TABOR - Tradition and Contemporaneity in the Romanian Orthodox Church
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Luther and the Turks

HANS SCHWARZ, Luther and the Turks
The author analyzes the views of Martin Luther on Turks, based on his book “About the war against
the Turks” in 1529. Luther was not a representative of the pacifi sm. He saw in the threat of the
Turks the punishment for the sinful state of his own people, so he emphasized again and again that
the cane might be taken from God’s hand when every person “will repent and confess again the
Christian faith” . Luther asks: What should the Christian do against this obvious threat? Because it
expresses the wrath of God, Christians must either bear it or fi ght it and chase it through repentance
and prayer. Luthers book appeared in April 1529 and was republished seven times during the same
year, which indicates the great interest shown for this book. In Luthers conception, a Turk does not
differentiate between a true Christian and a Christian in name only, because the Turk is the enemy
of the Christian name. Luther was convinced that the Turks were a threat to Christians not only
because of their military power, but also because of their religious teachings and way of life.
KEYWORDS: Martin Luther, Turks, „About the war against the Turks”, islam, threat