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Human Freedom, Christian Righteousness: Philip Melanchthon's Exegetical Dispute with Erasmus of Rotterdam (Oxford Studies in Historical Theology) [Hardcover]

By Timothy J. Wengert (Author)
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Item description for Human Freedom, Christian Righteousness: Philip Melanchthon's Exegetical Dispute with Erasmus of Rotterdam (Oxford Studies in Historical Theology) by Timothy J. Wengert...

This book argues the provocative thesis that Philip Melanchthon, so often pictured as hopelessly caught in the middle between Erasmus and Luther, and more "Erasmian" than Lutheran in his thought, was, at least in his theological methods and views, not Erasmian at all, but in fact sharply opposed to Erasmus. Author Timothy J. Wengert builds his case largely on the basis of Melanchthon's Scholia on the Epistle of Paul to the Colossians, employing the critically important but seldom used second edition of 1528, which was produced in the aftermath of Luther and Erasmus's famous debate over the free will. Wengert also draws on a wide range of other contemporary sources, many of them well known but, as he argues, frequently misunderstood. Throughout this analysis he subjects a wide range of the secondary literature to sharp critical review.
From the vantage point of a relatively narrow exegetical dispute, the book deals with a number of important topics: the complicated and elusive relationships between humanism and the Reformation, Erasmus and Luther, Erasmus and Melanchthon, and Melanchthon and Luther; the theological issues of proper biblical interpretation, of free will, and of divine and human righteousness; and the hotly contested social problem of political order. Human Freedom, Christian Righteousness will be of interest not only to students and scholars of Reformation theology, but to a broader audience of those concerned with Renaissance and Reformation history and literature.

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Item Specifications...


Studio: Oxford University Press, USA
Pages   256
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.26" Width: 6.36" Height: 0.85"
Weight:   1.2 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Jan 1, 1998
Publisher   Oxford University Press
ISBN  0195115295  
ISBN13  9780195115291  


Availability  127 units.
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More About Timothy J. Wengert


Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Timothy J. Wengert (PhD, Duke University) is Ministerium of Pennsylvania Professor, Reformation History, at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia. He has authored or edited twenty books, including The Book of Concord (2000 translation, coedited with Robert Kolb). He received the Melanchthon Prize from the city of Bretten, Germany (Melanchthon's birthplace), for contributions to the field of Reformation scholarship and has written over one hundred articles. He is also associate editor for the Lutheran Quarterly and has pastored churches in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Timothy J. Wengert has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Annotated Luther
  2. Oxford Studies in Historical Theology


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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Commentaries > Commentaries
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Bible > General
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > General
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology



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Reviews - What do customers think about Human Freedom, Christian Righteousness: Philip Melanchthon's Exegetical Dispute with Erasmus of Rotterdam (Oxford Studies in Historical Theology)?

A must-read for anyone interested in Reformation Studies.  Feb 11, 2004
The Preceptor Germanae, Philip Melanchthon, has been neglected and abused by scholars, often using the Wittenberg grammarian as a political poster-boy, during the last century-plus. One of the most common accusations against Melanchthon is that he was a synergist. It is worth noting, however, that it wasn't until the last five years of Melanchthon's life that his views were attacked as "synergistic." Scholars in the last century have tried to make the claim that some of Melanchthon's supposed "synergistic" comments made in his later editions of the Loci Communes might have grown out of Melanchthon's humanistic disposition. Melanchthon is often placed between Luther and Erasmus as if he is admidst a crisis of conscience needing to adhere to one or the other. Wengert effectively shows that Melanchthon sided decisively with Luther and, while his language evolved through time, never departed from Luther so radically as has often been claimed. A key ingredient to Wengert's argument is that humanism does not demand a theology but is only an approach and methodology to education and, consequentially, to theology. It is quite possible to be a monergist and a humanist! Renaissance and Reformation, while not necessarily complementary, are not mutually exclusive positions. To place Melanchthon amdist some sort of crisis of conscience between Renaissance Humanism (Erasmus) and Reformation theology (Luther) is inappropriate. By understanding certain dialectical distinctions one is able to understand how, by 1543, Melanchthon can make statements that SOUND very synergistic while making others that are very monergistic. Melanchthon clearly maintains in his commentary on Ecclesiasticus (1550) that God is ultimately in control of all things. Wengert effectively demonstrates, via. an evaluation of a number of Melanchthon's writings, that Melanchthon's views were not contradictory but were placed within certain tensions that Melanchthon (and even Luther) maintained.

Evaluation by: Ryan Fouts (Concordia Seminary - St. Louis)

 

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