Full Text for The Course of Christian Humanism (Text)

Vol. XXVII Summer, 1963 No. 2 THE SPRINGFIELDER is published quarterly by the faculty of Con- cordia Theological Seminary, Springfield, Illinois, of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. EDITORIAL COMMITTEE ERICH H. HEINTZEN, Editor (on kave) HEINO 0. KADAI, Acting Editor RICHARD P . JUNGKUNTZ, Book Review Editor EUGENE F . KLUG, Associnte Editor MARK J. STEEGE, Associate Editos PRESIDENT J . A. 0 . PREUS, ex officio Contents Page EDITORIALS Lutheranism-Whither? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 .................................................... The Use of the Laity 5 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Church on the Campus ................. L.. 6 "THE FUTURE REUNITED CHURCH" AND "THE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ANCIENT UNDIVIDED CHURCH" 8 Hermann Sasse. Immanuel Theological Seminary, North Adelaide, Australia .................... THE COURSE OF CHRISTIAN HUMANIShl 22 Lewis W. Spitz, Stanford University THE TERM "JUSTIFY IN THE EPISTLE ............................................. TO THE ROMANS 36 Lorman Petersen,' Department of Exegetical Theology ................................................................ BOOKS REVIEWS -49 .............................................................. BOOKS RECEIVED 59 Clergy changes of address reported to Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, Missouri, will also cover mailing change of The Spn'ngfielder. Other changes of address should be sent to the Business Manager of The SptingfiLier, Con- cordia Theological Seminary, Springfield, Illinois. Address communications to the Editor, Erich H. Heingen, Concordia Thed logical Seminary, Springfield, Illinois. Business correspondence should be addressed to Axleigh Luu, Concordia Theo- logical Seminary, Springfield, Illinois. The Course of Christian Humanism LEWIS W. SPITZ Stanford University Dr. Le~ris IF'. Spitz, a noted Harvard trained Stanford Uni- versity historian and a graduate Concordiu Seminary, St. Louis, 1 is an authority 012 Renaissance an Reformation studies. He is vice- president of the American Society f& Reformation Research; vice- president of the Northern California Renaissance Conference and member of the Editorial Baard, JOURNAL OF MODERN HISTORY. Author of numerous scholarly articles, Doctor Syitz is editor of THE CAREER OF THE REFORMER, volume 34, LUTHER'S WORKS, American Edition and THE REFORMATION - MATERIAL OR SPIRITUAL? Recently, Professor Spitz's major study on Christian humanism, THE RELIGIOUS RENAISSANCE OF THE GERMAN HUMANISTS was published by Harvard University Press. E ACH AGE seems to indulge in the conceit that it is the gen- eration of crisis and transition, but seldom has the chorus of those crying in alarm been so strident and persistent as in this pres- ent day. A new feature, perhaps, is that it is not merely the older Cassandras crying out in fear and apprehension, but that the young intellectuals seem alarmed by signs of decline of esteemed values and wholesome vita1ity.l A veritable cult of monitors addressing themselves to "post-modem man" and the "post-Christian era" has emerged to paint in shades of grey man's alienation, estrangement, and loss of grasp. It is particularly ironic that this din of what Karl Barth once referred to as "existential screamingJJ should arise in the very age which has seen the emergence of such a varie humanisms asserting the importance and centrality of man. &zf temporary humanisms range from the poetic humanism of a senti- mentalist such as Santayana to the realistic or progressive humanism of the communist world and the pra atic humanism of the non- dialetical materialistic West. G. K. g s t e r t o n wmte with unusually keen perceptivity : What we suffer from today is humility in the wrong place. . . . A man was meant to be doubtful about himself, but undoubt- in about the truth; this has been exactly reversed. . . . The 01% humility made a man doubtful about his efforts, which might make him work harder. But the new humility makes a man doubtful about his aims, which will make him stop working altogether." Today's articulate protest serves to center attention upon humanism of another kind, the Christian humanism which has been a part of western man's inheritance and a legacy almost as precious as any Tllc Course uj Christiart Humanis7tt 2 3 that has come to him from the past, If history is, as Edward Hallett Can, the distinguished Cambridge historian, suggests, an unending dialogue between the present and the past, then the sub- ject of Christian humanism should be a proper topic of conversation for man today.3 "Where I belong, and what I am h n g for," says Karl Jaspers, "I first learned in the mirror of history." History can help place the present into perspective, even though the problem of history as a whole is unanswerable within its own perspective. The classic period of Christian humanism was indisputably also the classic age of Protestantism, the Renaissance and Reformation era. Within the larger problem of the relation of the Renaissance and Reformation lies the lesser problem of the relation of human- ism to the religious reformation. The polar positions on the lar er questions are represented in the grandest manner by Wilhe &, Dilthey, who saw the Reformation as the religious expression of the Renaissance in an ascending line from mysticism to idealism, and by Ernest Troeltsch, who saw the Reformation as medieval in nature, a religious throw-back, running