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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Martin Luther's "Two Kingdoms Theory": An analysis through the lens of Dietrich Bonhoeffer's Religionless Christianity
by Gesme, Janet Leigh, M.A., Portland State University, 2013, 146; 1550507
Abstract (Summary)

The following work is an analysis of Martin Luther's Two Kingdoms Theory. This influential and controversial theory was introduced in his 1523 treatise, Von weltlicher Obrigkeit--Secular Authority. Although this document was written almost 500 years ago and takes its cue from the writings of St. Augustine and the Bible, it continued to have a significant effect on German society in both the political and religious realm well into the present day. Based on an analysis of the text and on the culture and literature that led Luther to write Von weltlicher Obrigkeit, this thesis evaluates various interpretations and applications of the Two Kingdoms Theory. The specific effects of Luther's teaching during the Nazi era are examined politically and theologically. Dietrich Bonhoeffer's Religionsloses Christentum--Religionless Christianity and Martin Luther's Zwei-Reiche-Lehre--Two Kingdoms Theory will be compared to demonstrate that they illuminate the same truth from different vantage points: neither people nor their rules are viable substitutes for God. A brief introduction explains the means of analysis used in this thesis, which is based on Dietrich Bonhoeffer's call for a new religionless language as described in letters written during his imprisonment by the Nazi regime.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Fuller, Steven
Commitee: Fischer, William B., Fuller, Steven, Godfrey, Kathleen A.
School: Portland State University
Department: Foreign Languages & Literatures
School Location: United States -- Oregon
Source: MAI 52/04M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Religion, Social research, Philosophy
Keywords: Bonhoeffer, Dietrich, Luther, Martin, Religionless Christianity, Two Kingdoms Theory
Publication Number: 1550507
ISBN: 978-1-303-65926-3
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