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Jews, Turks And The Devil Sources Notes

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Jews, Turks and the Devil Class

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! Insulting language
‣ Scatalogical and animalistic
‣ Different tone in a serious theological tract
‣ Creative
‣ Refers to his doctorate -­‐ prophet => arrogant
! Rhetorical strategies
‣ How to gain authority
‣ Yet can make the tract less serious
- Can compare to Shakespeare and Marlowe
! Fighting
‣ Reference to Paul being a boxer in 1 Corinthians
‣ Combative style -­‐ masculinity
‣ Shows personal motivation
! Oberman -­‐ do you have to use the devil's own weapons against him?
‣ Use of obscenities
‣ But is Luther thinking this rationally?


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! Wittenberg church
‣ Jewish sow -­‐ people suckling and a Jew looking inside => 14th/15th century
- Fairly common image on the outside of churches


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! Work immediately after On the Jews and their Lies -­‐ Von Schem Hamphoras





Mentions the sow carving in Wittenberg
Strange language used -­‐ stream of vituperative language
No real theology or underlying message
Bodily orifices
Weird anti-­‐semitism -­‐ has no reasons
Increasing extremity reflects Luther's powerlessness


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! Eschatological perspective
‣ Jews -­‐ 'the devil mock them to their eternal damnation'
! Still trying to use scripture
‣ Takes small points from the Bible and then uses them out of context => makes
views look divinely sanctioned
! Engagement with Jewish scripture


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How anti-­‐Semitic was Luther?
! Melanchthon had to explain this at his funeral
‣ Extreme even at the time
! Used by Nazis
! Increasingly negative attitude
‣ Earlier tracts -­‐ very anti-­‐Jewish -­‐> yet still worthy of conversion
- Frustration => less emphasis on conversion
! Jews had been considered a threat since the middle ages
! Language and tone made Luther's works very different

! Somewhat based on theology -­‐ yet later he criticises them as an ethnic group => seen as
associated with the devil


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! Rhetoric of the sow -­‐ Jesus Christ was born a Jew
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‣ Would rather be a sow than a Christian
Who was Luther addressing in this tract?
‣ Catholic rumours of blasphemy
‣ Christians should behave better
‣ Not directly addressed to the Jews
- Yet he sent it to a recently converted Jew
Luther reacts against accusations of his views of Mary
Shows off his Hebrew
Says he will prove things later or else, this passes human understanding


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! Shrines to Mary are built on the ruins of synagogues
‣ Link between Judaism and Christianity


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! Luther is keen to talk about the Jewish blood lineage -­‐ less discussion of the flesh
‣ Not a miracle of Mary's virginity in the same way as the Catholic focus


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Luther's attitude to the Turks and Islam
! Later middle ages -­‐ powerful force
‣ 1529 -­‐ Suleiman the Great was in Vienna
- Siege of Vienna -­‐ pinnacle of Ottoman power
! Almost a century of conquest in eastern and central Europe
! Luther's attitudes were similar to those of humanists
! Need to understand doctrine in order to analyse them -­‐ lifting of some bans on foreign
works
! Luther's attacks -­‐ religion and 'barbaric heathens' => because they are not Christian
‣ God's form of punishment on Christendom
‣ Arm people with the tenets of Christianity
! Muhammed challenges Jesus's status as the sole prophet
! Ottomans could potentially bring the end of the world
‣ Need for collective prayer
! Primarily based on religious grounds -­‐ Muslims and concepts of good works
‣ Contextual hysteria about Ottoman invasion
Antichrist -­‐
Jews, Turks and the Papacy
!
! Turks -­‐ open warfare
‣ Better than the papacy -­‐ corrupting from within
! Not the same personal level of attack as there is on the Jews and the papacy
‣ Not having to convince people in the same way
! Commends them in some respects -­‐ fasting and simple lives
! Market for the Qur'an -­‐ Luther writes to the Basel council to get them to publish it when
they banned it
‣ Wants to be able to read this book


