The End of Asceticism. Luther, Modernity and How Asceticism Stopped Making Sense.

A1 Journal article (refereed)

Internal Authors/Editors

Publication Details

List of Authors: Patrik Hagman
Publisher: Acumen Publishing Ltd
Publication year: 2013
Journal: Political Theology
Volume number: 14


In this article the author explores the process by which asceticism lost its central place in (Protestant) Christian tradition in early modernity by comparing the ascetic teaching of fifteenth-century Carthusian writer Nikolaus Kempf with the views of Martin Luther and Immanuel Kant. The article identifies a number of philosophical and theological changes that took place that made it impossible for modern thinkers to understand asceticism in its traditional sense, and instead led to interpretations of asceticism as “works righteousness” and superstition. These changes included a new emphasis on the freedom of the individual, which corresponded to a mistrust of moral authority, a new understanding of morality that de-emphasized moral education, and a new understanding of knowledge that disconnected knowledge and virtue.

Last updated on 2020-14-07 at 05:54