To mark the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, Paul Hacker’s landmark study Faith in Luther: Martin Luther and the Origin of Anthropocentric Religion appears now in a new English edition.
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, in his final memoir in 2016, remembers Paul Hacker as “a great master, someone with an unbelievably broad education, someone who knew the Fathers, knew Luther, and had mastered the whole history of Indian religion from scratch. What he wrote always had something new about it, he always went right to the bottom of things.” No doubt one of the “things” he was referring to was Martin Luther’s view of faith, which Hacker explores in this text.
A unique contribution to ecumenical studies, Faith in Luther engages the primary texts of Luther, assessing them for how they reveal Luther’s novel conception of faith and how the development of “reflexive faith” impacted Luther’s spirituality and theology—and the world.
About the author:
Born one year before the outbreak of World War I, Paul Hacker (1913–1978) studied in the tumultuous period of German history between the two World Wars at the Universities of Bonn, Heidelberg, Frankfurt, and Berlin. Hacker’s academic focus was linguistics and philology: he studied Slavic languages, Indology, comparative linguistics, English, and French. Considered the most influential German Indologist of his generation, Hacker taught at both the University of Bonn and the University of Münster. In 1962, He converted from Lutheranism to enter the Catholic Church.
“Having grown up as a Lutheran who studied and taught Lutheran theology (and Luther’s own theology), I am deeply familiar with the theology as well as the psychology of Luther’s notion of reflexive faith. I am not aware of a more penetrating and exacting analysis of what Paul Hacker takes to be the heart of Luther’s Reformation theology.”—Reinhard Hütter, The Catholic University of America
“Paul Hacker was a scholar’s scholar—fluent in eighteen languages and one of Germany’s great academic luminaries in the twentieth century. In Faith in Luther he develops a critical insight into Luther’s strikingly new concept of faith, which practically redefined our understanding of faith and subjectivity in the West. Essential reading for theologians, ecumenists, and historians of religion.”—Scott Hahn, Franciscan University of Stuebenville