Fides Christi: The Justification Debate

Front Cover
Four Courts Press, 1997 - Religion - 285 pages
The debate on the nature of Christian justification and its implications for the whole of Christian life was at the heart of the teaching of Luther and of the Reformation movement. After several centuries of distancing between Catholics and Lutherans on this fundamental theological question, its ecclesiological, ethical and spiritual virtualities have been reexamined in recent times, and considerable common ground has been established. The mature fruit of this research will, it is hoped, be the publication of a Joint Common Declaration by Catholics and Lutherans on the doctrine of justification.

This study is the result of several years of lecturing on justification and investigating the debate. A first (historical) part of the work contains a brief and incisive account of Luther's own understanding of justification. The second (analytical) part examines a variety of perspectives that over the last century have given new life to the debate: the history of dogma, the doctrine of justification as a hermeneutical principle, Pauline understanding of justice, law and the Gospel, the relationship between ecclesiology and grace. The final chapter explains one by one the fundamental elements of the doctrine of justification in the context of the tensions still remaining Between Lutheran and Catholic theology.

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Contents

ABBREVIATIONS II
11
Luthers contribution to the doctrine on justification
19
Interpretations of Luther on justification
41
Copyright

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