Current issue of Pro Ecclesia offers two interestingly different contributions from the Finnish Luther scholarship. Dr. Olli-Pekka Vainio addresses several recent criticisms against the Finnish positions and offers many helpful clarifications.
Mr. Ilmari Karimies, who will soon be defending his doctoral thesis on Luther, focuses on Luther’s view of God, challenging nothing less than some interpretations of Prof. Mannermaa.
Olli-Pekka Vainio’s contribution in the recent issue of Neue Zeitschrift plunges into Luther’s use of epistemological and psychological theories of his time: 10.1515/nzsth-2015-0005
Risto Saarinen has recently published a chapter on justification in Oxford Handbook of Martin Luther’s theology: ‘Justification by Faith: The View of the Mannermaa School’, in: The Oxford Handbook of Martin Luther’s Theology, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 254-263.
Finnish scholars (Raunio, Saarinen, Kärkkäinen and Karimies) have also written several entries in Das Luther-Lexicon (ed. V. Leppin & G. Schneider-Ludorff, Bückle & Böhm 2014).
In addition to these are also other updates in Risto Saarinen’s bibliography of Finnish Luther studies.
Again during the Spring term in Helsinki, lectures on Luther’s theology will give an overview of the Reformer’s theology. Topics include: theology of love, justification, doctrine of the Trinity, Luther on music etc. Results of the recent Finnish scholarship on Luther’s theology are discussed in the lectures. No previous knowledge on Luther’s theology is required, but we strongly recommend that the student is familiar with the basic facts of Luther’s life before attending the lectures, since Luther’s life is not discussed in detail during the lectures. There are many biographies available on Luther, such as Martin E. Marty, Martin Luther (Viking Penguin, 2004) or Martin Brecht, Martin Luther, 3 vols. (Fortress, 1985-93).
The lectures will take place on Tuesdays, during the Spring term 2014 from January 28th to April 15th. Lecturers will be Dr. Pekka Kärkkäinen and Dr. Olli-Pekka Vainio, University Lecturers in Ecumenical Theology. For more information, see this page.
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Risto Saarinen has gathered new items of Finnish Luther research and comments on it. The list supplements his larger bibliography with articles and monographs published after 2008. See Saarinen’s blog site for the list: http://blogs.helsinki.fi/ristosaarinen/luther-studies-in-finland/
Annual lectures in Helsinki on Luther’s theology will give an overview of the Reformator’s theology. A special emphasis is laid on such topics as theology and philosophy, theology of love and doctrine of Trinity. Results of the recent Finnish scholarship on Luther’s theology are discussed in detail. No previous knowledge on Luther’s theology is required, but we strongly recommend that the student is familiar with the basic facts of Luther’s life before attending the lectures, since Luther’s life is not discussed in detail during the lectures. There are many biographies available on Luther, such as Martin E. Marty, Martin Luther (Viking Penguin, 2004) or Martin Brecht, Martin Luther, 3 vols. (Fortress, 1985-93).
The lectures will take place on Tuesdays, during the Spring term 2013 from January 12th to May 7th. Lecturer is Dr. Pekka Kärkkäinen, University Lecturer in Ecumenical Theology.
Jairzinho Lopes Pereira just defended successfully his doctoral thesis “Augustine of Hippo and Martin Luther on Original Sin and Justification of the Sinner” in the University of Helsinki. For more information see: https://helda.helsinki.fi/handle/10138/37844
On 18 May Jussi Koivisto defended his doctoral thesis “Is Evil Inevitable for Creation and Human Life? Studies on Martin Luther´s Biblical Interpretation” in the University of Helsinki. The dissertation examines Luther’s idea of evil in select cases of his Biblical interpretation. Main conclusions include:
Luther considered evil in its various forms as an inevitable part of human life and the Creation. Luther avoided giving the impression that God was the causal, ontological or active origin of evil. However, Luther thought that God had permitted evil to slither into the world. The active origin of evil in the fall of angels and the first human was the Devil. However, after these two falls, God has been involved more actively in evil: He uses and is even present in evil so that He can execute His good plans for the salvation of humankind and for His own glory.
The dissertation includes three articles published or soon to be published in English: “The common future of Luther and Biblical Studies” Sixteenth Century Journal 40:1 (2009); “Martin Luther’s Conception of fascinare (Gal. 3:1)” Biblical Interpretation 19:5-6 (2011); “Martin Luther’s Conception of the Serpent Possessed by the Devil (Gen. 3) and the Antecendent Tradition” in W. François & A. Hollander (eds.) ‘Wading Lambs and Swimming Elephants’: The Bible for the Laity and Theologian in the Medieval and Early Modern Era. Peeters (in print).
For more information, see: https://helda.helsinki.fi/handle/10138/32840
Last volume on Lutherjahrbuch (vol. 77, 2010) contains an article by Martin Hailer entitled: “Rechtfertigung als Vergottung? Eine Auseinandersetzung mit der finnischen Luther-Deutung und ihrer systematisch-theologischen Adaptation”. The author discusses the Finnish position critically mostly on the basis of some Mannermaa’s works, supplementing them with Risto Saarinen’s more general accounts of the Finnish interpretation of Luther. For the sake of comparison, he also drafts some general ideas of Bonhoeffer’s view of participation in God. More importantly, after the discussion of “the Finns”, he critically discusses views of Robert Jenson, seen as an elaboration of the Finnish position.
Miikka Anttila has successfully defended a doctoral thesis entitled “The innocent pleasure. A study on Luther’s theology of music”. Professor Bo Holm from the University of Aarhus acted as the external examinator in the defense. In his dissertation, Anttila focused on considering Luther’s theology of music from the viewpoint of pleasure. This general theme allowed him to discuss several related topics, such as Luther’s notion of gift, his view of emotions and esthetical views, insofar as they were connected to the theology of music. For more information of the dissertation see: https://helda.helsinki.fi/handle/10138/26118
For some preliminary results of Anttila’s study, see also his contribution to Engaging Luther