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Liberal Theology

(6,071 words)

Author(s): Graf, Friedrich Wilhelm | Mudge, Lewis S.
1. Term The term “liberal theology” is widely used in modern Protestantism and Judaism, but only marginally in 19th- and early 20th-century Roman Catholicism. It shares the imprecision of the concept of liberalism in politics and culture. Three aspects of its usage call for consideration: in modern Judaism and Christianity, as a doctrine of faith, and as a polemical concept. 1.1. In Modern Judaism and Christianity In modern Judaism and Christianity theologians are called liberal who view the Enlightenment and modern culture as legitimate expressions of the Jud…

Troeltsch, Ernst

(1,121 words)

Author(s): Graf, Friedrich Wilhelm | Stackhouse, Max L.
Ernst Troeltsch (1865–1923) was a Protestant theologian, philosopher of culture, and politician. His theological/philosophical works, although many-faceted, were characterized by one theme: given the historicist insight that all historical reality is relative, with the resulting loss of normative validity (Relativism), he sought to identify new, binding values in historically given cultural contexts. Troeltsch, born on February 17, 1865, in (Augsburg-) Haunstetten, was the eldest son of the medical doctor Ernst Troeltsch. His family belonged to t…

Historicism

(1,564 words)

Author(s): Figal, Günter | Graf, Friedrich Wilhelm
[German Version] I. Philosophy – II. Church History – III. Systematic Theology I. Philosophy The concept of historicism came into currency in the 19th century and soon assumed critical and even polemical significance. Indeed, also G.W.F. Hegel's concept of reason freely actualized in history could be called historicism (J. Braniss, Die wissenschaftliche Aufgabe der ¶ Gegenwart als leitende Idee im akademischen Studium [The scientific task of the present as a leading idea in academic studies], 1848); but the understanding of historicism as a mode of tho…

Overbeck, Franz Camille

(893 words)

Author(s): Graf, Friedrich Wilhelm
[German Version] (Nov 16, 1837, St. Petersburg – Jun 26, 1905, Basel), son of a German Protestant merchant and a Roman Catholic mother from a French family, after his initial schooling Overbeck studied in St. Petersburg, Paris, and Dresden; beginning in 1856, he studied Protestant theology at Leipzig, Göttingen, and Berlin, receiving his habilitation at Jena in 1864. In 1870 he accepted a call to Basel as associate professor of New Testament and early church history. The multilingual intellectual …

Patriotism

(384 words)

Author(s): Graf, Friedrich Wilhelm
[German Version] The term patriotism first appeared in the 16th century, as a borrowing from Neo-Latin (derived from patria) and French ( patriotisme); in the classic discussions of political virtues, it stands for the close moral bond uniting the citizens with their homeland, to which they owe devotion, selflessness, loyalty, and love. The popularity of the term in the 18th century, especially in the moral weeklies, was closely connected with the invocation of public spirit, civic virtue, and national morality: beyo…

Wellhausen, Julius

(876 words)

Author(s): Graf, Friedrich Wilhelm
[German Version] (May 17, 1844, Hameln – Jan 7, 1918, Göttingen), the son of a conservative Lutheran pastor, studied Protestant theology at Göttingen, where he was strongly influenced by H. Ewald, who taught him Syriac and Arabic as well as biblical exegesis. In 1870 he received his Göttingen licentiate and habilitation in Old Testament; in 1872 he was appointed full professor at Greifswald. On the grounds that the “ecclesiastical and academic viewpoints” are fundamentally different and a professo…

International Association for Liberal Christianity and Religious Freedom

(158 words)

Author(s): Graf, Friedrich Wilhelm
[German Version] In the wake of the initiatives set in motion by the Boston Unitarian Charles William Wendte, the international organization of religious liberals was founded on May 25, 1900 as the International Council of Unitarian and other Liberal Religious Thinkers and Workers on the occasion of the celebrations accompanying the 75th anniversary of the American Unitarian Association and the British and Foreign Unitarian Association. From 1910 to 1937, the Council or, from 1932, the “Internatio…

