Suffering and Salvation in the Early Luther

Ronald K. Rittgers

in The Reformation of Suffering

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780199795086
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199950171 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in Historical Theology

Suffering and Salvation in the Early Luther

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This chapter argues for the importance of paying close attention to Luther’s theology of suffering owing to the tremendous influence he had on the education and training of pastors in the German Reformation. (This influence is demonstrated in chapters 6 and 8 by showing how later Protestant theologians and pastors produced collections of Luther’s writings on suffering for the use of the common clergy and cited the Wittenberg reformer frequently in their own works of consolation.) The chapter shows how Luther drew appreciatively on certain portions of the late medieval consolation tradition—especially mysticism—and then examines how his attitude toward suffering changed as a result of his “Reformation breakthrough,” especially in his rejection of suffering as a penance for the penalty of sin and his emphasis on adversity as a test of faith.

Keywords: Martin Luther; suffering; Reformation breakthrough; consolation; faith

Chapter.  11901 words. 

Subjects: Christianity

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