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Ranke, Lamprecht, And Luther

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Chapter Summary

Von Ranke composed his "Luther Fragment" in 1817, toward the end of his studies at the University of Leipzig. It represented in part a compilation of quotations from the Reformer and other prominent figures, in part historical narrative, in part a series of painfully self-conscious reflections. Karl Lamprecht's vision of history encompassed everything-the material world of economy and society, the ideal realm of thought, morals, and art, and the sphere of politics. Martin Luther brought the fulfillment of what Lamprecht now characterized as the Individualistic epoch, the extension of its principles into the deepest spiritual dimension of human life. The Reformation, argued Lamprecht, thus defined a personal faith in God as the sole remaining constraint on individuality. To Lamprecht's breadth of interest, Tom Brady has added Ranke's scrupulous attention to his sources, his grace with language, and his critical self-awareness, clarity, and honesty about his epistemological and moral commitments.

Keywords: God; human life; Karl Lamprecht; Martin Luther; reformation; Tom Brady; Von Ranke



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