Paolo Astorri, "Lutheran Theology and Contract Law in Early Modern Germany (ca. 1520-1720)" (Verlag Ferdinand Schoningh, 2019)


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In Lutheran Theology and Contract Law in Early Modern Germany (ca. 1520-1720) (Verlag Ferdinand Schoningh, 2019), Paolo Astorri shows how the Protestant Reformation influence European law. Martin Luther and his successors led European Christianity away from medieval ideas of penance and the careful accounting that went with it toward theology of grace. Human salvation was thence justified by faith alone, and holy scripture the supreme authority. For the law, this meant that love (charity) and not complicated rules would guide jurists. For the poor, debts were to be forgiven freely, while a rich debtor could now be charged interest by his creditor.

In this conversation, Paolo Astorri discusses these changes and other legal – and also political and social – consequences of the Lutheran Reformation. He also speaks about the origins of western law and remarks about other changes in it over the last few centuries. He discusses other developments in the Catholic and Protestant confessions.

Dr. Astorri is a Post-Doc at the Center of Privacy Studies at the University of Copenhagen and a member of the faculty at the Catholic University of Leuven, where he completed his doctorate in 2018. He studied law at the University of Macerata and canon law at the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome.

Krzysztof Odyniec is a historian of Early Modern Europe, specializing in sixteenth-century diplomacy and travel. He has also written about Germany in the early 1500s.

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