The Spirituality of Martin Luther as exemplified in his Letters to Philip Melanchthon

Bester, Gottlieb Christiaan (2011-12)

Thesis (MTh)--Stellenbosch University, 2011.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: In this study the researcher will reflect on the spirituality of Martin Luther as expressed in his letters to Philip Melanchthon written from Wartburg. Through such a reflection, based on biographical material, the researcher wishes to contribute to research that reflects on the spirituality of historical individuals. The first chapter will present a general introduction on how the researcher came to study the Spirituality of Martin Luther via inter alia a study on Dietrich Bonhoeffer. A short motivation will also be given on why biographical material (such as letters), the primary source for this study, should be seen as a suitable source for theological inquiry. The second chapter will reflect on a few contemporary works on Luther’s spirituality as well as the works of Scott Hendrix, Egil Grislis, Mark McIntosh and Sandra Schneiders to gain insight into the development of spirituality as a field of study and its current focus. The third chapter entails biographical accounts of Luther and Melanchthon with a primary focus on their lives up until Luther's safekeeping at Wartburg as well as a reflection on their friendship. The purpose will be to contextualize the letters and to give a better understanding of the people involved. The fourth chapter will summarize the content of the nine letters Luther wrote from Wartburg to Melanchthon. The summary will indicate the matters which were discussed between the two reformers and will be reflected on in order to find deeper insight into Luther's spirituality. Chapter five will consider matters of importance identified in chapter four, such as the Luther's identity and spirituality and his understanding and reference to Christ and God, while at Wartburg. The final chapter will reflect on the content of this study and the contribution that a study based on biographical material has to offer to spirituality as an academic discipline.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: In die studie wil die navorsers reflekteer oor die spiritualiteit van Martin Luther soos dit uitgedruk is in sy briewe aan Philip Melanchthon, geskryf vanaf Wartburg. Die hoop is om deur hierdie refleksie, gebaseer op biografiese material, ‘n bydrae te lewer tot navorsing wat reflekteer op die spiritualiteit van historiese individue. Die eerste hooftuk van die studie behels ‘n algemene inleiding wat sal verduidelik hoe die navorser daartoe gekom het om ‘n studie te doen oor die spiritualiteit van Martin Luther via, onder andere, ‘n voorafgaande studie oor Dietrich Bonhoeffer. ‘n Kort motivering sal ook gegee word hoekom biografiese materiaal (soos briewe), die primêre bron van dié studie, gesien kan word as ‘n gepaste bron vir teologiese ondersoek. In die tweede hoofstuk van die studie word daar gereflekteer oor sommige kontemporêre werke aangaande Luther se spiritualiteit asook die werke van Scott Hendrix, Egil Grislis, Mark McIntosh en Sandra Schneiders wat insig sal gee tot die ontwikkeling van spiritualiteit as ‘n studieveld. Die derde hoofstuk behels biografiese refleksies oor die lewens van Luther en Philip Melanchthon, met ‘n primêre fokus op hul lewens voordat Luther na Wartburg geneem is vir beskerming, asook ‘n refleksie op hul vriendskap. Die doel hiervan is om die briewe te kontekstualiseer en ‘n beter begrip van die betrokke mense te kry. In die vierde hoofstuk gee die navorser 'n opsomming van die inhoud van die nege briewe wat Luther vanaf Wartburg aan Melanchthon geskryf het. Dit sal ‘n aanduiding gee van die sake wat tussen die Hervormers bespreek was en waaroor verder reflekteer moet word vir dieper insigte tot Luther se spiritualiteit. Hoofstuk vyf fokus op die sake wat in hoofstuk vier geïdentifiseer is, asook Luther se identiteit en spiritualiteit en sy verstaan en verwysings na God en Christus. In die finale hoofstuk van die studie word daar gereflekteer oor die inhoud van die studie en die bydrae wat ‘n refleksie gebaseer op biografiese materiaal, te bied het aan spiritualiteit as ‘n akademiese veld.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/18030
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