Luther in de spiegel van de Verlichting | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 38, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 2542-6583
  • E-ISSN: 2590-3268



Lutheran Orthodoxy had created and sustained an image of Luther as a hero and a man of God, whose word could not be disputed. It is remarkable that to the adherents of the ideas of the Enlightenment in the 18th century the Reformer was the principal originator of modern scientific, spiritual and political emancipation from popish oppression. Luther’s theology was not explored; on the contrary, the Augustinian tradition in which he stood was rigorously rejected. German modernist theologians (the so-called ) found their position in regard to Luther equivocal: On the one hand they were at war with orthodox ideas on Man and Nature and propagated rational analysis on these subjects; on the other hand they wished to be reckoned loyal Lutheran believers Lessing used the image of Luther, as seen by radical adherents of the Enlightenment, as a weapon against Lutheran orthodoxy.


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