Luther the Lawyer: The Lutheran Reformation of Law, Politics, and Society
in Law and Justice: A Christian Law Review 178 (2017): 6-36
25 Pages Posted: 28 Dec 2017
Date Written: December 22, 2017
The Lutheran Reformation transformed not only theology and the church but law and the state as well. Beginning in the 1520s, Luther joined up with various jurists and political leaders to craft ambitious legal reforms of church, state, and society on the strength of the new Protestant theology. These legal reforms were defined and defended in hundreds of monographs, pamphlets, and sermons published by Luther and his many followers from the 1520s onward. They were refined and routinized in hundreds of new reformation ordinances promulgated by German polities that converted to the Lutheran cause. By the time of the Peace of Augsburg (1555)--the imperial law that temporarily settled the constitutional order of Germany--the Lutheran Reformation had brought fundamental changes to theology and law, to church and state, marriage and family, education and charity.
Keywords: Church, State, Law, Politics, Marriage, Education, Charity, Two Kingdoms, Natural Law, Positive Law, Equity, Criminal Law, Punishment, Uses of the Law, Legal Reformations, Church Ordinances
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