The concept of iustitia Christi and iustitia civilis is one which
appears to have had relevance for Lutheran ethical theory since the time
of Martin Luther himself. In this thesis it will be my task to investigate
this concept in order to ascertain what that relevance might be. In order
to do this I have chosen to survey this concept in the writings of five
I will begin in my first chapter to investigate the interpretation
which Martin Luther gave to this concept in order to be able to see what
relationship, if any, the later theologians bore to him. As such, this
first chapter really will serve as a general introduction for the entire
In the second chapter I will study the work of Friedrich Schleiermacher who, although not a Lutheran, must be included in this work for
three reasons. First, we must study his writings because of the impact
and the challenge which he made not only upon Reformed theology, but upon
Lutheran theology as well. Second, we must study his work because he
himself considered there to be no theological reason for a distinction to
exist between the Reformed and Lutheran communions. Third, we must
include Schleiermacher because of the Present situation that exists in
Lutheran ethical theory which finds theologians more and more returning
to his work in order better to understand what the relationships between
the disciplines of Christian ethics and philosophical ethics might be.
The fact that by the year 1840 Schleiermacher had published his finest
works and making his ideas felt is the reason that I have selected this
date as my first time limitation, notwithstanding the Luther chapter,
which, as I said, serves as an introduction to the concept.
In the third chapter I will turn to the writings of Ernst Troeltsch.
With Troeltsch my study enters the twentieth century.
In the fourth chapter I will pursue my study of the iustitia
concept in the writings of Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
Chapter five will be an investigation of the position taken by
Helmut Thielieke. It is with Thielickeos works that I will conclude this
study, hence, I have chosen the date 1960 as a general limitation for this
thesis, not to signify the literal cessation of Thielicke's theological
output , but in order to gain a sharpness and compactness by such a limitation.
As such, the range of this thesis includes the first half of the
nineteenth century and the second half of the twentieth.
It will not be my purpose to go into groat detail concerning the
major features of the theologies of each man. This would be pointless in
view of the purpose of the thesis. What we will be looking for in each
case is how the theologian relates the two iustitias to each other and
what result this has for his ethical formulations. We will also be looking
to see what features are carried forward and incorporated into the theologies
of the later theologians and which ones are disposed of.
I will allow the theologians themselves to speak as often as possible
and, where not possible, to paraphrase their ideas. Except where good
English language translations exist, especially in the cases of Luther and
Schleiermacher, the translations are my own.