David R. Law1
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  • 1 University of Manchester
Luther‘s Legacy and the Origins of Kenotic Christology
in Bulletin of the John Rylands Library
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The theological energies released by Martin Luther in 1517 created a set of theological insights and problems that eventually led to the development of kenotic Christology (i. e., the view that in order for the Son of God to become incarnate and live a genuinely human life, he emptied himself of his divine prerogatives or attributes). This article traces how kenotic Christology originated in the Eucharistic Controversy between Luther and Zwingli, before receiving its first extensive treatment in the debate between the Lutheran theologians of Tübingen and Giessen in,the early seventeenth century. Attention then turns to the nine-teenth century, when doctrinal tensions resulting from the enforced union of the Prussian Lutheran and Reformed churches created the conditions for a new flowering of kenotic Christology in the theologies of Ernst Sartorius and, subsequently, Gottfried Thomasius. Kenotic Christology ultimately originates with Luther, however, for it owes its existence to the creative theological energies he unleashed and which remain his lasting legacy.

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