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Hastings Law Journal

Article Title

Luther and the Law

Authors

Karl H. Hertz

Abstract

In this Article, the author considers the characteristics of feudal Germany during the period of Luther's lifetime and, drawing on these observations, discusses Luther's philosophy regarding law and legal institutions. The author details three basic themes that underlie this element of Luther's thought: first, Luther's rejection of the right of retaliation in favor of objective judicial processes; second, Luther's assertion of the institutional independence of secular government from religious oversight and control but not from religious criticism; and finally, Luther's vision of a natural law that focused primarily upon the mutual interdependence of all humans.

In conclusion, the author notes the relevancy of such thinking to the problems of our current age.

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