Portland State University. Department of World Languages and Literatures
Date of Award
Master of Arts (M.A.) in German
World Languages and Literatures
1 online resource (x, 134 pages)
Martin Luther (1483-1546) -- Criticism and interpretation, Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945) -- Criticism and interpretation, Two kingdoms (Lutheran theology) -- 16th century
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.
Gesme, Janet Leigh, "Martin Luther's "Two Kingdoms Theory": An Analysis through the Lens of Dietrich Bonhoeffer's Religionless Christianity" (2013). Dissertations and Theses. Paper 1508.