The Meaning of Agency and the Concept of Person in Martin Luther


Berthold Wald


Espíritu: ISSN 0014-0716, Year 2010, Year 59, Issue 139, pages 69-89




Luther, against the scholastic conception of person, holds that there is not a subsistent subject. Departing from the Biblical exegesis he indicates as a constitutive of the person his outward appearance. Man is just flesh and is dominated by sin, according to Lutheran terminology. Hence he holds that there is no free will, breaking with the whole previous tradition. Freedom is only attributed to God. Only the faith, because of the adhesion to Jesus Christ, constitutes the person. It is the person who does the works. Insofar man needs a certain safety on the validity of his agency. Thus the way is opened to utilitarian and existencialist conceptions.

Key words:

Luther, free will, faith and work, person, Joest.



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