Martin Luther's Theology of Beauty: Reconsidering the "Hiddenness" and "Alien Work" of God

Bibliographic Information: 

King, Jonathan. “Martin Luther’s Theology of Beauty: Reconsidering the “Hiddenness” and “Alien Work” of God.” Mid-America Journal of Theology 31 (2020): 27-56.


Mark Mattes observes in his recent book, Martin Luther's Theology of Beauty: A Reappraisal, that a great deal of scholarship has been given to Luther's appreciation for music, his view of worship and the liturgy, as well as his defense of icons and the visual arts. Yet how significant the theme of beauty is to Luther's theology is an area of Luther research that up until now has been almost completely overlooked. A key area of Luther's approach to beauty concerns Luther's “theology of the cross” in which Luther distinguishes God “hidden” or “absconded” from God revealed, and the “alien work” of God from that of his “proper work.” I offer a counterargument to Luther's approach to beauty. The aesthetic notion of fittingness plays a critical role in my argumentation.

Mid-America Journal of Theology
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