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Martin Luther is not typically thought of as an ecumenical theologian. In fact, his theology was chiefly responsible for the reformational schism in the Catholic Church. Bucher, however, views Luther as an ecumenical resource, whose "doctrinal hermeneutic" may play a conciliatory role in current ecumenical dialogue. In support of this assertion, Bucher examines Luther's understanding and use of doctrine in: his early writings, his dialogue with the Unitas Fratrum (Unity of Brethren), and the Schmalkald Articles. Bucher's historical study sheds insight not only on Luther's theology, but also provides an invaluable ecumenical tool for contemporary dialogue between Christian traditions.
Examine Luther's doctrinal hermeneutic. The Ecumenical Luther investigates Luther's definition of doctrine and its application in three key ecumenical encounters: Luther's 1523 discussion with the Unitas Fratrum; his engagement in the eucharistic controversies and the 1529 Marburg Colloquy; and his 1537 Smalcald Articles. Bucher argues that Luther gradually developed a doctrinal hermeneutic for determining whether a particular church teaching is an article of faith obligatory for all Christians. His doctrinal hermeneutic consisted of two canons (scriptural and evangelical) that served as interpretive lenses through which he judged whether a doctrine is necessary for salvation. Luther applied his doctrinal hermeneutic to ecumenical discussions to ascertain and ensure that only articles of faith would serve as a basis for unity.
Buy The Ecumenical Luther: The Development and Use of His Doctrinal Hermeneutic by Richard P. Bucher from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9780758603258 & 0758603258
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