counter to the modernizing thrust of the Renaissance. This position, familiar to contemporaries more through the writin s of religious publicists such as Reinhold Nie- buhr, has the doubfe disadvantage of doing an injustice to both the Renaissance and the Reformation. The Renaissance according to this reading of history is criticized for emphasizing the aesthetic over the ethical, the intellectual scientia over the religious sapientiu, the individual over the community, international rootless wandering over the welfare of the fatherland. The Renaissance raised the hybris of civilization to a new and absurd height so that man is to- day suffering from the dizziness of his belated realization that he has been left dangling on an unsupported perch.' The Reformation is depicted as producing a dogmatic authoritarianism no less rigid than that against which it raised a protest and as establishing an essential dualism between religion and culture as well as between morality and public life.5 An adequate understanding of the na- ture of Renaissance humanism and of its relation to the Reformation is the prerequisite to a more historical and less subjective basis for the interpretation of these two great movements. In the study of Renaissance humanism after the excesses of the Burckhardtian enthusiasts and the overzealous revisionists, the consolidation of opinion based on more precise technical history has been marked by greater modesty in generalizin , more flexibility in formulations, a fuller recognition of the comp f exities of the movement, and bv a greater concreteness with a renewed stress on the importance of the sources and an increased specificity of reference, reflected in sober biography and monographic studies.= M7hile it remains true that no historian enjoys a complete Vmaussetzrrrzgslosigkeit, the Rankean ideal of objectivity, a greater consensus of scholarly opinion has been achieved than heretofore. The fact that there was not one, but two or more phases in Italian humanism has received recognition. Beyond the literaq-philologi- cal humanism of Petrarch and his kind, there were also specifically civic humanists such as Leonardo Bnmi, and the highly meta- physical humanists such as the Platonist Ficino. Paul Oskar Kris- teller has clarified the picture immensely by pointing out that in the technical sense of the word the humanist was a professional rhetori- cian, a teacher oE the ars humanior, or a city secretary such as Salu- tati, doing the public papers in a classical form. Paul Joachimsen further defined humanism as an intellectual movement, primarily literary and philological in nature which was rooted in the love of and desire for the rebirth of classical antiquity. In the rhetorical tradition humanists emphasized moral philosophy and history as philosophy teaching by example, in the classical pragmatic mode. Certain1 a greater emphasis on individualism or subjectivity was one aspect o i humanism. Emerging from the objective order of the me- dieval period it was necessary for man to order things anew on the basis of his individual experience, an orderin which to a degree resulted in what Hugo Friedrich has dexri%ed as a moralistic phenomenology. But scholars now recognize not only the complexity of the movement as a whole, but its multifaceted nature in the case of single men. Thus Petrarch no longer appears as the first modern man pure and simple, but as an intellectual given as much to ex- quisite moments of melanchol (accidia, akedeiu), not as Kloster- kra~zkheit, but in the Aristote E 'an sense of the sadness and sloth into which the elite of mind sink when in spite of or because of great learning the will is paralyzed. He elevated it to a philosophi- cal predicament, an element in the pursuit of wisdom.' Petrarch was a highly complicated individual tom between traditional and novel values, drawn in large part from the classical world, so that his malaise de I'univers was the price paid for broader horizons. To be sure, Renaissance humanism did stress the dignity of Inan with new fervor, and the learned man appears already in Boccaccio's Genealogia deorum as the second Prometheus who re- creates out of natural man civil man notable for morals, knowledge, and virtue. Ficino in his Theologia PIatonica hails man not as "the servants, but as the rivals of nature." Alberti can declare that "for- tune places under a yoke only him who submits to her." Vives in his Fabula de homine asserts that man determines his rank through his action and thought. But the two most celebrated documents of Renaissance anthro¢rism are Giannozzo Manetti's De dignitate et excelkntia hominis and Pico della Mirandola's De dinnitate ho- z i n s Manetti, who once announced to King ~l~honso-of Naples that the whole duty of man is intellegere et agere, was evidently writ- ing with Innocent Ill's De contemptu mundi as a target piece. From the pyramids to the dome of Brunelleschi mankind has erected an avenue of unforgettable witnesses to human achievement in its fa- mous artists, rhetoricians, poets, historians, jurists, philologists, doctors, and astrologers of all ages. In his own words: The genius of man is such, that all these things, after that first new and rude creation of the world, seem to have been The Course of Christian Huma~zism 2 5 discovered and corn leted and perfected by us with a certain unique and extraorlinary acumen of the human mind. For things which are perceived are ours, that is, are human things since they have been made by men, all houses, all