Friday, February 24, 2006
David Bagchi quote:
(taken from his unpublished essay, The function of Luther in the New Perspective on Paul, pp. 3-4. This is a John Camp exclusive!)--
Dunn's second charge against Luther is that he understood 'justification by faith in distinctively individualistic terms', the gospel being for every one 'in his or her own individuality'. In Dunn's view this error has graver consequences than faulty exegeseis alone:
"One might also note its outworking in the individualism and privatization of religion which was such a feature of the political philosophy which dominated the 1980s in the UK".
Warming to his theme, Dunn goes on to include within Luther's legacy not just Margaret Thatcher but also the Third Reich and the apartheid regime in South Africa. There is no mention here of the Enlightenment or political economy; or that Hitler and many of his lieutenants were Roman Catholics, not Lutherans; or that white supremicist Afrikaaners in South Africa were Calvinist, not Lutheran. Clearly, in Dunn's view, Luther has a lot to answer for as a result of his allegedly individualistic understanding of Paul's doctrine of justification by faith.
...Dunn's charge relates not to Luther's understanding of faith but of righteousness.
Posted by John Zahl at 3:26 PM