Hans Schwarz zum 75. Geburtstag- Hans Schwarz on the Occasion of his 75 th Birthday
The 39 contributions to this special issue develop the theme Theology in Engagement with Church and Politics from a variety of perspectives. Alongside the exploration of historical aspects, both contemporary political questions and ethical dilemmas are examined. Further contributions are devoted to the reflection upon practical theology, Christian congregational praxis, and contextual studies, which demonstrate the political and cultural relevance of this theme beyond Europe. The international circle of authors is constituted largely of colleagues and students of Professor Hans Schwarz, systematic theologian from Regensburg, Germany. In conjunction with the 2014 University of Regensburg Summer School, the authors dedicate this volume to the lifetime achievement of Hans Schwarz on the occasion of his 75
Law, Righteousness, Reason, Will, and Works: Civil and Theological Uses
Craig L. Nessan
It is hermeneutically fruitful to identify and distinguish in Luther’s theology not only a first and second use of the law, but also a first and second use of righteousness, reason, will, and works. Luther’s thoughts are explained by consistent reference to God’s two strategies for ruling the world.
Employing Luther’s two strategies paradigm as an overarching heuristic for interpreting his theology proves fruitful for understanding several apparent contradictions or paradoxes in his thought. Just as it has proven customary and insightful for distinguishing between two uses of the law in Luther’s writings, so also we gain clarity about his discussions of righteousness, reason, will, and works by recognizing both a civil and a theological use of these key concepts.
As evidenced by classical interpreters, it has become convention to distinguish between a first civil use of the law and a second theological use. Bernard Lohse makes the bold claim that “Luther is clearly the first in all of history of dogma and theology to view the law from the viewpoint of its usus, thus in its concrete function.”1 Lohse analyzes Luther’s twofold use of the law, which first appeared in his writings in 1522 and reached its most fulsome exposition in the Galatians lectures of 1531.2 Lohse concisely summarizes Luther’s two uses of the law: “The two functions of the law are the ‘political’ or ‘civic’ and the ‘theological.’ Here too there is a profusion of...
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