towns, all cities, in short, all edifices on earth, which certainly are so great and such that they ought rightly to be considered the work of angels rather than of men, on account of this great excellence of theirs. Ours are the pictures, ours the sculp- tures, ours are the arts, ours the sciences. Even better known and more widely circulated was Pico's De digni- taie hominis, a cultural document so celebrated as to make citation unnecessary. But precisely the case of Pico calls for a closer in- vestigation. ' Pico as the Wunderkind of Italian humanism, born of a good family, precocious, aIert and brash, attracted attention with his nine hundred propositions which he was ready to debate with all challengers, and pay their way to the encounter besides. There was more to him than bluster, however, for he was open to new ideas, creative and gifted with what Whitehead has called "the in- stinct of combinations." Not the least of his novel interests was his discovery of the Jewish CabaIa, an interest which he transmitted to Reuchlin and the North. Far from being entirely anthropocentric in his orientation, however, Pico was highly religious in personal conviction and very scholastic and traditional even with his Platonic interests. In his famous letter to Ermolao Barbaro, June 5, 1485, he denied that his long years of study in scholastic philosophy urere wasted. He was, with Valla, Ficino, and Baptista Mantuanus, one of the most popular Italian humanists in the North. He intended his master work to be a harmony of Plato and Aristotle, a theme which ~vould have established his reputation even further in the dias ra of humanism. As a religious young man, for he never l ivego be old, he confessed, "I believe that the world cruciiied Jesus for my sake." He moved from a Renaissance absorption of Agape into Eros to a predominantly Agape conception of love in his ma- ture years, as can be seen from his Commentary on PsaZm Sixtee71 or his Exposition of the Lord's P ~ a y e r . ~ Shortly before his death Savonarola dressed him in the robe and hood of a Dominican, so that he died with benefit of clergy. Pico may be taken as a symbol for the double em hasis run- ning all through the Italian Renaissance of the great &gnity and the great misew of man. A few who lived through the nadir of Italian political fortunes were more impressed with man's limitations and unhappy condition. The historian Guicciardini who wondered. when he viewed the vicissitudes of human existence, that he could see a good year or an old man. Machiavelli, of course, who in The Discourses could write: '7Vhoerer desires to found a state and give it laws must start with assuming that all men are bad and ever ready to display their vicious nature." The ambivalence in the ~ + w of man is nowhere expressed with such literary force and elegance as in the late Renaissance man Shakespeare, whose man is noble in reason, infinite in faculty, in form and moving express and ad- mirable, in action like an angel, in apprehension like a god, and yet this same man is the quintessence of dust. In Henry VIII, sc. 2 , the state of man is depicted in such a way that when his blushing honors are thick upon him, comes a killing frost so that "when he thinks, good easy man, full surely his greatness is a-ripening, [it] nips his root, and then he falls." The classical world had stressed the double aspect of being, dignity and misery, so that the neo-classical world of the Renaissance could easily echo such sentiments. But Christian antiquity and the medieval past had stressed the paradox of the human condition as well. Lactantius' De qp$cio dei, Origen's Commentary on Genesis, Grego Nazianzen, Clement of Alexandria, Gregory of Nyssa, all smsse? the dignity and educability of man. No passage in patristic letters is so striking as Nemesius of Emesa's encomium on man at the end of the first chapter of his De natura hominis, where he writes: Who can fittingly admire the dignity of man, who joins in him- self the mortal and immortal, the rational and irrational; who bears in his own nature the image of the whole creation (and for this reason is called a microcosm or little world); who is God's special care and for whose sake God made all things and Himself became man? . . . I h o can enumerate the ex- cellence and ornaments of the nature of man? He crosses the seas, he penetrates the heavens with the eye of the mind, he understands the course of the stars and their intervals and sizes; . . . no science, art, or doctrine escapes his penetra- tion; . . . he forsees the future; he rules over all, he dominates all, enjoys all; speaks with angels and with God; commands at his pleasure all other creatures; subjugates the demons; earnedly investi ates the natural world and the essence of L God, becomes a ouse and temple of God and achieves all this by piety and virtue." The stress especially in the Western fathers on suffering, death, and cross is sufficiently well known. But also medieval theology with its ascetic, otherworld lugubrious emphases on the contempt of the world and brevity of t f e , stressed the dignity of man. The words spoken during the preparation of the cup for the mass stressed the dignity of human substance, marvellously created and more won- drously reformed. From St. Augustine's reference to man as "opus eius tan1 magnum et admirable" to St. Bernard's description of man as "celsa creatura in capacitate majestatis" there are recurring refer- ences to man's lofty position. Bernard even did a chapter entitled De dignitate