Luther against the Jews: The Ethics of Historical Interpretation
|Nessan, Craig L.
|Luther’s writings against the Jews call into radical question not only his ethics but his entire theology. The ethical integrity of the Protestant Reformation becomes questionable if the conclusions drawn by Luther in his writings against the Jews are not repudiated. Where did Luther go wrong? From his earliest writings onward, Luther demonstrated contempt for the Jewish people, not only on biblical grounds but also because of his conviction that they had rejected Jesus as the Christ both in the New Testament and conclusively in rabbinic Judaism. This article documents evidence from his 1515–1516 Commentary on Romans 9–11. The author questions the adequacy of seeking to preserve a stance of ethical neutrality on the part of historians in response to both the content and historical trajectory of Luther’s catastrophic writings. Not only clearly articulated repudiation of Luther’s writings against the Jews but also a systematic program of teaching about this legacy in congregations, colleges, universities, seminaries, and public forums is imperative.
|Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago
|Copyright (c) 2017 Currents in Theology and Mission
|Currents in Theology and Mission; Vol 45, No 1 (2018): Reformations That Await Us
|Luther against the Jews: The Ethics of Historical Interpretation
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