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date: 14 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

According to Marx, Luther liberated the Germans from feudal Catholicism but bound them to state power. Engels and Kautsky saw him as the princes’ lackey, a betrayer of the peasants. After the First World War, Thomas Müntzer was presented by Marxists, e.g., Ernst Bloch, as the hero of class warfare in contrast to Luther, though Leo Kofler saw him as a mediator between feudalism and humanism. After the Second World War, M. M. Smirin and Max Steinmetz helped focus Reformation research on economic and social structures and supported the official recognition of Luther by the German Democratic Republic as a German cultural hero. Liberation theology has little treated the Protestant Reformation and approaches it from a Christian, not a Marxist, perspective.

Keywords: Marxism, Thomas Müntzer, liberation theology

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