Iiominis, followed albeit by one on the misery of man. The whole tradition of classical and Christian antiquity transmitted in part by the Middle Ages and renewed in art by the Renaissance was ambivalent in its depiction of man. & ere were variations in emphases, but not a total loss of one aspect or capitulation to the The Course of Christimt Humanisnr 27 other. The Christian humanists of the North which preceded and entered into the religious Reformation represented this complicated amalgam of motives in its anthropology and religious presupposi- tions. The Christian humanism of the North reflected the pattern of development familiar from the Italian Renaissance. A literary- philological phase was in many areas followed by a Platonic meta- physical phase. To a greater extent than has heretofore been realized humanism also invaded the courts and chancelleries of the princes as well as the councils of the city-states of the North and played a formative role through Roman law and classical letters. It is possible in the case of each of the major countries of the North to distinguish three generations of humanists, a pioneering genera- tion, exhausting much of its energy in the acquisition of new classical learning and confronting some of the normative issues raised by the classical world-view, a second generation marking the highest achievement of renowned humanists, and a third and younger generation setting out upon a course of action to change that society which their elders merely criticized. Thus in England the pioneers in classical studies such as Grocyn and Linacre were followed by the high generation of Oxford reformers, More, Colet, and Erasmus, who, in turn, were superseded by the young activists such as Starkey and Morison, who became founders of Tudor policy in statecraft, or Tyndale, Roger Ascham, and others who became leaders in the religious reform movement.ll In France the early ioneers like Gaguin were followed by the high generation of French Emanism such as Bud6 and Lefhvre d'Etaples. Then came the young humanists, such as Jean Calvin, who were no longer satis- fied with criticism, but, following upon the impetus of conversion in many cases, were bent upon changing the world. The special vocation which this generation felt can be detected in Guillaume Farrel's account of his dramatic interview with the aged Lefhvre. 'That pious old man, Jacques Faber, whom you know," wrote Farel, "having taken my hand there forty years ago, said to me: it is neces- sary for the world to be changed and you will see it."la In German humanism, such pioneers as Rudolph Agricola were followed by such great names as Mutian, Reuchlin, Celtis, Pirck- heimer, Wimphehg, Erasmus, and Peutinger. The younger hu- manists of the third generation were impatient for change and became the men who, with Luther, made the Reformation. Bernd MoelIer of Heidelberg University goes so far as to assert that without the young humanists the Reformation might not have succeeded at aIl.l3 IVithout the humanists, he says with epigrammatic force, there might have been no Reformation. This insight into the course of Christian humanism alters substantially the picture left behind by Ernst Troeltsch of the basic antagonism of the humanists to the Reformation, based upon a study of such major figures of the older generation such as Zasius, Crotus Rubeanus, or Erasmus. With the exception of luther himself, the leaders of the Reformation in the German cultural area moved from humanism into the Reformation. Major figures such as Zwingli, Melanchthon, Oecolampadius. Bucer, or Vadian come immediately to mind." Scholarship has come in- creasingly to appreciate the importance of humanist learning also in the case of the radical reformers, Anabaptist leaders such as Balthasar Hubmaier, or the evangelical rationalists or spiritualists such as Servetus or Sebastian Franck.15 But the historian must not stay w i d the major figures, leaping from peak to peak, for like the alpinist, he must traverse also the valleys and lesser plateaus or foothills between the heights. A host of less well known men were Christian humanists in their formative years and became local lead- ers of the evangelical movement. Hubmaier once commented that almost all the learned were Lutherans.16 At the risk of dull cata- loguing, a list of lesser men who fall into this pattern might prove to be at least statistically reassuring Johann Forster, a favorite pupil of Reuchlin, worked with Luther as a Hebraist in translating the Scriptures and was later a close friend of Melanchthon. Kas- par Peucer, mathematician and astronomer, was a son-in-law of Melanchthon and the electoral physician. Paul Eber as a philolo e, historian, and natural scientist, became a student and frien a of Melanchthon. Friedrich Taubmann became professor of poetry at IVittenberg. The list might be extended almost indefinitely to include Johannes Aesticampianus, teacher of Hutten, who ended his days in Wittenberg, Franz Fritz (Irenicus), Heinrich von Ep- pendorf, Johann Dolsch, Justus Jonas, Georg Spalatin, Bartholo- maeus Bernhardi, Hieronymus Schurff, or Johannes Zwick, the reformer of Constance and many others." Luther's own relation to Christian humanism has been con- sidered in scholarly literature from many aspects. A brief summary of the current consensus must here suffice to place him into perspec- tive. It is now quite generally agreed that prior to his Wittenberg career, Luther had only very tenuous connections with humanism. Though the Erfurt school exercized little influence upon him di- rectly, he developed an attraction to the Favorite disci lines of the humanists in inverse proportion to his growing disdain f or scholastic culture. Influenced by Lang, Rfelanchthon, and others Luther be- came an advocate of the learned languages, of history, rhetoric. moral philosophy, mathematics, and those studies most typical of the humanist educational emphasi~.'