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Philosophy and Theology

Volume 31, Issue 1/2, 2019

Casey Spinks
Pages 21-37

Thinking Through the Cross
On Luther’s Heidelberg Disputation and Its Contributions to Philosophy

Martin Luther has given little explicit influence on philosophy, and in 1950 Jaroslav Pelikan called for further work into investigating a ‘Lutheran philosophy.’ The beginning of this work lies in Luther’s Heidelberg Disputation, in which he attacks the method of scholasticism and counters with the method of truly Christian theology, a theologia crucis. Such counter, this article argues, entails a shift in Christian philosophizing, a shift that sharply distinguishes between God and man and yet, through this distinction, as Luther asserts, allows one to “call the thing what it actually is”—and thus leads to a truly Christian philosophy.

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