Walter Sparn, PhD in theology, professor, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg (Schloßplatz 4, 91054 Erlangen, Germany),
Sparn W. Alles Schicksal? Der Himmel als astrologische Auskunftei im Luthertum der Frühen Neuzeit, 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, 2015, vol. 4, pp. 34–41.
The article “All is Fortune? The sky as an astrology agency in the early modern time lutheranism” deals with attitude to astrology as part of the Lutheran intellectual culture of the 16–17th centuries. The author marks out two distinctive approaches to astrology that were, on the one hand, the interpretation of the planets position as the epitome of human lives, and, on the other hand, as sign of the future events. The last implies human actions with aim of correction and perfection of the picture presented in the sky. Luther himself didn’t engaged in astrology, but it fat perfectly his eschatological consciousness. Among other reformers and Lutheran priests (Michael Stiefel, Philipp Melanchthon, Abdias Trew, etc.) astrology was considered as necessary and honorable knowledge. Here the Melanchthon’s support of astrology in the treatise “Oratio de dignitate astrologia” 1535 was an important argument and is analyzed in detail by the author. Despite the overall empirical character of the 16–17th centuries science within astrology was widely condemned, there had been made several attempts to reform the area. In conclusion, the author analyses astrology in the context of general Christian eschatology.