Martin Luther's Theology of Beauty Hardback

A Reappraisal

by Mark C. Mattes;

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Taking a remarkably different approach to the theologies of Martin Luther. Mark C. Mattes highlights the aesthetics of the Reformation.

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Martin Luther's Theology of Beauty

Full Product Description

  • Looking to find a new approach to Luther's theologies?
  • Mixing a study of aesthetics with Martin Luther's theology, this book a fresh voice
  • You'll be challenged to see the Reformation in a new way
Many contemporary theologians seek to retrieve the concept of beauty as a way for people to encounter God. In this volume, one of today's leading Lutheran theologians argues that while Martin Luther's view of beauty has often been ignored or underappreciated, it has much to contribute to that quest.

This groundbreaking book is the first extensive study on Luther's theological aesthetics. Contrary to the common misconception that Luther rejected beauty as a theological essential, Mark Mattes shows that the concept of beauty is actually a crucial theme for Luther's paradoxical understanding of justification by grace alone through faith alone. Christ "without form or comeliness" is God's gift of mercy to troubled sinners, so Christ is beautiful in God's estimation. Likewise, Christ is desirable for sinners seeking relief and liberation from the law's unrelenting accusations and from the enslavement of sin, death, and the devil. The new birth alters the human senses, opening them to discern and appreciate beauty as God has implanted it in the world. Mattes shows that Luther affirms music and visual imagery as human expressions of beauty and discusses the implications of Luther's aesthetics for music, art, and the contemplative life. The author explains that for Luther, the cross is the lens through which the beauty of God is refracted into the world. Mattes also puts Luther's view of beauty in opposition to some key contemporary theologians.

Martin Luther's Theology of Beauty by Mark C. Mattes was published by Baker Publishing Group in September 2017 and is our 63291st best seller. The ISBN for Martin Luther's Theology of Beauty is 9780801098376.

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1. Introduction
Foundation in Scripture
Overview of the Book
2. Luther's Use of Philosophy
The Scope of Philosophy in the Late Medieval University
Nominalism and Realism
Luther's Divergences from Nominalism
Aristotle's Inadequacies and Adequacies
Early Appropriation of Plato
The Question of Double Truth
Priority of Grammar over Logic
The Semantics of the New Tongue
3. Luther on Goodness
Brief Overview of Medieval Views of Goodness
Justification and Goodness
Omnipotence and Divine Goodness
Goodness as the Heart of God
Comparison with Medieval Perspectives
4. The Early Luther on Beauty
Proportionality, Light, and Desire
Beauty as a Transcendental
Beauty in the Theology of Humility
Beauty and the Question of Form
5. The Mature Luther on Beauty
Beauty Sub Contrario in Selected Psalms (1530s)
Beauty in the Lectures on Galatians (1535)
Lectures on Genesis (1535 and Following)
6. Luther on the Theology and Beauty of Music
Music as a Creation and Gift of God
Luther's Response to the Ancient Church's Mixed Reception
of Music
Luther's Response to Reformed Reservations about Music
The Affectivity of Music as Embodied Word
Criteria for Beauty in Music
Poetic Summary of Luther's View of Music
7. Luther on Visual Imaging
The Role of Images in the Early Church
Critique of Medieval Veneration of Icons
Critique of Iconoclasm
Word as Portrayal
A Covered God
8. Luther and Nouvelle Théologie
The Ambiguity of the Infinite
An Enchanted World
The Strange Beauty of the Cross
The Goals of the Nouvelle Theologie
The Question of Participation
The Question of Hierarchy
The Question of Pure Nature
9. Luther for a Contemporary Theology of Beauty
Summary of Results
Beauty of Christ Revisited
Creaturely Beauty Revisited
God as Beautiful Revisited
Luther in Contrast to Modern Views of Beauty
The Sublime
Revisiting Form
Beauty and Preaching


Details for Martin Luther's Theology of Beauty

Author / Artist
Book FormatHardback
Items in Pack28
PublisherBaker Publishing Group (September 2017)
Number of Pages240
Thickness23 mm
Height236 mm
Width158 mm
Product Code4503628
Page last updated 29th June 2018
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