of the reformer's thought. Fully aware of the methodical conundrums that bedevil such presentations, Lohse refuses to choose between the historical-genetic or the systematic approach. Instead he gives us both, beginning with an account of how Luther's theology evolved in conflict with various opponents. The second part then shows the systematic relationships and coherence between all of Luther's main themes. Along the way Lohse is especially adept in picking out what is distinctive and what is not) in the 'new' theology.
Denis Janz,
-Loyola university, New Orleans

A rock solid, reliable guide to the study of Luther.
-Religous Study Review

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