Journal Article


Adiaphora, Martin Luther and the material culture of worship

Abstract

The celebration of the late medieval mass and other religious ceremonies was carefully delineated through the ecclesiastical regulations of the Catholic Church. This legalistic approach to worship was strongly criticized by both Desiderius Erasmus and Martin Luther before 1517. With the subsequent Reformation, Luther reacted against Catholic legalism which, he argued, ensnared the faithful and threatened Christian freedom. He was therefore particularly reluctant to specify what he considered to be the appropriate form, place and setting for his German mass. Luther utilized the concept of adiaphora to argue that such issues were matters of indifference as they were not fundamental for salvation. However, this stance was tempered by his realization that such Christian freedom actually did require direction to ensure that the Reformation message was not confused or lost.

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Authors

Spicer, Andrew

Oxford Brookes departments

Department of History, Philosophy and Culture

Dates

Year: 2020


Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License


Related resources

This RADAR resource is the Accepted Manuscript of Adiaphora, Luther and the material culture of worship [full text via Cambridge Core]
This RADAR resource is the Accepted Manuscript of Adiaphora, Luther and the material culture of worship

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