»Wir Lutherischen« – Zur Ausbildung eines konfessionellen Identitätsbewusstseins bei Martin Luther
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It is general knowledge that to begin with Martin Luther forbade his followers energetically to assume the name »Lutherani«, a term probably coined by Johannes Eck, since Christ alone was to have authority in the Reformation congregations. However, the author of this study shows that Luther, strengthened by the Diet of Augsburg in 1530, was in the habit of addressing his religious community as »we Lutherans«. This of course was generally meant as a dissociation from the Roman Catholic religion and scarcely as a means of changing inner self-awareness. On the basis of this transformation, which is reconstructed here chronologically for the first time with detailed information on the sources, it is possible to trace the development of Luther's confessional sense of identity. Thus this study makes an innovative contribution to the Reformer's self-concept as well as to the historical beginnings of the Lutheran Church in general.