CC 300 HX - Martin Luther

3 Credits
Professor Rittgers
TR 1:30-2:45 pm
Cross-listed with THEO 328HX and HIST 492HX
Fulfills upper level (THEO 300) theology requirement.

This seminar will examine Luther’s famous debate with Erasmus on the theological status of the human will. The debate turned on the question of whether the human will has any role to play in salvation. Is the human will in some measure free and thus able to turn to God with the help of divine grace, or is it completely bound by sin and thus unable to cooperate with such grace, requiring instead a more radical divine rescue in which God is the sole actor? Behind this question lay even weightier issues regarding the character of God, the problem of evil, the nature of human personhood, and the proper exegesis of Scripture; in other words, this debate involved the central issues of the Reformation movement itself. This seminar will first examine the historical context of the Luther-Erasmus debate, turn to the debate itself, and finally touch on its implications for the subsequent shape of the Reformation movement, which were profound. Students should have completed a course on the Christian Tradition (THEO 200/CC 215).