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Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification

(1,272 words)

Author(s): Root, Michael
The Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification (JDDJ) is an official statement of the Roman Catholic Church and the churches of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) affirming that a consensus exists between them on “basic truths of the doctrine of justification” and thus that the condemnations relating to justification contained in the documents of each church no longer apply to the other. It was developed between 1993 and 1997 and was signed by representatives of the two communions in 1999. 1. Background Lutheran-Catholic dialogues in the decades prior to the JDDJ repe…

Simul iustus et peccator

(1,545 words)

Author(s): Root, Michael
The formula simul iustus et peccator ( siep, “simultaneously justified and a sinner”) was used by Martin Luther (1483–1546; Luther’s Theology) and adopted as a central term of Lutheran theology in the 20th century. It refers to the continuing sinfulness of the justified person. Earlier a focus of doctrinal disagreement between Protestant (esp. Lutheran) and Roman Catholic theology, it recently has been the subject of official ecumenical agreement. 1. Bible While the formula siep dates only from the Reformation, it has roots in the NT. On the one hand, ¶ various strands of the NT, inc…


(712 words)

Author(s): Root, Michael | Müller, Hans-Martin
[German Version] I. Dogmatics – II. Practical Theology I. Dogmatics Absolution is the assurance, in the context of confession (II; III), that sins have been forgiven. The history of absolution traces back to Matt 16:19; 18:18; John 20:22f. Drawing on Thomas Aquinas ( Summa theologiae III, q. 84), the Councils of Florence ( DH, 1323) and Trent ( DH, 1673) defined absolution as the form of the sacrament of penance or repentance (IV), which has as its matter the actions of…


(2,836 words)

Author(s): Gerlitz, Peter | Ohst, Martin | Sattler, Dorothea | Root, Michael | Ivanov, Vladimir | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Church History – III. Dogmatics – IV. Practical Theology – V. Missiology I. Religious Studies Confession and absolution, expressive of the substantiality of guilt (I) and the impact of the spoken word with its magico-ritual power, are among the “most widespread means of structured confrontation of the ego with itself” (Hahn & Knapp, 7). They appear already in tribal societies (Kikuyu, Nuer, Acholi in East Africa) as part of purificati…