Freely Bound - The Free Will Arguments of Boethius and Martin Luther

Document Type

Religion and Philosophy


The concept of free will has long puzzled philosophers and theologians alike. This notion exists on a spectrum. Proponents of an entirely free will occupy one end, asserting that man can make choices utterly independent of any external factors, while advocates of determinism reside on the other end, arguing choices are entirely dependent on biological, subconscious, or external metaphysical causes. This paper investigates the free will claims of two early Christian theologians, Boethius, a 6th-century Roman senator and philosopher, and Martin Luther, father of the protestant faith. By analyzing and contrasting these theologians’ rival claims, a deeper understanding of the implications of free will for Christians can be reached.

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