SPIRIT VERSUS STRUCTURE: Luther and the Institutions of the Church by Jaroslav Pelikan

SPIRIT VERSUS STRUCTURE: Luther and the Institutions of the Church

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This slender volume concentrates upon those writings of Luther--particularly his Babylonian Captivity of the Church --in which the question of church structure arises. Professor Pelikan takes note of the crisis in both Protestant and Roman Catholic churches today over the issue of the relation of the work of the Spirit to the structures of the church as institution. This crisis has become a matter of concern not only to theologians but to Marxists, on the one hand, and Freudians, on the other. In Luther's time, the structures supposed to serve as vehicles of the Spirit had become the chief obstacles to The Spirit. Luther deals with this problem in terms of the priesthood, monasticism, infant baptism, church law, and the sacraments. But the crisis was also an internal and personal one for the Reformer, since these structures were the ones in which Luther was deeply involved as man, Christian, and priest. The author brings a fresh interpretation to Luther's work through this point of view. Material for these chapters was presented as lectures to the Faculty of Theology at Bratislava, Czechoslovakia. Useful to students, clergy, and theological scholars.

Pub Date: Sept. 11th, 1968
Publisher: Harper & Row