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PredestinationThe American Career of a Contentious Doctrine$
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Peter J. Thuesen

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195174274

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195174274.001.0001

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Domesticating a Doctrine

Domesticating a Doctrine

Catholics and Lutherans

(p.136) Chapter 5 Domesticating a Doctrine

Peter J. Thuesen (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Despite their longstanding mutual hostility, Catholics and Lutherans shared a history of internal strife over predestination and a robust sacramentalism that set them apart from other American Christians. In different ways, both of these immigrant groups domesticated the werewolf of predestination—Catholics by entrusting the fate of dead individuals partly to living family members, who sought the masses of the church and the intercession of local saints; Lutherans by reinterpreting their confessions to temper Luther's harshest predestinarian conclusions. This chapter examines the Catholic debate between Molinists and strict Thomists, and shows how purgatory and the sacramental system remained vital to Catholic predestinarianism. The chapter then turns to the Lutheran predestinarian controversy of the 1880s, which divided the “back‐to‐Luther” conservatives of the Missouri Synod from more liberal synods committed to a doctrine of election “in view of” faith. Finally, the chapter considers predestination's role in the 1999 Catholic‐Lutheran “Joint Declaration.”

Keywords:   Catholic, Lutheran, intercession, Molinist, Thomist, purgatory, sacramental, Missouri Synod, in view of faith, Joint Declaration

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