Christian Contradictions

The Structures of Lutheran and Catholic Thought

Christian Contradictions

Catholic and Lutheran thought are differently structured, embodying divergent conceptions of self and God. Roman/Lutheran ecumenism, culminating in the 1999 "Joint Declaration," attempts to reconcile incompatible systems based on different philosophical presuppositions. Drawing on a wealth of material, the author considers these structural questions within a historical context. Kierkegaard is shown, in a complex model, to hold together strengths which historically have been exemplified by the two traditions. This is an important work in systematic theology which considers questions quite fundamental to Western religion. It should interest theologians of all backgrounds and church historians.


"Hampson's feel for Lutheranism is impressive, as is her discussion of Catholicism and the difference between the two traditions. As such, this book would be an important read for those interested in those traditions and in the dialogue between them." Journal of American Academy of Religion

"...[an] exceptionally readable volume...clear, convincing and challenging..." Pro Ecclesia

"This book is a rich resource for students of Reformation theology and of contemporary Lutheran-Roman Catholic relations...[a] superb contribution..." Word & World

"...[a] remarkably lucid book...vigorous and well worth one's time." Lutheran Quarterly

"[T]his work should be required for anyone seeking a deeper understanding of what lies at the heart of Catholic-Lutheran relations and dialogue." CHOICE Nov 2001

'Daphne Hampson provides a clear account of the divergent structuring of thought about man in relation to God that emerged at the Reformation, and of the failure of the prevailing Catholic tradition to understand Luther's own starting point … makes for a compelling read.' Reformation

'In this book Daphne Hampson deploys her formidable intellectual skills in an analysis of the broad divisions between Catholic and Lutheran forms of life and thought … demonstrating how deeply this disagreement cuts and how much getting to the bottom of it matters.' J. A. DiNoia, editor of The Thomist

'This book is timely.' The Expository Times

'… an interesting and challenging book …' Pacifica