The Task of Lutheran Political Thought Today

Paul R. Hinlicky

Article Type: Article

Publication Date: 7/1/1988

Issue: Our National Self-Understanding (Vol. 8, No 3, Summer, 1988)

At a Lutheran World Federation conference on human rights, Trutz Rendtorff made the striking claim that Lutheran theology “must come to terms with the criticism of human rights within its own tradition..., the criticism of any direct claim to human autonomy over and against a divinely given order. Lutheran theology must accept the material intention of this criticism and set it fruitfully to work.” A moment’s reflection on the malaise of the liberal democracies lends plausibility to the apparent paradox of orienting political thought today with a theological tradition that is critical of human rights.

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