Page 2 - EMCAPP-Journal No. 10
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             “Conscience without God is something horrifying. It can stray into the
             greatest immorality.”
             (Dostoevsky in „A Writer’s Diary „ - 1873 and 1876-1881)

             In 2017 Germany is celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Refor-
             mation, supposedly initiated by Martin Luther’s nailing the theses
             to the door in Wittenberg. This is probably a legend, like the story
             that in 1521 he loudly proclaimed in Worms, before the Emperor
             and Papal delegates, “Here I stand, I can do no other.”: the starting
             signal for the freedom of the conscience, each man according to his
             conscience. But this is certainly not what Luther wanted, for he also
             anchored the conscience in God’s word:
             “… thus, by passages of Holy Scripture, … I have been overcome in
             my conscience and captured in God’s Word. Therefore I cannot and
             will not retract anything, because it is neither safe nor salutary to do
             anything against one’s conscience. God help me, Amen!”

             Besides theologians and philosophers, leading psychologists have
             also looked into the subject of the conscience: Freud’s super-ego
             conscience, Jung’s self or individuation conscience, the cognitive
             psychologists such as Piaget and Kohlberg, who tended more stron-
             gly in the direction of developmental psychology, and more recently
             explorations of the conscience as moral emotion.

             In this edition of Christian Psychology Around The World, the
             subject matter is also the conscience – from the angle of the theory   Martin Luther’s 95
             and practice of Christian psychology, especially in counselling and    theses were published
             therapy. A fascinating point here is that the authors come from dif-   on 31 October 1517.
             ferent confessional backgrounds, while also being anchored in their    The historicity of
             various cultures.                                                      Luther’s nailing of the
                                                                                    95 Theses to the door
             Besides the numerous contributions and comments, I was very ple-       of the castle church in
             ased that Roberto Cipollone was willing to make his works availa-      Wittenberg on the same
             ble for the background to this issue. Ultimately, these represent an   day is contested.
             exhortation to our conscience not to disregard even the smallest of

             Werner May

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