~ His letter to Lang, March 2 1, 1 3 1 8, is representative: Our university is making progress. We may shortly ex- pect to have lectures in two, yes, in three languages, and be- yond that to receive lectures on Pliny, mathematics, Quintilian, and other outstanding lectures. But we shall throw overboard those on Petrus Hispanus, Tartaretus, and Aristotle. Luther personally led in the reform of Wittenberg University ac- cording to the humanist ideals of curriculum and method.I9 Luther viewed the entire humanist movement, especiallv the renaissance The Course of Christian Humanism 29 of the classical languages, as a John the Baptist precedin the ad- vent of the gospel. That he saw the utility of individual ckciplines in the same light is suggested by such statements as that through logic and rhetoric "people are wonderfull fitted for grasping sacred truths."20 There is an intriguing par a6 el emphasis between the humanists' rediscovery of man as m n logon ehon and their promo- tion of the rhetorical tradition and Luther's stress upon the verburn evangelii vocale and his view of the church as a M~ndhaus.~ ' Within the larger concept of humanism the question of the human being is determinative. AU too often Luther has sde red at the hands of friend and foe alike because his statements upon human reason have not been set into context. Just as his views on the bondage of the will have more often than not been misunder- stood, because it is not realized that they had reference to the ques- tion within a soteriological context, so also Luther's disparaging references to human reason have been turned against him in depict- ing him as an antirationalist, if not an anti-intellectual. Luther undoubtedly has himself to thank for part of the confusion, for just as in his diatribe against Erasrnus he overextended himself in the effort at complete annihilation of the opposition and adduced refer- ences to Moira which suggested absolute metaphysical determinism, so also in his assaults on arrogant reason invading the province of God's counsels, his careless expressions make him vulnerable to mis- understanding. With the realm of human thought and learning in mind Luther had the highest regard for human reason which even after the fall of man is still the greatest creation of God, itself a kind of god a pointed to rule the world. Althoufi the disputations have a lirnite 4' value as sources for Luther's own thought, since they were not always composed by Luther himself, were not always intended to represent his opinion, but rather to set up questions for debate, and are not consistently authentic as to text, Luther's famous Dis- putntio de homine in which he praises the power of reason in the natural realm is a true reflection of his position.a2 Reason has an important ins tmenta l function rather than a magisterial function in the realm of faith and serves the regenerate man in ordering his life according to the best knowledge of divine natural law. Rlan is to Luther as to the humanists a "microcosm, or little world in himself: for he understands the heavens, the earth, and the whole creation." The critical point of Luther's divergence from humanism has to do with man's ability to please God or come to faith in Christ through his natural abilities. At this point Luther's Pauline em- hasis upon sin and grace distinguishes him from the synergism of Eumanist moral philosophy which harmonized so easily with the synergism of medieval theology. For Luther the all important mat- ter of faith was of such a nature that man "cannot bv his own rea- son or strength believe on Jesus Christ his Lord or come to him." But having built his mighty fortress upon the rock of God's grace, Luther does not draw away from the life of letters and of culture, but rather confirms it. More a conversionist than a dualist. he saw the realm of culture itself as an area in which the regenerate man works for that which is highest and best in a world in which God and man are co-owners and cooperators. Wilhelm Dilthey, the renowned intellectual historian, has called this concept "one of the greatest organizing thoughts a man has ever had." Also the realm of culture is for Luther a negotium cum Deo. The historical continuity of the learned tradition in Lutheran lands was, then, a result of design and effort rather than an acci- dental coexistence of two incompatible movements. The new evan- gelical emphasis not on1 appealed to the younger generation in i t . own terms, but provide d a commission for the serious appreciation and determined promotion of culture, especially the humanist ideali- zation of classical and Christian antiqui . While Ernst Troeltsch, and with him the Niebuhr brothers an a many other contemporary writers, are correct in observing how many of the older humanists turned from the Reformation back to the old church, the fact that the youn humanists were the mainstay or carriers of the Reforma- tion nee 8 s reem hasis.