Abstract and Keywords
The early modern Protestant church known as “Evangelical” and eventually as “Evangelical Lutheran,” has from its origin displayed a deep ambivalence about its self-understanding, either as a theological “movement” within the historic Western form of Christianity, or as a separate church. By examining how Lutherans understand God and creation, scripture and exegesis, the church and its sacraments, the debates over the meaning of justification, and the renewal movement known as Pietism, this section of the Handbook provides readers with the basis for probing that question, as well as other issues and consequences of Lutheranism. These additional topics range from continuing debates about the person and importance of Luther himself, to the didactic/teaching legacy of pastoral training, the standing of confessional documents, Lutheranism’s medieval roots and subsequent political history, its relationship to marriage, gender, and sexuality, and its manifestation in a global, extra-European context.
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