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date: 11 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article summarizes late medieval theological approaches to evil and grace and introduces Martin Luther’s distinctive theology. It also explains how Protestant theologians found themselves compromising the sharp dichotomies between nature and grace that Luther’s theology implied. It describes how, in the religious controversy, Catholic theologians experimented with elements of Luther’s concept of justification by faith and faith as a divine gift of grace, and it notes how those experiments ended. Finally, the article suggests that in the long view, although Protestant reforms massively disrupted traditional religious life and replaced it with simplified structures and practices, the effect of the religious controversy was to intensify and expand religious debate over the conventional western–Christian moral binary.

Keywords: Martin Luther, Trent, Reformation theology, late medieval theology, original sin, justification, justice, imputed righteousness, predestination, free will

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