= If during the Renaissance period the claims to a knowgdge of the three classical languages, the linguistic tiara of Latin, Greek, and Hebrew, were usually rhetorical, during the course of the sixteenth century such a knowledge could ven often be assumed on the part of educated men. In Gennany itself the actual achievements of the Neo-Latin poets were from a literarv point of view superior to the lyrics of those humanist poets such as Celtis who lived on the eve of the Reformation. Among the Lutheran poets deserving of greater attention than they have re- ceived are Eobanus Hessus, Enricius Cordus, Jacobus Micyllus, Joachim Camerarius, Georgius Sabinus, Johannes Stigel, Geor 'us I Fabricius, Adam Siber, and preeminently Petrus Lotichius Secun us. In Whittenberg itself an interesting experiment was undertaken to roduce an evangelical Latin poetry freed from Popish blemishes andl based upon Christian antiquity. These almost forgotten cul- tural heroes deserve to be recalled with reverence, for though they fell short of their own mark and have been all but covered over by more dramatic historical developments in their own century, they res nded to the commission to develop the highest human culture an 8" the best in humane letters as the noblest human calling. The more obvious effects of Christian humanism within the life of the church have frequently been noted. The leadership given to the ecumenical emphasis on both the Protestant and the Catholic sides were important for the attempts at unity and agree- ment, as in the colloquies of Worms and Regensburg in 1540 and I 54 1. P4 The effect of Christian humanism upon Melanchthon's ecclesiology and his dogmatic deviations in both their positive and negative aspects have frequently been noted.25 A more subtle in- stance of humanist influence upon a less subtle person may be more instructive for purposes of illustration. Johannes Bugenhagen is as a rule not explored in depth, because he is considered to be a practical administrative type, essentially, uninteresting so far as The Course of Christiun Humunismr 3 1 his own creative thought is concerned. But in this respect he may be representative of a larger body of clergymen who made the Reformation in the trenches rather than in the university's ivory towers. Though the sources are inade ate for a study of Bugen- hagen's early intellectual life, every in g 'cation is that his theology was decidedly colored by Erasmian humanism. The earliest evi- dences point to an interest in combining with classical learning a practical piety of an Erasmian sort. In reply to a letter of Bugen- hagen the German humanist Murmellius recommended as worth- while reading among the modem theologians such humanist authors as Pico, Lefivre, Bouillus, Reuchlin, and E r a ~ r n u s . ~ ~ Bugenhagen's history, the Pomerania, which he wrote in 1 5 18 was in many re- spects a typical humanist production. Then came his conversion to the evangelical position, but throughout his life, whenever he was not in direct contact with Luther and immediately dependent upon him, he persistentIy reverted to a moralistic Christianity not far removed from the philosophia Christi of Erasmus. He seemed to be blissfully oblivious of the radical Copernican revolution in theology that Luther had introduced. The only emotional passage in the grand manner reflecting the pathos of the age seems to have been that which has most often been cited in history, the famous lines in Luther's funeral oration in which he compared the reformer with the angel of the apocalypse. Christian humanism of the Renaissance period, then, ran a course of fateful consequences in the history of the church. Draw- ing heavily on the patristic heritage for substance as well as prece- dents, it sought to absorb and subsume classical norms into and beneath Christian categories. The resulting amalgam had many points in common with evangelical Christianity. Man's original claim to distinction rests on his position as the highest natural be- ing within the ordo creationis. Man's second claim to possess the highest significance within the total order of things rests upon the incarnation, the historical revelation of the deus humanatus. In emphasizing that each man is the object of God's forgiving love, the evangelical and the Christian humanist view of man proved to be more appreciative of mankind as a whole than the elitist stress of the less Christian humanists who saw the learned man as ille rir doctus who is the second Prometheus called to raise natural man to true manhood. Though the evangelical emphasis upon the anti- thesis of law and gospel, radical sin and complete grace, set it apart from Christian humanism, the basic foundation of the di ity and worth of man as the object of God's concern in the act o r' creation and the event of restoration was common to both movements. The restoration or redemption was to the evan elicals not onlv man's highest claim to worth, but the onlv groun s upon which man can stand in the presence of God. B There has in the humanist tradition always been the danger of absolutizing culture as the supreme value. Reuchlin's theatrical exclamation, "Truth I worship as God" naturally brings to mind Pascal's admonition, "Truth must not be your idol." In today's world pure religion is in danger of being swamped with worldly cul- ture. The proper reflex, however, must not be a manichaeistic or atavistic denigration of all that is good in human culture, but rather a determined effort to place faith and learning, Christ and culture in the right, that is to say, in a God-pleasing relationship to each other. "Whatever has been well said belongs to us Christians," was the positive posture of the early father Justin, who