Liberal Theology

(2,253 words)

Author(s): Wolfes, Matthias | Graf, Friedrich Wilhelm | Schelander, Robert | Blaser, Klauspeter
[German Version] I. General – II. Church History – III. Systematics – IV. Practical Theology – V. Missiology I. General The expression liberal theology became prevalent in the “Saddle Period” (Reinhart Koselleck) of Neo-Protestantism between 1780 and 1820; it denotes a type of “modern theology” that combines strong demands for individual freedom through criticism of religious tradition, differentiation of subjective faith from ecclesiastically defined confessions of faith, an individualistic understanding of reli…

Dictionaries/Encyclopedias, Theological

(1,109 words)

Author(s): Graf, Friedrich Wilhelm
[German Version] I. The exposition of Christian theological knowledge in lexicons, encyclopedias, and similar reference works has not yet been the subject of scholarly study by academic theology. Nevertheless, by focussing on this literary genre, which has been central to the theologies of all denominations since 1770, profound transformations of the academic e…

Hengstenberg, Ernst Wilhelm

(402 words)

Author(s): Graf, Friedrich Wilhelm
[German Version] (Oct 20, 1802, Fröndenberg near Unna – May 28, 1869, Berlin), Protestant theologian and church politician. After intensive private tutoring from his father, a Reformed pastor, Hengstenberg studied oriental and classical philology in Bonn. Thanks to his mildly rationalist upbringing, he became enthusiastic about fraternities. He experienced an awakening in 1823/1824 in the neo-Pietist circles of the Basel Mission. Hengstenberg obtained his Habilitation in oriental studies in Berlin in 1824, but because of his close contacts with leading propo…

Postmodernism

(1,835 words)

Author(s): Graf, Friedrich Wilhelm | Ward, Graham | Grözinger, Albrecht | Renftle, Barbara
[German Version] I. Sociology and Social History First attested in the writings of R. Pannwitz ( Die Krisis der europäischen Kultur, 1917), the concept of postmodernism spans a wide spectrum of heterogeneous meanings, the extremes of which are marked, on the one hand, by the notion of a new age that is meant to follow upon the end of modernity, and on the other hand by conceptions of a reflexive radicalization of modern experiences of plurality. The rapid adoption of the concept since the 1970s began in North Amer…

Seeberg

(627 words)

Author(s): Graf, Friedrich Wilhelm | Cymorek, Hans
[German Version] 1. Reinhold (Apr 5, 1859, Pööravere, Livonia – Oct 23, 1935, Ahrenshoop). After receiving his master’s degree, habilitation, and paid lectureship at Dorpat (Tartu), Seeberg was considered the great hope of theological conservatives. In 1889 he was appointed to a full profes-¶ sorship of theology, New Testament history, and patristics at Erlangen. After the death of F.H.R. Frank in 1894, he also lectured in systematic theology. As a late aftereffect of the Apostolicum controversy, Seeberg, who had written a massive Lehrbuch der Dogmengeschichte (2 vols., 1895/18…

Sengelmann, Heinrich Matthias

(215 words)

Author(s): Graf, Friedrich Wilhelm
[German Version] (May 25, 1821, Hamburg – Feb 2, 1899, Alsterdorf, Hamburg). Sengelmann, brought up in an atmosphere of evangelistic Pietism, was a student and friend of F.A.G. Tholuck. As pastor in Moorfleet since 1846, in 1850 he opened a Christian Arbeitsschule (“activity school”) in his parsonage to help young people who had received no education because school attendance was not compulsory, ¶ preparing them for a vocation through instruction and practical training. The great demand led to the expansion of the school to Sankt Nikolai in Hamburg in 1853.…

Weimar Republic

(2,212 words)

