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By Hans J. Hillerbrand

Routledge is proud to announce the e-book of a brand new significant reference paintings from international well known student Hans J. Hillerbrand. The Encyclopedia of Protestantism is the definitive connection with the heritage and ideology that proceed to exert a profound effect on Western concept. that includes entries written via a global workforce of experts, the encyclopedia strains the process Protestantism from its beginnings sooner than 1517, whilst Martin Luther nailed his ninety five Theses to the door of Wittenberg Cathedral, to the very important and various, and foreign scene of the current day.

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In these days of ecumenicity and post-Enlightenment understanding of the Christian faith, the Reformation of the sixteenth century and the ensuing Protestant traditions often seem terribly distant and without dynamic response to the issues and questions of the twenty-first century. Lutherans and Roman Catholics agreed, in the final years of the twentieth century that they possessed a common understanding of the doctrine of justification—over which the reformers of the sixteenth century had separated from the Roman Catholic Church.

Still, while Protestantism may well be defined with a number of positives, it is also correct to call Protestant all those individuals and churches that repudiate the authority and office of the Roman pontiff of the Catholic Church. This Protestant diversity finds its obvious explanation in the absence of a central authoritative entity—either person or structure—in Protestantism that would constitute normative authority (and power). The Protestant recourse to the Bible, or the Word of God, as ultimate authority has produced multiple divergent interpretations of the Bible.

This is linked to biblical passages that suggest that God’s relationship with human beings predates their birth. Thus Jeremiah was told: “Before I formed you in the womb I chose you, and before you were born I consecrated you” (Jeremiah 1:3). Likewise, we are told that immediately after the Annunciation, the fetus of John the Baptist “leaped for joy” in his mother’s womb on discerning the presence of the newly conceived Christ in the womb of Mary (Luke 1:39, 44). Such texts imply that personhood goes back to conception and hence that the earliest dawn of life is entitled to an absolute protection.

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