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What drives Luther's understanding of enemies?
! Papacy -­‐ writes on them particularly in the 1520s and the 1540s
‣ Differing exegesis -­‐ different ways to obtain salvation
‣ Actions against Luther -­‐ accelerated writings against them
- Wanted Edict of Worms enforced
‣ Socio-­‐political issues of relics


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! Enthusiasts -­‐ hatred of their theology
‣ Holy spirit, rebaptism and iconoclasm
‣ Peasants' War -­‐ felt personally threatened after his preaching tour of 1525
‣ Social hierarchy


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! Jews -­‐ another internal enemy
‣ 1523 -­‐ largely blamed the papacy for their errors
‣ Took offence at their refusal to convert
! 1540s -­‐ banishment of Jews in Bohemia => may have led to increasing numbers coming
into Germany


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! Turks
‣ 1541 -­‐ threat of invasion
‣ Not a personal threat to the Reformation -­‐ just a different religion
‣ Emperor asked Luther to write against them


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! The Devil and the Last Days
! Internal enemies were the most threatening

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‣ Most important was the influence that they had over Christians
‣ Proselytising and increasing study of Hebrew
Primarily driven by scriptural concerns
‣ Conviction increased by personal and socio-­‐political reasons
Carlstadt -­‐ personal relationships are concerned
Genealogies of enemies -­‐ sees them as all being related
Personal relationships and context -­‐ not applied consistently
Not the same level of emotion in writing on the Turks
‣ Personal context is important


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! Before Luther, the Turk is often thought to be the Antichrist
‣ Luther, however, associates the Antichrist with the pope


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! Apocalyptic rhetoric
‣ Why get married and have children?
‣ Luther is planning for the future


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! Rhetoric of division -­‐ good v. bad


That Jesus Christ was born a Jew (1523)

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! 1522 -­‐ what to do about Luther was one of the major issues discussed at the Diet of


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Nuremberg
~ Nearly all the princes were hostile
~ Charge such as arguing that Jesus was the son of Joseph and Mary was not a
virgin
Luther aimed to clear himself of this charge
Jesus was a Jew, born of the seed of Abraham, but through a miracle
Mary was a virgin when Jesus was born
Second part is devoted to Jews -­‐ appeal to Christians to deal more kindly with them in
the hope of converting them

! Popes have treated the Jews so badly that a good Christian might have had to become a
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Jew
'If I had been a Jew and had seen such dolts and blockheads govern and teach the
Christian faith, I would sooner have become a hog than a Christian'
Have dealt with Jews as if they are dogs instead of human beings
'When the Jews then see that Judaism has such strong support in Scripture and that
Christianity has become a mere babble without reliance on Scripture, how can they
possibly compose themselves and become right good Christians?'
'I hope that is one deals in a kindly way with the Jews and instructs them carefully from
Holy Scripture, many of them will become genuine Christians and turn again to the faith
of their fathers, the prophets and patriarchs'
~ Will only be frightened further away if nothing is allowed to remain
~ Should not just have arrogance and scorn
~ If the apostles had dealt with us in this way, there would not have been Christians

~ Should treat them in a like brotherly way
We are but Gentiles while the Jews are of the lineage of Christ


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! Christ is the 'true natural son of the woman derived from the woman, however, not in
the normal way but through a special act of God'
! Conceived supernaturally and without man -­‐ no sin

~ 'Whatever conceives and bears through an act of the flesh produces also a carnal

and sinful fruit'
! 'She is his true natural mother; yet she is to conceive and bear supernaturally, by God,
without a man, in order that her child may be a distinctive man, without sin, yet having
ordinary flesh and blood like other men. This could not have been the case had he been
begotten by a man like other men because the flesh is consumed and corrupted by evil
lust, so that its natural act of procreation cannot occur without sin. Whatever conceives
and bears through a act of the flesh produces also a carnal and sinful fruit'


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! Promised seed of woman to crush the serpent's head
! Gentiles are to be blessed from the seed of Abraham

~ Otherwise, human nature is cursed without this blessing
~ Required that the child be born of a woman without man
! Virgin's flesh and blood was the natural seed of Christ's body

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! Idolators glorify her as the mother of God -­‐ virginity should not exist for its own sake

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