Unit 4 Religion and Society

Our Unit 4 Religion and Society class has been studying various challenges faced by the Church over its long history. Recently we debated the proposition made during the German Reformation by Martin Luther that “Justification comes through faith alone.” This was Luther’s most profound challenge to the Church’s thinking on how we are ultimately saved. The Roman Church rejected Luther’s idea, arguing what is now mainstream Catholic theology, that justification comes both through faith as well as works, and quoting the Letter of St James (2:14): “Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds.” Moreover, the Council of Trent called for anyone holding Luther’s views to be “anathematised” or put under an ecclesiastical ban. Our classroom debates certainly gave us a good chance to familiarise ourselves with the arguments on both sides.

Dr Daryl Barclay
Head of Religious Education