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In die Skriflig

versão On-line ISSN 2305-0853
versão impressa ISSN 1018-6441

In Skriflig (Online) vol.44 no.2 Pretoria Jan. 2010




Luther's moral synthesis: Occamism, Christian mysticism and the idea of being


Luther se morele sintese: Okkamisme, Christelike mistiek en die idee van syn



A. Raath

Department of Constitutional Law & Philosophy of Law, University of the Free State, BLOEMFONTEIN. E-mail:




To Luther human beings can only come to true redemptive knowledge through the Word and through faith. Although philosophical knowledge in the domain of man's earthly existence cannot provide him with true knowledge in matters of faith, such knowledge is of much importance for man's earthly existence from a moral point of view. By submitting to universal being even unbelievers can gain valuable insights into moral matters. Such moral insights are important for making human co-existence possible in society. Within the broad context of Luther's Occamist views on knowledge, both German mysticism and the Stoic-Ciceronian idea of being contribute towards a synthesis from which Luther's views on morals in matters of faith and philosophy respectively emanate.

Key concepts: Cicero, idea of being, Luther, mysticism


Vir Luther kan die mens slegs tot ware verlossende kennis kom deur die Woord en geloof. Alhoewel filosofiese kennis op die terrein van die mens se aardse bestaan hom nie in staat stel om tot ware kennis in aangeleenthede betreffende die geloof te kom nie, is sodanige kennis vanuit 'n morele oogpunt beskou van groot belang. Deur die agting vir universele syn kan selfs ongelowiges waardevolle insigte in morele aangeleenthede verwerf. Sodanige morele insigte is belangrik vir die menslike saambestaan in die samelewing. Binne die breë konteks van Ockham se standpunte oor kennis, lewer sowel die Duitse mistiek as die Stoisyns-Ciceroniaanse idee van syn 'n bydrae tot 'n sintese in Luther se morele en filosofiese denke.

Kernbegrippe: Cicero, idee van syn, Luther, mistisisme



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