The Hidden God

The Hidden God

Luther, Philosophy, and Political Theology
Marius Timmann Mjaaland
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 11/15/2015
ISBN: 978-0-253-01820-5
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In this phenomenological reading of Luther, Marius Timmann Mjaaland shows that theological discourse is never philosophically neutral and always politically loaded. Raising questions concerning the conditions of modern philosophy, religion, and political ideas, Marius Timmann Mjaaland follows a dark thread of thought back to its origin in Martin Luther. Thorough analyses of the genealogy of secularization, the political role of the apocalypse, the topology of the self, and the destruction of metaphysics demonstrate the continuous relevance of this highly subtle thinker.rabbi

Author Bio

Marius Timmann Mjaaland is Professor for Philosophy of Religion at the University of Oslo. He is author of Autopsia: Self, Death, and God after Kierkegaard and Derrida.


“Centering his discussion on the theme of destruction, which is important in Luther's early writings, Mjaaland challenges the familiar notion that theology is a matter of faith and philosophy a matter of reason. By linking Luther to Heidegger, Gadamer, and Derrida, Mjaaland establishes connections between destruction and deconstruction and draws philosophy, politics, and theology together in the light of Luther’s radical critique of religion.”

“Mjaaland reveals a radical Luther whose break with prior metaphysics sowed the seeds for deep cultural stuggles into the future in ways that came to frighten even Luther himself.”
 — Paul S. Rowe, author of Religion and Global Politics

“While at one level this book advances a fairly technical and focused argument about Luther, it is profound and wide-ranging in its insights and implications. It deserves to be carefully read by anyone with deep interests in theology, philosophy, and politics.”
 — Political Theology

“An important book on Luther’s Hidden God and the nature of modernity. . . . [T]his work should be considered by Luther scholars of all stripes, especially those interested in Luther’s theology and its relationship to modernity.”
 — Lutheran Quarterly

“This is a bold work of philosophical theology.”
 — Reading Religion

“Mjaaland . . . provides a dazzlingly, provocative exploration of the political implications of Luther’s theological method and scriptural exegesis.”
 — Journal of Lutheran Ethics

“Challenging the mutual exclusivity of theology and philosophy, Mjaaland links Luther to Nietzsche, Marx, Heidegger, and Derrida, highlighting connections between "destruction" and "deconstruction," and showing how philosophy, politics, and theology converge in Luther’s radical critique of religion. Recommended.”
 — Choice

“Original research... which offers new perspectives.”
 — Norwegian Teologisk Tidsskrift

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Table of Contents

1. Topology of Texts and the Destruction of Metaphysics
2. Sola Scriptura
3. The Hidden God
4. Modernity in the Making
5. From Revelation to Revolution