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Keywords:

  • population;
  • fertility;
  • Old Testament;
  • Luther

Abstract:  Ancient nation-building demanded fecundity, and traces of this demand lie dormant in Old Testament scriptures. In the U.S. today some Protestants preach natalism (an ideology promoting high fecundity), often with the objective shifted from national preservation to denominational aggrandizement. Some present Martin Luther as a forerunner of natalism. This article evaluates that claim, looking at his references to reproduction in a historical and theological context.