Martin Luther and Musically Expressed Theology

  • Adam Hough University of Phoenix
Keywords: Luther, Martin Luther, theology, Germany, 16th century, liturgical music, reformation, christianity, Psalms, religion, society, culture, Illumine, CSRS, UVic, University of Victoria, Centre for Studies in Religion and Society

Abstract

This paper seeks a reappraisal of Martin Luther’s complex understanding of theology’s place in the social and political reformation of 16th–century Germany. Here I seek to reintroduce an element of that theology that has been largely absent from mainstream scholarship: music. Building on Robin Leaver’s influential 2007 work, Luther’s Liturgical Music, wherein he argues that Luther’s liturgical song–writing ought to be understood theologically, I will demonstrate how the reformer sought to use a musically expressed theology to build a foundation of faith among the German laity– a prerequisite, he believed, to a successful reformation of Christian religion and society. Luther’s answer to the failures of the early evangelical Reformation was an educational programme centred on teaching a theology of the Psalms through music.

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Published
2014-11-14
How to Cite
Hough, Adam. 2014. “Martin Luther and Musically Expressed Theology”. Illumine: A Journal of the Centre for Studies in Religion and Society 11 (1). Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, 27-49. https://doi.org/10.18357/illumine.hougha.1112012.
Section
Articles