Preface to the Latin Edition of the Collected Works of Martin Luther (1545): Introduction, Translation, Сomment

Rodion Valentinovich Savinov PhD in Philosophy, associate professor, Saint-Petersburg State Academy of Veterinary Medicine (ulitsa Chernigovskaya, 5, Saint-Petersburg, Russia, 196084)

Savinov R. V. Preface to the Latin Edition of the Collected Works of Martin Luther (1545): Introduction, Translation, Сomment, Religiya. Tserkov’. Obshchestvo. Issledovaniya i publikatsii po teologii i religii [Religion. Church. Society: Research and publications in the field of theology and religious studies], Saint-Petersburg, 2022, vol. 10, pp. 336–356.

doi: 10.24412/2308-0698-2022-10-336-356

Language: Russian

The material is devoted to the problem of interpreting a number of sources on the history of the Reformation, in particular, Martin Luther’s autobiographical texts. These sources have recently become into researchers’ scopus, because they contain unique information about the personality of the author and his worldview, which allows reconstructing the author’s personality. Martin Luther’s personality is inseparable from his theology, and an attempt is made to show that those texts that are traditionally historical are in fact precisely such ego-documents, and they are significant in their subjective definiteness, which makes it difficult for historical comment on these materials. At the same time, the reconstruction of the context, which is possible on the basis of the historical method, makes it possible to identify the fundamental features of ego-documents, which, on the one hand, differ in the specific ranking of events, but vary by linking them to certain concepts that are significant for the author of this text. One of the most famous ego-documents is Martin Luther’s «Preface» to his own collected works of 1545, where he describes the events preceded the beginning of the Reformation and took place at its first stage (1517–1520). It is shown that the text combines a number of key ideas that determine the nature of material grouping and its assessment. It is concluded that this text, although not an artifact for historiography, is an important source of both theological and historical order.

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Key words: Reformation, Theology, Early Modern, Luther, History, Eschatology, Biography


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