When Doing the Right Thing Doesn’t Make You Right: Martin Luther’s (Very Public) Ethics

Thursday, Feb 06, 2020

1:30pm - 3:30pm

Lecture by:
Rev. Dr. David Pfrimmer

The controversial reformer Martin Luther was no paragon of virtue. He was a polarizing figure and a bundle of seeming contradictions. Nevertheless, he offered important insights for ethical deliberation. He understood the flaws of human nature and the need for ethical realism. He promoted the idea of freedom of conscience. He helped encourage moral literacy and service to neighbours. He understood the paradoxical nature of ethical choices and the important role of public opinion. This lecture will examine Luther’s 16th-century contributions to public ethics and how they can inform a 21st-century view of the world and our place in it.

About The Lecturer

Rev. Dr. David Pfrimmer

Rev. Dr. David Pfrimmer taught at Martin Luther University College and served as its principal-dean from 2005-2015. For 25 years, he served as director of the Lutheran Office for Public Policy. David’s current research focus is on faith and public life, and developing his concept of public ethics. He regularly contributes articles and opinion editorials across Canada. His two recent books, published by the Centre for Public Ethics, are Faith in the Public Commons: Pursuing the Common Good (2017) and The Art of Dying Well: Medical Assistance in Dying in Canada, A Public Theological Primer (2017).