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Martin Luther, Devil, Satan, Lutheran Church


Martin Luther refers to the Devil more than any other Reformer. Since the 1960s, historians have been more attentive to the role of Satan in his theology and polemical writings. But the place of the Evil One in Luther’s outlook goes beyond the typically medieval emphasis on the Fiend’s “private” function in tempting individual consciences. It is argued here that Luther integrated the Devil into his view of history and the two churches, the true and the false. The Reformer closely associated Satan with the persecuted church and its Catholic oppressor, as well as with the Jews, Turks, wayward Lutherans, and the Anabaptists.