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Durham e-Theses
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A theological commentary on Martin Luther's sermon 'von der betrachtung des heiligen leidens christi' of 1519

Johnson, Jennifer Elizabeth Mary (1982) A theological commentary on Martin Luther's sermon 'von der betrachtung des heiligen leidens christi' of 1519. Masters thesis, Durham University.



In two brief chapters this thesis, which is perhaps more of an essay than a conventional research paper, re-presents the leading ideas of a popular sermon by Luther from a time of great importance in the life of the reformer, when the Reformation was an aspect of Catholicism, acting both as a corrective to, and a dependent of, religious fear (of the wrath of God). The leading motif of the thesis is a theology of saving Despair. In chapter one, with particular reference to St. Bernard and the treatise De Captivitate Babylonica. the image of Christ Crucified is developed first as an icon of the just anger of the Father, which, operating sacramentally as the "opus alienum Dei", prompts Despair and Faith in the contemplator on the Cross. Second, the Cross is interpreted as revealing the effect of the incarnation, in a non-soteriological context, as a crisis of natural anger within God - an inner-trinitarian "opus alienum" of the Father towards the Son. In chapter two, with particular reference to the tract Von der Freiheit eines Christenmenschen / de libertate Christiana. Christ Crucified is understood as "exemplum" for works of Righteousness, which follow as an automatic consequence of Justification, and for works of Self- Righteousness, which form a prelude and precondition for Justification. The Church is seen as committed to political action on behalf of a Utopian Kingdom of God on earth, an ideal which operates as the Law for modern man.For the reader's convenience, an edited text of the Sermon with an early English translation (by William Gace) is appended.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Theology
Thesis Date:1982
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:18 Sep 2013 09:27

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