Original Research - Special Collection: Ignatius van Wyk Dedication

Martin Luther se veelkantige verhouding tot die filosofie

Ignatius W.C. van Wyk
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 74, No 4 | a4978 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v74i4.4978 | © 2018 Ignatius W.C. (Natie) Van Wyk | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 22 March 2018 | Published: 31 July 2018

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Ignatius W.C. van Wyk, Department of Church History and Polity, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, South Africa

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Martin Luther lectured moral philosophy in Wittenberg. He was therefore a well-trained philosopher in the tradition of Willem Ockham. Throughout his academic career, he respected the important contribution of philosophy to life. Without philosophy, the world cannot function properly! He, however, rejected the idea that Aristotelian philosophy should be the guiding principle of theology. A philosophy that concentrates on what man could and should do, cannot be the cradle of the New Testament notion of justification without works. The God of the New Testament could therefore not be discovered by philosophical reflexion, but should rather be discovered by the preaching of the gospel. Theology, for Luther, is ‘science of conflict’ – it is in conflict with human logic and science. Theology offers a truth that is not scientifically intelligible. This truth is a matter for faith and not reason. By saying this, the importance of human reasoning is not denied.


Luther; philosophy; Aristotle; justification by faith


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