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Abstract

This dissertation argues that Martin Luther provides a framework for contemplating evil in its diverse manifestations, offers a profound account of faith in the goodness of God, and also affirms and rejoices in the multiplicity of values in creation. Luther’s ability to hold these positions in tension depends on the dialectical interrelationship between three concepts: first, a new concept of faith grounded in the promise of God; second, a theological distinction between creation and justification in which creation maintains its own integrity against distinctively Christian claims about justification; third, a concept of sin and evil based on both the lived experience of evil and theological reflections on the depth of sin and the hiddenness of God. The interplay of these three concepts allows Luther to confront the horrors of evil while maintaining a profound faith in God’s goodness, even beyond human comprehension. The dissertation traces how these positions develop and transform in Luther’s mature thought.

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