Jesus, the Mirror of Historical Experience in Luther

…and they came and said to him, "Teacher, …is it lawful to pay taxes to the emperor or not?"…Jesus said to them, "Give to the emperor the things that are the emperor's, and to God the things that are God's."

Mark 12:14, 17

The massive re-ordering of ideas, institutions, and civil society that constituted the Reformation found its most powerful exponent in Martin Luther. Disgusted by the decadence of the Catholic Church, Luther called for reforms based upon the example of Jesus, the Mirror of the Eternal. Luther's understanding of how Jesus reflected the divine had profound implications for western culture and history. He believed that Christ's kingdom was not of this world and that, as such, there should be a separation of Church and State, of one's principles as a Christian and one's duties as a citizen. He also saw in Jesus the reflection of the Beautiful and believed that the arts should be used to praise God. These ideas exerted a powerful influence upon the Church and the culture in which it was embedded.
Canadian Heritage Information Network, The Provincial Museum of Alberta,

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