died a martyr's death. For Luther also the world of culture belonged to the "sphere of faith's works." If in this age of ours the idols are tottering, as Karl Barth asserts, and the foundations of modem secular culture are shaken, then the opportunity to rebuild a new culture on more solid foundations is the challenge of the century. "Christianity," mote Francis de Sales in his devotional classic Introduction to the Devout Life, "is intended to sanctify the world and not to abolish the world." In the great effort required by the task before them all Christians are ahes. The kingdom, Luther once remarked, is like a besieged city. Each man has his part of the wall to defend and there he stands all alone. But nothing prevents us from calling encouragement to one another. FOOTNOTES 1. For a sample of rep-tative voices, see Kenneth Keniston, "Alienation and the Decline of Utopia," American Scholar, XXIX, No. 2 (Spring, 1960); J. G. Bennett, The Crisis in Human Affairs (London, 1948); Paul Hutchinson, The New Ordeal of Christianity (New York, 1957); Joseph Krutch, The Measure o f Mun: on freedom, human values, sur- vival, and the modern temper (Indianapolis, 1954); Crane Brinton, The Fate of Man (New York, 1961), containing a number of selections very much on this point. 2. G. K. Chesterton, Orthodory (London, 1908), pp. 53f. 3. Edward Hallet Carr, What is History? (New York, 1962), p. 35. A few titles representative of the literature available on the general sub ject of Christian humanism are the following: Francois Hermans, Histoire Doctrinale & Z'Humanisme C h r a n , 4 vols. (Paris, 1948); R. R. Bolgar, The Classical Heritage and its Beneficiaries (Cambridge, 1954); Herbert Riissel, Gestrrlt eines christlichen Humanismus Amster- dam, 1940); H. Sellmair, Humanitus Christiuna-Geschic 6 te des christlichen Humanismus (Munich, n.d.); Robert McAfee Brown, The Spirit o f Protestuntism (New York, 1961), chapter 15, 'Trotestantisrn and Culture." 4. Herbert Weisinger, "The Attack on the Renaissance in Theology Today," Studies in the Renaissance, I1 (1955), 176-189. 5. Richard Niebuhr's Christ and Culture (London, 1952), classijies Luther too decisively as a dualist without doing justice to his conversionist emphasis. Two recent volumes which do violence to the interpretation of the Reformation baause of an exaggerated emphasis on its medieval dogmatic nature are Friedrich Heer, Die dritte &aft (Frankfort, 1959) and H. A. Enno Van Gelder, The TWO ReformcrEions in the 16th Century (The Hague, 1961), both in an amateurish way championing Christian humanism as a "third force." 6. For an excellent brief survey, see William J. Bouwsma, The Interpre- tation of Renuissance Humanism (Washington, D.C., 1959), together with the major work of Wallace K. Ferguson, The Renaissance in His- torical Thought (Boston, 1948). The Course of Christian Humanimt 33 While Siegfried Wend, "Petrarch's Accidia," Studies in the Renais- sance, VIII ( 196 1 ), 36-48, correctly argues against interpreting Petrarch's accidia tn the medieval ascetic sense, he is not entirely cor- rect in seeing it as a factor in the pursuit of secular wisdom, if the im lication of secular is tbis-worldly and non-religious. The Secretum an8 the De Vita Solitaria, for example, combine secular with deep lying religious motives. August Buck, "Die Rangst~llung des Menschen in der Renaissance; dignitas et miserin hominis, Archiv fiir Kulturgeschichte, XLII <1960), 61-75. See also August Buck, "Das Problem des christlichen Human- ismus in der italienischen Renaissance," Soaklitas Erasmiana, I, 11 Valore Universale Dell' Umanesimo (Naples, 1949), pp. 181ff. Michael Seidl- maver, "Religikthische Probleme des Italienischen Huma+mus," ~ebzanisch-~omanische Monatsschrift, VIII ( 19 58), 105-126, lncludes inter alia a discussion of the humanist attempt from Petrarch on to convert the studia humanitutis into a studin divinitatis. The authentic wisdom, sapientia, derives its authority from Christian revelation, but it in turn commends the revelation. John Warwick Montgomery, 'Tros and Agape in the Thought of Giw vanni Pico della Mirandola," Concordia Theological Monthly, XXXII (Dec., 1961). 733-746. hligne, Patrobgia Graeca, XL, 532G533B, cited from Eugene F. Rice, "The Humanist Idea of Christian Antiquity: Lefkme d' Etaples and his Circle," Studies in the Renaissance, IX (1962), 138. See Lawrence Ryan, Roger Aschurn (Stanford, 1963), depicting Ascham as a humanist reformer. Carl Meyer, Elizabeth I and the Religious Settlement of 1559 (St. Louis, 1960), pp. 84-85, comments on the ages and past of the men raised to episcopal dignity in the Elizabethan reform. ComitC Farel, Guilhume Farel, 1489-1565 (Neuchatel and Paris, 1930), pp. 103-1 04, taken from J. H. Hottinger, Historia ecclesiastics N w i Testamenti (Tiguri, 1665). The best key to Farel's thought is his Le Sum~nnire et briefve declaration d'aulnms limx fort necessaries a ung chnscun chrestien pour mettre so con nee en dieu et ayder son prochain (Turin 1525). Though not a earned humanist, Farel re- flected the spirit of the younger generation. f" Bernd Moeller, "Die deutschen Humanisten und die Anfbge der Reformation," Zeitschrift fiir Rirchengeschichte, LXX (1 959), 47-6 1. A masterful study of this transition in a particular humanist-reformer is the great Swiss historian Werner N S s detailed biography of Vadian, lradian und seine Stadt S t . Gallen, 2 vols. (St. Gallen, 1944, 1957). See especially vol. 11, pp. 151-180: 'Yadians Durchbruch zur reforma- torischen Lehre." On this subject see the large work of George H. Williams, The Radical Refonnation (Philadelphia, 1962). Robert Rreider, "Anabaptism and Humanism. An Inquiry into the Relationship of Humanism to the Evangelical Anabaptists," Mennonite Quarterly Review, XXYI (1952). 