Paper Title

[3.1] Martin Luther: The Moderate Mystic

Presenter Information

Kennedy GarrettFollow

Location

IB 1014

Start Date

January 2020

End Date

January 2020

Disciplines

History | Philosophy | Political Science

Presentation Type

Presentation

Abstract

While it is known that Martin Luther was influenced by mystics when he was an Augustinian friar, many scholars do not look at Luther within a mystical context. While Luther may not adhere to the typical model of mysticism, we could potentially see Luther as a ‘moderate’ mystic. Luther was directly influenced by The Theologia Germanica, which served as his introduction to mysticism, and Johannes Tauler. Tauler and the author of The Theologia Germanica were in turn highly influenced by Meister Eckhart. Thus Eckhart’s idea of self-annihilation reverberated through Tauler and Luther, albeit with some modification. Luther, Tauler and Eckhart all speak of the internal journey we must make to have oneness with God, however, for Tauler and Eckhart the journey entails the rejection of outward experiences. To Luther, however, the external life should carry on as before, while internally being on a different spiritual level. When we look at the writings of Luther we can see the mystical influence of Eckhart and Tauler, however, these mystical leanings do not position Luther as a true mystic, rather a ‘moderate’ one.

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Jan 17th, 1:00 PM Jan 17th, 2:15 PM

[3.1] Martin Luther: The Moderate Mystic

IB 1014

While it is known that Martin Luther was influenced by mystics when he was an Augustinian friar, many scholars do not look at Luther within a mystical context. While Luther may not adhere to the typical model of mysticism, we could potentially see Luther as a ‘moderate’ mystic. Luther was directly influenced by The Theologia Germanica, which served as his introduction to mysticism, and Johannes Tauler. Tauler and the author of The Theologia Germanica were in turn highly influenced by Meister Eckhart. Thus Eckhart’s idea of self-annihilation reverberated through Tauler and Luther, albeit with some modification. Luther, Tauler and Eckhart all speak of the internal journey we must make to have oneness with God, however, for Tauler and Eckhart the journey entails the rejection of outward experiences. To Luther, however, the external life should carry on as before, while internally being on a different spiritual level. When we look at the writings of Luther we can see the mystical influence of Eckhart and Tauler, however, these mystical leanings do not position Luther as a true mystic, rather a ‘moderate’ one.