Thursday, February 26, 2009

"The Mystery of Luther"

Adapted from an English translation of Karl Adam's Roots of the Reformation.

For me, perhaps the whole book is troublesome due to being cursed with a pretty uneven job of editing in the original or maybe even more cursed with an uneven job of editing in this particular translation.

In either case it's otherwise a glib, easy and fascinating read, troublesome only to those readers who already know anything more than total zero about medieval history in general in the first place, and the role of the Catholic Church in that history in particular in the second place.

Here we have Adam writing - as - Freud, in around in 1947:

Page 31:

"In reaching a judgment on his development it is necessary to remember that Luther, doubtless very strictly brought up in his father's house at Eisleben, was early imbued with a strong central experience of fear, an extraordinary terror of sin and judgment.

"This alone [Oh, wow! :) ] accounts for the fact that when he was caught in a thunderstorm near Stotternheim and nearly struck by lightening he cried out: Help me, St. Anne! Help me, St. Anne! I will become a monk.

"He was overcome by a similar spiritual crisis [Oh, wow! #2 :) ] at his first Mass.

"It was so violent that he almost had to leave the celebration unfinished.

"It is also significant that once, when at the conventual mass the gospel of the man possessed by the devil was being read, he cried out: It is not I !

"And fell down like a dead man (Lortz, vol. i, p. 161, n.)."


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