Studies in Christian Ethics 31 (4):408-421 (2018)

Michael Laffin
University of Aberdeen
In this paper, I consider Martin Luther’s treatment of the tower of Babel narrative in his late Lectures on Genesis in order to display the continuing fruitfulness of a close reading of his exposition of Scripture for the task of contemporary political theology. Luther addresses the themes of, politics, tyranny, totality, and language with a theological attunement instructive to those of us formed within the societies and politics of late-modernity. In addition to attending to Luther’s reading of Genesis 11 for its critical usefulness in interrogating our understandings of the mechanisms of political formation, I also look to his reading of the Eucharist in light of the Christological doctrine of the communicatio idiomatum, and his exegesis of the account of the Syrophenician woman in the Gospels, to indicate constructive ways in which the idolatrous politics of Babel might be resisted and the politics of Pentecost embraced.
Keywords Martin Luther  Babel  political theology  tyranny  Genesis  repentance
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DOI 10.1177/0953946818792166
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