Ozment, Steven E. The Age of Reform: 1250-1550 : An Intellectual and Religious History of Late Medieval and Reformation Europe. New Haven, Conn. ; London: Yale University Press, 1980. Kindle Electronic Edition.
Chapter 6, “The Mental World of Martin Luther” pp. 223-244. Part 2, “Luther and Scholasticism” pp. 231-238.
Ozment reminds us that Luther was not just a young man questioning his life. “We sometimes lose sight of the fact that he was the age’s most brilliant theologian” (Ozment 1980, 231). He was a doctor of theology, well trained. Ozment quotes notes on a conversation in which Luther, with other prominent thinkers, showed his familiarity with the luminaries of Scholasticism. His writings for several years leading up to 1517 were incisive in their analysis of medieval theology and philosophy. His argument was “that many by nature lacks the freedom of will to do the good that Scotus, Ockham, d’Ailly, and Biel attribute to him” (Ozment 1980, 235). In his Disputation Against Scholastic Theology he finally condemned the idea of any dependence on Aristotle’s Ethics, specifically because of his definition of moral virtue. While the Scholastics insisted that syllogistic inquiry would guide to gaining moral understanding and thus virtue, Luther saw this as an attempt “to manipulate revelation with reason, to conform the thoughts of God to the thoughts of men” (Ozment 1980, 237).