Lutherforskningens koppling till luthersk tro. En kritisk utvärdering av ett forskningsprojekt


  • Tomas Appelqvist


This article evaluates a research project on Lutheran theology and ethics in a post-Christian society supervised by professor emeritus Carl-Henric Grenholm, Uppsala University. The project has resulted in six books and the topics of the books are: (1) original sin, (2) spiritual training, (3) political aspects of Christian ethics, (4) human bodies, pleasure and passion, (5) vocation, and (6) law and sin in nineteenth-century revival movements. As a whole, the project puts focus on twentieth-century theology and gives only little attention to what Luther has actually written. Even less attention is paid to other early Lutheran writers. Present-day Christian globalism and ecumenism are not noted at all in the books of the project. Future Lutheran scholarship can learn a lot from the failures of this project. It is important to treat the sources from the sixteenth century carefully and contextualize them in order to translate them into present time. It also seems increasingly necessary to clarify previous research traditions on the topics that present-day scholars write about. As a last insight we can see that Luther scholars, instead of locking the early Lutheran sources into modernist categories, need to reevaluate the diverse Lutheran tradition from which they form their own theological agenda, thereby clarifying how they interpret the Biblical and ancient church traditions on the topic in dialogue with the Lutheran doctrinal formulations from the sixteenth century.