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Posts tagged "Karl Holl"

Yet Another “New Start”: Karl Holl on Luther’s Vigorous Reinterpretation of the Christian Life

The following is an excerpt from Karl Holl’s booklength essay, “What Did Luther Understand by Religion?” (trans. Meuser & Wietzke) in which Holl draws out Luther’s theology beginning with his history. As you’ll see, Holl maintains a refreshing emphasis on everyday heart-level matters, compared to other scholars of his caliber. Still, you might want to […]

The Great Dissolving (According to Karl Holl)

A few passages from Karl Holl’s classic “The Distinctive Elements in Christianity” (1937) that will never lose their urgency: Jesus preaches a God who wants to have dealings with sinful men, a God to whom he who has sunk deep stands, in certain circumstances, especially near. And Jesus does not do this from undue consideration […]

Karl Holl on Creativity, Heart, and ‘Situation-Ethics’

In The Reconstruction of Morality (1979 Augsburg edition, as cited last week), Holl brushes up fairly close to what later American theologians would call ‘situation-ethics’. What we came to know in the 1960s as ‘situation-ethics’, the effects of which are still with us, sounds a little like what Karl Holl is saying when he talks […]

Karl Holl on Morality as Instinctive

In his lecture on Luther’s earlier ethical views, which was published and then re-worked between 1919 and 1923, Karl Holl wrote in a way that today could be described as ‘luminous’. The American edition of that lecture, entitled The Reconstruction of Morality (Augsburg, 1979, translated by Fred W. Meuser and Walter R. Wietzke from the […]

Karl Holl on Morality as Awakening

This is the last quote in Mockingbird’s Holl series from The Distinctive Elements in Christianity (1937). Next week we will feature Holl‘s lecture and book, The Reconstruction of Morality.   Here the great one does away with distinctions between people. He also references by strange advanced knowledge a novel by James Gould Cozzens. Most important, Karl […]

Karl Holl on Spontaneity and ‘Situation-Ethics’

Karl Holl understood the morality of Jesus as a kind of spontaneous response to situations of need, which would not involve reflection but were of the immediate moment. He understood the Lord to have taught a non-systematic approach to moral actions that approaches what some ‘liberal’ theologians wished to call, later, ‘situation-ethics’. The key element […]

Karl Holl on Freedom and Exaction in the Moral Life

This quote for today, like last week’s, is from the 1925 essay translated as The Distinctive Elements in Christianity (T & T Clark, 1937). It is from page 21. Note here the insight, unique as we hear in that rare-to-hear item the Christian Gospel, that the dissolution of demand results in a new compunction. The […]

Mockingbird 101: Karl Holl on the Shape (and End) of Moral Effort

Karl Holl was a German theologian who lived from 1866-1926. He taught at Tuebingen, and of the great Twentieth-Century theologians, Holl is among those who stand the closest to the animating concerns of Mockingbird. This is because he writes about issues of grace and law, freedom and bondage, spontaneity and calculation, in a forceful manner […]

Slightly Expanded And Significantly More Organized Conference Book Table List

Here’s the full list plus a couple of relevant additions, linked to sites where they can be purchased. Although everything comes highly recommended, this is by no means meant to be a definitive list (stay tuned…). For the sake of newcomers we have divided the non-fiction into three itunes-inspired categories: Basics, Next Steps and Deep […]

Flight or Fight?

“Luther laid the greatest emphasis of all on the fact that everything must be done freely and joyfully. At the very beginning of he Psalms Lectures we find references to the free, the joyful, the spontaneous will. God desires no forced service. Whatever action does not arise spontaneously from within, but is forced for a specific purpose at a particular moment, will not last; it is no real act of the will, and has no value at all in the eyes of God. ”
Karl Holl The Reconstruction of Morality p. 34

"The Distinctive Elements in Christianity" by Karl Holl (1866-1926)

A few quotes from the late Rector of the University of Berlin: “I begin with what is best known and least doubtful, i.e. with that item in the teaching of Jesus which struck His kinsfolk most strongly, and which in fact must have excited the greatest surprise. Jesus is called by His opponents the ‘friend […]