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“I Have Overcome The World”: Luther’s “Sermon On Preparing To Die” (1519)

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Chapter Summary

This chapter is entirely orthodox, and may have been intended for those to whom the ministrations of the clergy were not available, probably in times of plague, and the body of the sermon focuses on the sacraments and their virtues. Luther argues that, in order to find peace about one's death, one must look away from self-and one's own anxiety-and onto Christ and his death. Brecht argues that the significance 'for the reformatory concept' of Luther's 1519 writings on comfort and death may now be underestimated. "At that time the crucial test for it was not least whether one could not only live with it, but also die with it&t;. The continued study of this and other consolatory writings of Luther, we clearly understand what it meant (and means) to die well.

Keywords: christ; clergy; consolatory writing; death; ministrations; peace; plague; sermon



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