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dc.contributor.authorWilson, Howard Allanen
dc.date.accessioned2018-05-22T12:50:14Z
dc.date.available2018-05-22T12:50:14Z
dc.date.issued1964
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1842/30932
dc.description.abstracten
dc.description.abstractThis is a study of the doctrine of mortification and the opus alienum Dei in Luther and four major Lutheran theologians: Philipp Melanchthon in the period of Lutheran Orthodoxy, Philipp Spener in Lutheran Pietism, Alhrecht Ritschl in the nineteenth century, and Dietrich Bonhoeffer in contemporary the¬ ology. It has been prompted by the recovery of the doctrine of mortification in the theology of Bonhoeffer after a long period of relative neglect.en
dc.description.abstractIn Luther's theology mortification is effected by the opus alienum Dei. He saw the latter as the work of God's "left hand," as the dialectical counterpart of His opus proprium, the work of His "right hand." This "alien" work God effects through Anfechtung, the law, and the cross of the Christian. Anfechtung is an assault on man's faith, led by God, with the purpose of strengthening it "by fire." The second use of the law of God leads man to a knowledge of his sinfulness and his need for the forgiving grace of God. The cross of the Christian may not be chosen, but comes from God. It s essential nature is persecution in the cause of Christ. Through these God effects His "alien work" of destroying the spiritual pride and security of men in preparation for grace,en
dc.description.abstractThese four themes of mortification, Anfechtung, the second use of the law, and the cross of the Christian, which supply the content of Luther's doctrine of the opus alienum Dei, are then traced in the work of the theologians named.en
dc.description.abstractWhile all the subsequent theologians, except Ritschl, had a doctrine of mortification, the conception of the opus alienum Dei was obscured and in the process of being lost as early as the work of Melanchthon. It had too much to say about Christian "experience" to be congenial to Lutheran Orthodoxy. Since Spener, whatever understanding of the opus alienum Dei has survived has been subsumed under the opus proprium Dei. In this way the dialectical relationship was lost and the opus alienum Dei as a clearly defined conception progressively obscured. Ritschl repudiated the conception altogether, for, in eighteenth and nineteenth century fashion, he did not conceive of anything in man toward which an opus alienum Dei might be directed. Bonhoeffer did not recover the conception because, as a Barthian, it was necessary for him to regard the matter "Christologically" and thus to reject an opus alienum Dei as "natural theology."en
dc.description.abstractlly" and thus to reject an opus alienum Dei as "natural theology." Therefore, the thesis of R. Prenter, that Lutheranism has never really been Lutheran, is considered proved in regard to the doctrine of mortification and the opus alienum Dei. The loss of the latter conception is serious, for Luther's position on these doctrines underscored the initiative and activity of God in the salvation of man. The task of mortification and the opus alienum Dei is to teach man his need for God and the gospel as preparation for the reception of grace.en
dc.description.abstractThe opus alienum Dei has not ceased in the modern world, however, modern man seems no longer to be the victim of the Biblical "Tyrants:" the flesh, sin, the law, the world, death, etc. On the other hand, he is no less "tyrannized" than his forebearers were. It is part of the task of contemporary theology to help him understand this modern opus alienum Dei as an opus Dei, for where this is not understood, the opus alienum Dei cannot lead to the gospel, but can only end in despair. There is then a profound and satisfying answer to the widespread despair of our time in Luther's dialectic of the opus alienum and the opus proprium DejL.en
dc.publisherThe University of Edinburghen
dc.relation.ispartofAnnexe Thesis Digitisation Project 2018 Block 19en
dc.relation.isreferencedbyen
dc.titleThe doctrine of mortification and the opus alienum Dei in Luther and representative Lutheran theologiansen
dc.typeThesis or Dissertationen
dc.type.qualificationlevelDoctoralen
dc.type.qualificationnamePhD Doctor of Philosophyen


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