In this article I argue that Luther's critique of the radical reformers establishes a specific distinction between the spiritual and the secular. It excludes the use of inspired speech and mystical tropes from legitimate readings of the Bible and from the political sphere. In doing so, Luther's intervention not only neutralizes certain mystical traditions but also prepares the grounds for the use of mystical tropes in a new epistemological space, the realm of aesthetic experience and self-fashioning, and for the discussions about aesthetics in modernity.

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