Man occupies two worlds and, accordingly, his self is divided. Halpern clearly explains Luther’s philosophical outlook on the stated and relates it to the theme of suffering in the context of religion. As she explains, man occupies a temporal and a spiritual world and is himself torn between his material and his spiritual inclinations. The spiritual world, the realm of religion and faith, is the world of suffering. The temporal world, or material world, is that of earthly pleasures but, for the faithful it can also be a world of suffering. The reason lies in the two world’s conflicting laws and rules, with man expected to simultaneously abide by both. Therefore, as mat be deduced from Halpern’s analysis, religious reformers and philosophers, most notably Luther, primarily saw the faithful as sufferers.Halpern’s lucid explanation of a complex philosophical and theocratic notion actually gives readers an insight into the real-world interplay between temporal and the spiritual world and the intricate interrelationship between religion and suffering.
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