123-141, indicates the direction which this line of research is taking. Kreider is careful to point up the differences, however, which are indicated by the line, "the humanist was a scholar, the Anabaptist was a disciple." See other such representative studies as Thor Hall, 'T~ossi- bihties of Erasmian Influence on Denck and Hubmaier in their Views of the Freedom of the Will," Mennonite Quarterly Review, XXXV (1961), 149-170; Guy F. Hershberger, ed., The Recwery of the Ana- baptist Vision (Scottsdde, 1957); John H. Yoder, "Balthasar Hubmaier and the Beginnings of Swiss habaptism: Mennonite Quarterly Review, XXWI (1959), 5-17; Heinold Fast, 'The Dependance of the First Anabaptists on Luther, Erasmus, and Zwingli," Mennonite Quarterly R m b , XIIX (1956), 104-1 19; or Robert Friedmann, "Recent Inter- pretations of Anabaptism," Church History, XXIV (1955), 132-151; Paul Peachy, "Social Background and Social Philosophy of the Swiss Anabaptists, 1525-1 540," Mennonite Quurterly Review, XXVIII (1954), 102-127. Torsten Bergten, BaWuzrar Hubnrrrier (Kassel, 1961). p. 100. Two biographies of lesser k e s which may serve as models of what is yet to be done on a gryt many like them are Bernd Moeller, Johmna Zopick und die Refmmzfam in Konsfunz (Giitersloh, 1961) and Inngard Hoess, Georg Sp&n (1484-1545). Ein Leben in der Zeit &s H u w - s - mus und der Refomation (Weimar, 1956). Walter G. Tillmamu, The World and Men Around Luther (Minneapolis, 1959). p . 119-166, offers brief sketches of the larger circle around Luther anflaymen in- cluding the printers, many early associated with humanism. For Luther's theology of history, see Heinrich Bornkamm, Lurher's World of Thought (St. Louis, 1958), pp. 195-217: "God and History"; Hans Walter Krumwiede, Gluube und Geschichte in der Theologie Luthers (Giittingen, 1952); Heinz Zahrnt, Luther deutet Geschichte t Munich, 1952); Hans Pflanz, Geschichte und Eschatologie bei Luther Stuttgart, 1939). The study of Walther Koehler on Luther's views of church histoxy has recently been supplemented by a new monograph, John M. Headley, Luther's View of Church History (New Haven, 1963), in which Headley argues that Luther's ideas on church history were neither humanistic nor Augustinian, but biblical throughout, a contrast which does not stand out very sharply, however, when the biblical in- gredient in humanist and Augustinian thought is given its just due. Kurt Aland, ''Die Theologische Fakultat Wittenberg und ihre Stellung im Gesarntzusammenhang der hucorea w b d des 16. Jah+underts," 450 Jahre Martin Luther Universitiit Halle-Wittenberg. I (Wlttenberg, 1952). 155-237, demonstrates that the university reform movement was a result of Luther's personal initiative. For Luther's influence on various levels of education, see the h e resentation by Harold J. Grimm, ''Luther and Education," Luther ani'cu~ture (Decorah, 1960), pp. 73- 144. Weimar Ausgabe, Tischreden 2, No. 2 199a. See Peter Sandstrom, Luther's Sense of Himself as an Irtterpreter of the Word to the World (Amherst, Mass., 1961). Weimar Ausgahe, 391, 175-180; Luther's Works, American Edition, XXXIV (Philadelphia, 1960). 137. Four recent studies of the role of reason in Luther's thought which merit special citation and commenda- tion are Bernard Lohse, Rntio und Fides. Eine Untersuchung iiber die ratio in der Theologie Luthers (Giittingen, 1958); Lohse, "Luthers Antwont in Worms," Luther. Mitteilungen der Luthergesellschaft ( 1958), No. 3, 124-1 34; Brian Gerrish, Grace and Reason; A S t d y iin the Theology of Luther (Oxford, 1962); and Robert H. Fixher, "A Reasonable Luther," Reformation Studies, Franklin H. Littell, ed., (Rich- mond. Va., 1962). p . 30-45. The very bright an8 suggestive little volume by a religious sociologist and Andicist, Herbert Schoffler. Die Refmmation (Frankfurt, 1936), deservesto be better known than is the case. It has been reprinted as part of a new volume, Wirkungen der Reformation (Frankfurt, 1960), pp. 105-180. Schijffler documents the intriguing fact that most of Luther's early followers and the stalwarts of the Reformation were thirty rears of age or under and most of his opponents, except for Eck. were o der and in most cases much older than Luther. See, for example, Robert Stupperich, Der Humanismus und die Wieder- vereinigung der Konfessionen (Leipzig, M . Heinsius, 1936). Schriften des Vereins fiir Reformations eschichte. Jahrg. 53, Heft 2, Nr. 160. To cite merely one instance on dte Catholic side, the biography by Richard M. Douglas, Jacopo Sadoleto 1477-1547; Humanist and Reformer (Cambridge. Mass., 1959) describes the importance of Christian humanism in the spiritual makeup of this reasonably irenic, if lethargic churchman. The Course of Christian Humanisl~z 3 5 25. The new edition of Melanchthon's work edited by Richard Niirn-1 offers an impressive volume of Melanchthon's purely humanistic writ- inas, Mehchthons Wmke. 111. Humanistisehe Schriften (Giiterloh, . . 19Gii). 26. 0. Vogt, ed., Dr. Johmtnes Bugenhagens Bkfwechsel (Stettin, 1888), pp. 309-310. See Hans Eger, "Bugenhagens Weg zu Luther." Motzcrts- bliitter der Ge$elLrch& fiir pommersche Geschichte und Altertumskun&, XLM (1935). 123-133. I am grateful to a student of mine, Mrs. Virginia DeMarce, for drawing this article to my attention.