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

Patrik Hagman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


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.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)
JournalPolitical Theology
Publication statusPublished - 2013
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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