The wisdom and biblical teaching of the early Lutheran Church has been locked away in German and Latin for centuries. A key to this treasure chest, Lives & Writings of the Great Fathers of the Lutheran Church is a handbook that introduces the chief confessional Lutheran theologians from the era of Lutheran Orthodoxy (1580–1700).
Short biographical sketches reveal the little-known life stories of these pastors and theologians, while selections of many of their best writings are presented in first-time English translations. Each chapter also lists all English translations of their work, along with their greatest writings in the original languages.
“This volume is offered as a means for familiarizing readers with a too-often neglected, if not maligned, period in the history of God’s people and perhaps also to entice some into moving into the deeper waters just described. Taking these fellow believers as conversation partners cannot help but deepen and expand our knowledge of how the Christian faith has come to us as we experience it in our time.”
—Introduction excerpt by Robert Kolb, professor emeritus of systematic theology at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis
“Lives and Writings of the Great Fathers of the Lutheran Church provides an excellent and much-needed introduction to the major writers of Lutheran Orthodoxy. This is the era in which the theology of the Reformation was finely tuned and developed to meet the challenges of the early modern era, not only in polemics, but also in biblical exegesis and philosophy. The scholars who produced this volume are expert and insightful, and the format of the volume serves well to introduce the Lutheran orthodox and to guide readers into the significant aspects of their thought. A necessary volume for anyone interested in either Lutheran theology or this era in intellectual history.”
—Richard A. Muller, Senior Fellow, Junius Institute for Digital Reformation Research, P.J. Zondervan Professor of Historical Theology, Emeritus, Calvin Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, MI
“This work presents brief portraits of the most important figures of Lutheran orthodoxy. Attentive to recent scholarly insights, a careful introduction provides a helpful overview of the movement. Individual chapters briefly introduce both known and relatively unknown figures. Rejecting an image of Lutheran orthodoxy focused primarily on academic theology, this work shows the engagement of its leaders in many facets of church life: preaching, teaching, pastoral care, hymnody, etc. Through cogent biographies and translations of short pieces, the reader experiences living, breathing expressions of Christian faith and ministry. This work will be particularly helpful to those who are studying this period for the first time.”
—Mary Jane Haemig, Professor of Church History, Luther Seminary, St. Paul, MN
About the Editor
Timothy R. Schmeling is assistant professor of theology and history at Bethany Lutheran College, Mankato, MN.