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date: 17 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Luther studies occupy their own niche, largely within Lutheran churches, in contemporary historical research. Nonetheless, Luther’s influence in wider Protestant circles surfaces implicitly and explicitly, e.g., in dogmatic studies. Various factors contribute to Luther’s seeming disappearance from much Protestant discourse, including theology’s general inability to speak to ecclesiastical life or the wider culture, the narrowing focus of Luther studies within Lutheran and specific national circles, and secularization. Some hold Luther responsible for secularization, recently a problematized concept itself. Evidence for this thesis, e.g., on the basis of Weber’s theory of the connection between Protestant concepts of calling and capitalism, has some basis but has been widely criticized. Luther’s legacy must be redefined in non-denominational terms, reconceived in a global perspective, and re-evaluated in terms of the reassessment of the Reformation itself.

Keywords: Protestantism, Luther studies, Martin Luther

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