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Selbstbestimmung und Selbstentzogenheit

Luther zum sensus proprius

Zurück zum Heft: Archiv für Begriffsgeschichte. Band 45
DOI: 10.28937/9783787336791_5
EUR 16,90

A well-known rule of exegesis holds that the Holy Scriptures must not be interpreted eisegetically, according to the interpreter’s own spirit (spiritus proprius or sensus proprius) but according to the spirit in which they are written. Luther quotes this rule in his Assertio omnium articulorum (1521) and develops it further to become the scriptural principle by which Protestantism identifies itself (sola scriptura). In this paper, the origins of the denial of sensus proprius shall be pointed out (the fight against heresy and deviation from the church’s authority, the concept of humility in the monastic tradition, denial of the self in mysticism). Thus, the changes that this concept underwent within the development of Luther’s criticism will become clear. He radicalizes the denial of sensus proprius in such a way as to incorporate the exclusion of every conceivable human merit towards salvation, thereby producing the dialectical dynamic of sensus proprius being found exactly within the effort to avoid it.