Luther pp 106-124 | Cite as

The Search for Identity

  • Erik H. Erikson
Part of the World Profiles book series (WOPR)


RATHER DRAMATIC EVIDENCE EXISTS in Luther’s notes on these lectures [on the Psalms] for the fact that while he was working on the Psalms Luther came to formulate those insights later ascribed to his revelation in the tower, the date of which scholars have tried in vain to establish with certainty. As Luther was reviewing in his mind Romans 1:17, the last sentence suddenly assumed a clarity which pervaded his whole being and “opened the door of paradise” to him: “For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.” The power of these words lay in a new perception of the space-time of life and eternity. Luther saw that God’s justice is not consigned to a future day of judgment based on our record on earth when He will have the “last word.” Instead, this justice is in us, in the here and now; for, if we will only perceive it, God has given us faith to live by, and we can perceive it by understanding the Word which is Christ. We will discuss later the circumstances leading to this perception; what interests us first of all is its relation to the lectures on the Psalms.


Identity Distress Finite Event Spiritual Revelation Paradoxical Foolishness Existential Paradox 
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Copyright information

© H. G. Koenigsberger 1973

Authors and Affiliations

  • Erik H. Erikson

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