Theology and Philosophy

Robert Stern - 26 August

Life as a Gift, Natural Law, and Human Agency in Løgstrup


This paper considers the thought of the Danish philosopher and theologian K. E. Løgstrup (1905-1981), and his contribution to the natural law tradition in ethics. It is argued that his position is best understood as a distinctive kind of natural law theory, and that he also offers an argument for this: namely, that the normative order must be given and not brought about by us, as we are too wicked to act as a source for this order. The paper then investigates whether the account that Løgstrup offers of this wickedness is compatible with our usual conceptions of human agency, where it is argued that Luther provides a helpful background to many of these issues.