Author(s): Hübinger, Gangolf | Graf, Friedrich Wilhelm
[German Version] I. Politics and Culture On Nov 9, 1918 the foundation of a parliamentary and democratic form of government was laid for the first German republic. On Jan 19, 1919, still in the radicalizing phase of the revolution, the National Assembly was elected to draw up a constitution. It included the “Weimar Coalition,” in which Majority Social Democracy, the German Democratic Party and the Center Party formed a majority. On Aug 11, 1919 the Weimar Constitution came into force. It had been larg…

Iwand, Hans Joachim

(303 words)

Author(s): Graf, Friedrich Wilhelm
[German Version] (Jul 11, 1899, Schreibendorf, Silesia [Pisary, Poland] – May 2, 1960, Bonn), systematic theologian and politically involved churchman. After studying theology at Breslau and Halle, he was appointed superintendent of studies at the Lutherheim in Königsberg. He received his doctorate in 1924 and gained his Habilitation in 1927. In 1934 he became instructor in New Testament at the Herder Institute in Riga. Deprived of his venia legendi for membership in the Confessing Church, he served from 1935 to 1937 as director of illegal seminaries in Bloestau…

Martensen, Hans Lassen

(280 words)

Author(s): Graf, Friedrich Wilhelm
[German Version] (Aug 12, 1808, Flensburg – Feb 3, 1884, Copenhagen), Danish theologian and churchman. Influenced by the works of N.F.S. Grundtvig as ¶ a young student, he later turned to German Idealism. During a study tour in 1834, he made contact with such figures as P.K. Marheineke, F.W.J. Schelling, F.X. v. Baader, and N. Lenau. After receiving his doctorate in 1836, in 1840 he was appointed professor of systematic theology int Copenhagen. The politically divisive clergyman was appointed court chaplain in 1845 and…

Freedom

(9,782 words)

Author(s): Kaiser, Otto | Vollenweider, Samuel | Schwartz, Daniel R. | Graf, Friedrich Wilhelm | Figal, Günter | Et al.
[German Version] I. Old Testament – II. New Testament – III. Early Judaism – IV. Church History – V. Philosophy – VI. Philosophy of Religion – VII. Dogmatics – VIII. Ethics – IX. Sociology, Politics, and Law I. Old Testament 1. The concept of political freedom, which originated in the Greek polis (City cult), first appeared in Hellenistic Jewish historiography. The Stoics' concept of freedom, which contrasts inner freedom and outward constraint, has no counterpart in the OT. The OT is rooted in an internal mythological cultur…

Zahn-Harnack, Agnes von

(201 words)

Author(s): Graf, Friedrich Wilhelm
[German Version] (Jun 19, 1884, Gießen – May 22, 1950, Berlin), daughter of A. v. Harnack; journalist and campaigner for women’s rights. After teacher training and earning her Dr.phil. (1912), from 1914 to 1918 she tested a career in social planning concretely in the civil service. After joining the German Democratic Party in 1919, she earned a reputation as a high-profile, culturally sensitive internationally-minded organizer of the bourgeois women’s movement; from 1931 to 1933 she chaired the Fe…

Cultural Studies

(795 words)

Author(s): Graf, Friedrich Wilhelm
[German Version] The term cultural studies (Ger. Kulturwissenschaft) appeared as early as the late 18th century. It gained programmatic content, however, only around 1900 in the controversies concerning the independence of the humanities in relation to the natural sciences and concerning the normative integration of modern capitalist mass societies shaped by multiple crises. Since the “linguistic turn” and the “culturalist turn” in the 1980s, it has served the trans-d…

Exile

(1,918 words)

Author(s): Graf, Friedrich Wilhelm | Dan, Joseph
[German Version] I. General – II. Judaism I. General Exile (Lat. exilium or exul) refers to the state-organized and politically, religiously, or ethnically motivated expulsion of people from their homeland or their forced resettlement in a land that they often would not have freely chosen as a place of refuge. The politically powerful have forced people into exile in all periods of history. The t…
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