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(1,288 words)

Author(s): Assel, Heinrich
[German Version] I. Concept In 20th-century Protestant theology, the term “testimony” or “witness” describes not only individual acts of confession or the martyrdom of individuals. Rather, the reference to the truth and testing of the gospel, and to the self-understanding of Christian existence (as faith, love, or hope). Witness therefore describes the true constitution of speaking on the basis of faith, the non-moral responsibility of free action out of love and respect, and the subjectless but not…

Word and Sacrament

(1,244 words)

Author(s): Assel, Heinrich
[German Version] I. The Problem The formula “word and sacrament” indicates a basic question in the theological doctrine of Signs as symbols of the death of Jesus. How does the cross become the “word” of the cross? What is meant by the church’s representation and presentation in action, when this “word” is effectively set forth, never only in word or sacrament, but in the overlapping of these symbolic languages (Symbol/symbols/symbol theories) (sacrament as tamquam visibile verbum [Augustine, see below]; words as sacramenta . . . meditanda tamquam symbola [Luther, WA 9, 440.9–12]).…

Holl, Karl

(608 words)

Author(s): Assel, Heinrich
[German Version] (May 15, 1866, Tübingen – May 23, 1926, Berlin). A church historian and polyhistor at Tübingen (1901–1906) and Berlin (1906–1926, and member of the Preußische Akademie der Wissenschaften [Academy: II] from 1915), Holl became the formative figure in the transition from historicism to the Luther renaissance after 1910. In view of the Apostolicum controversy, and being personally committed to his historical judgment, Holl forewent a church appointment. He came to prominence through h…

Names of God

(1,714 words)

Author(s): Rebiger, Bill | Assel, Heinrich | van Ess, Josef
[German Version] I. Judaism – II. Christianity – III. Islam I. Judaism The main biblical names of God are the tetragram YHWH and the expression אֶהְיֶה אֶשֶׁר אֲהְיֶה/ ʾeh eyeh ʾašer ʾeh eyeh (lit. “I am who I am”) or also ʾeh eyeh alone (Exod 3:14); during the Second Temple period, the tetragram was allowed to be spoken only on the Day of Atonement (Feasts and festivals: II) by the high priest. Biblical attributes and epithets of God are understood as additional names of God. Rabbinic literature knows certain circumlocutions for God …

Erlangen School

(1,922 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof | Assel, Heinrich | Brandt, Hermann | Mittelstraß, Jürgen
[German Version] I. Erlangen School (Theology) – II. Erlangen School (Philosophy) I. Erlangen School (Theology) 1. History From the founding of the University of Erlangen (Erlangen, University of), the members of the theological faculty have been bound to the confessional statements of Lutheranism; a Lutheran Enlightenment theology largely dictated by Jena and Göttingen was predominant until …

Althaus, Paul

(283 words)

Author(s): Assel, Heinrich
[German Version] (Feb 4, 1888, Obershagen – May 18, 1966, Erlangen); professor of systematic theology and New Testament at Göttingen (PD), Rostock, and 1925–1946 at Erlangen; 1914/15 military hospital chaplain; 1915–1918 pastor in Łódź under German administration. As one of the most widely read theologians of the Lutheran renaissance (1926–1964 president of the Luther Society), Althaus taught that experiencing Germany's national “hour” was a judgment and a call from the God who justifies ( Kirche und Volkstum, 1927). Initially, Althaus assented politically to the …

Klepper, Jochen

(403 words)

Author(s): Assel, Heinrich
[German Version] (Mar 22, 1903, Beuthen an der Oder – Dec 11, 1942, Berlin). Klepper is the most widely received 20th-century Protestant hymnographer in the German language. He was stamped by a genuinely Protestant contemporaneity and a German-Jewish solidarity during the time of National Socialism. Klepper studied theology from 1922 to 1928 without graduating. From 1927, he was a journalist, radio editor, and independent author in Silesia, from 1931 in Berlin, and was unemployed from 1935. Kleppe…

Jungreformatorische Bewegung

(405 words)

Author(s): Assel, Heinrich
[German Version] (Reformed Youth Movement). The Jungreformatorische Bewegung formed as a church policy movement on May 9, 1933 in the course of the debate concerning constitutional reform in the Deutscher Evangelischer Kirchenbund and in opposition to the plan for forced conformity championed by the radical Deutsche Christen ( Reichskirche with Reichsbischof as leader, legitimized by a plebiscite, executed in an anti-Semitic fashion). The chief proponents were W. Künneth, H. Lilje and M. Niemöller, along with T. Heckel, Georg Schulz (Sydow brot…

Positive Theology

(684 words)

Author(s): Assel, Heinrich
[German Version] The term positive theology refers to an influential theological movement in the Protestant churches of Germany, especially in Prussia, between 1870 and 1918. It was symptomatic of a crisis in church politics and culture. Its representatives included M. Kähler, H. Cremer, A. Schlatter, R. Seeberg, W. Lütgert, E. Schaeder, C. Stange, and K. Heim. The name was modeled on the Positive Union, the majority political party in the churches of the Old Prussian Union (after 1875). To speak of an antithesis between positive theology and liberal theolo…


(5,597 words)

Author(s): Udolph, Jürgen | Figal, Günter | Hutter, Manfred | Assel, Heinrich | Rüterswörden, Udo | Et al.
[German Version] I. Linguistics – II. Philosophy – III. Religious Studies – IV. Philosophy of Religion – V. Old Testament – VI. New Testament – VII. Church History – VIII. Judaism – IX. Islam I. Linguistics Linguistically, a name is a proper noun ( nomen proprium) as opposed to a common noun ( nomen appellativum); both function grammatically as substantives. Proper nouns (names) designate individual persons, places, things, and ideas or collectives thought of as individuals; they do not ascribe common attributes to their referents. Outside…

Brunstäd, Friedrich

(182 words)

Author(s): Assel, Heinrich
[German Version] (Jul 22, 1883, Hannover – Nov 2, 1944, Willershagen, Mecklenburg) became Privatdozent in philosophy in Erlangen in 1912, and associate professor in 1917; in 1925, he became Professor of systematic theology in Rostock; in the tradition of A. Stoecker he was head of the Protestant Social School (Johannesstift, Berlin-Spandau) and active …

Luther Renaissance

(835 words)

Author(s): Assel, Heinrich
[German Version] I. Name and History – II. Program and Differences – III. Ecclesio-political Options, 1918–1935 I. Name and History The term Luther renaissance denotes a movement of theological, ecclesiastical, and cultural reform between ¶ 1910 and 1935; in self-conception and impact, this movement and dialectical theology constituted the two great revolutions in Protestantism after 1918. The figures involved in the renaissance included K. Holl, C. Stange, E. Hirschl, P. Althaus, R. Hermann, G. Wehrung, H. Bornkamm, Hanns Rüc…

Hermann, Rudolf

(177 words)

Author(s): Assel, Heinrich
[German Version] (Oct 3, 1887, Barmen – Jun 10, 1962, Berlin), 1923 associate professor at Breslau, 1927 professor of systematic theology at Greifswald, in East Berlin 1953–1962, 1948–1962 head of the Luther Academy East. Hermann, a leading representative of the Luther renaissance, was the teacher of J. Klepper and H.-J. Iwand. He renewed Luther's thesis that the justified believer (justification) is “simultaneously righteous and a sinner,” developing it into a dialogical and eschatological concep…