The concept of God's two kingdoms was foundational to Luther and subsequent Lutheran theology. Since the middle of the nineteenth century, that concept has been understood primarily as a political concept. But is a political reading of the two kingdoms a perversion of Luther's teaching? Leading Reformation scholar William Wright contends that those who read Luther politically and see in Luther a compartmentalized approach to Christian life are misreading the Reformer. Wright reassesses the original breadth of Luther's theology of the two kingdoms and the cultural contexts from which it emerged. He argues that Luther's two-kingdom worldview was not a justification for living irresponsibly on planet earth.
William J. Wright (PhD, Ohio State University) is professor of history and head of the department at the University of Tennessee in Chattanooga, Tennessee. In addition to his many scholarly articles and presentations, he is the author of Capitalism, the State, and the Lutheran Reformation.