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The Literary Culture of the ReformationGrammar and Grace$
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Brian Cummings

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780198187356

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198187356.001.0001

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The Reformation of the Reader

The Reformation of the Reader

(p.57) 2 The Reformation of the Reader
The Literary Culture of the Reformation

Brian Cummings

Oxford University Press

The argument of this chapter is that without understanding Luther's habits of reading it is impossible to understand the development of his theology. If the political history of the Reformation conventionally begins with the Indulgence crisis of 1517, its intellectual history traditionally begins with Luther's crisis or conversion in the monastery. Luther's account veers between a doggedly circumstantial record of historical fact and the overriding imprint of God's will. To understand properly Luther's change of mind, it is necessary to understand more fully his ways of reading. A description of Luther as a reader is shown. The chapter then moves from the material circumstances of Luther's reading to consider the reading practice within which Luther developed the concept of iustitia passiva. It also illustrates Luther's grammatica theologica.

Keywords:   Luther, reader, grammatica theologica, theology, Reformation, iustitia passiva

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