Augsburg Fortress

Luther Refracted: The Reformer's Ecumenical Legacy

Luther Refracted: The Reformer's Ecumenical Legacy

Luther Refracted speaks to the currency that Luther’s life and thought continue to enjoy in today’s Christian reflection. The contributors, representing a variety of Christian denominations, demonstrate Luther’s lasting impact on their own traditions and, together with the Lutheran respondents, encourage a fresh understanding of the Reformer. In their at times vigorous engagement, Luther’s legacy comes to light not only as variously received but also as contradicted, and transformed, only to reemerge as a fruitful leaven for further thought and transformation. All the essays presented here witness to Luther’s significance as a formidable doctor ecclesiae, a teacher of the church.
Contributors include:
Matthew Myer Boulton, Christian Theological Seminary
Brian Brewer, Baylor University
Anna Case-Winters, McCormick Theological Seminary
Paul R. Hinlicky, Roanoke College
Matt Jenson, Biola University
Piotr MaÅ?ysz, Beeson Divinity School
Ian McFarland, University of Cambridge
Derek Nelson, Wabash College
Ted Peters, Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary David Tracy, Emeritus, University of Chicago
David Tracy, University of Chicago
Jared Wicks, SJ, Pontifical College Josephinum
Susan Wood, SCL, Marquette University
Johannes Zachhuber, University of Oxford
Randall C. Zachman, University of Notre Dame
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  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • Format Paperback
  • ISBN 9781451490381
  • eBook ISBN 9781506401478
  • Dimensions 6 x 9
  • Pages 366
  • Publication Date December 15, 2015


"'Martin Luther is one of those rare Christian theologians who belong to all Christian theology.' With these perceptive words David Tracy concludes his contribution to this remarkable volume on Luther's theology. Malysz and Nelson have assembled contributions of established authors hailing from various denominations who make two points clear: Luther's theology continues to influence and stimulate the whole of Christendom. Though Luther was neither infallible nor a saint, his theological insights provide valuable resources across denominational lines. This book needs to be studied for the benefit of the open-minded reader."
—Hans Schwarz
University of Regensburg

"In this book, world class theologians move beyond dialogue designed for developing churchly position statements effectuating ecumenical rapprochement.  Instead, by means of unguarded and critical engagement with Luther, essayists from a variety of confessional heritages address topics of perennial relevance, such as community, universal priesthood, ministry, faith, divine hiddenness, and the sacraments, and allow a new Luther and a new ecumenism to emerge. From the questions posed to Luther as well as the challenges that Luther poses to us we can foresee a thawing of the current ecumenical winter and the warming of a renewed theological collaboration across confessional lines."
—Mark Mattes
Grand View University

"This symposium contributes to the emerging ecumenical consensus that Luther's theology can be a rich resource for all Christian churches and denominations. An aspect of this consensus is that Luther's followers have often diminished his greatness by practicing the art of selective reductionism to prove the superiority of their particular brand of Lutheranism. The pietists reconstructed Luther after their own image and the orthodox did the same. With hindsight we Lutherans must grudgingly admit that Luther was never a good Lutheran, judged by the criteria applied by the various denominations that bear his name."
—Carl E. Braaten
Emeritus, Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago

"The essays in Luther Refracted free Luther from captivity to confessionalist or modernist agendas and engage him in lively contemporary ecumenical-theological conversation. A valuable stimulus for anyone interested in the continuing vitality of Luther's theological legacy."
—David S. Yeago
North American Seminary and Trinity School for Ministry