[German Version] The three estates doctrine is a schema used by Luther in several important passages to describe the status of Christians living in the world (e.g.
Vom Abendmahl Christi, Bekenntnis, 1528, WA 26, 262–509). God ordained three estates, the
status oeconomicus, politicus, and
ecclesiasticus, to preserve and maintain the world. Instead of “estates,” Luther also speaks of “orders,” “institutions,” or “hierarchy,” in polemic against the Roman view of hierarchy and estate with its distinction between clergy and laity. What was fun…