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(1,390 words)

Author(s): Kaiser, Jochen-Christoph
1. BegriffDer Begriff D. (von griech. diakonía, »(Kirchen-)Dienst«) war vor dem 19. Jh. im kirchlichen Bereich nicht gebräuchlich, da er sich seit der alten Kirche eng mit demjenigen des Diakons verband. Dieser hatte zwar ursprünglich die Zuständigkeit für die Armenfürsorge in den Gemeinden besessen, war aber seit der Spätantike mehr und mehr in die klassische Ämterstruktur Bischof – Presbyter – Diakon eingeordnet worden (Amt) und bezeichnete schließlich einen nachrangigen Priester. Die Reformation, v. a. in ihrer lutherischen Ausprägung, behielt diese Bedeutung w…
Date: 2019-11-19

Diaconal welfare

(1,543 words)

Author(s): Kaiser, Jochen-Christoph
1. ConceptThe term diaconal welfare (from Greek diakonía, “(church) service”) was not widely used in ecclesiastical contexts before the 19th century because since early Christianity the word “diaconal” had been closely related to the term deacon. Although the deacon was originally responsible for poor relief in the congregation, from Late Antiquity the position became chiefly defined as part of the classical hierarchy of bishop, presbyter, and deacon (Office), and ultimately it came to mean nothing mor…
Date: 2019-10-14


(1,685 words)

Author(s): Kaiser, Jochen-Christoph
[German Version] 1. Johann Hinricha a. Biography (Apr 21, 1808, Hamburg – Apr 7, 1881, Hamburg). Wichern was born to a family of moderate means but high achievement. His father began as a clerk in a notary’s office but rose to become a notary himself; unfortunately he met an early death in 1823, leaving his large family (seven children) in poverty. Johann, the eldest, had entered the renowned Hamburg Johanneum Gymnasium at the age of ten, but when his father died he had to withdraw without finishing hi…

Social State

(1,223 words)

Author(s): Kaiser, Jochen-Christoph
[German Version] I. Term and History The concept of the social state needs to be distinguished from that of the welfare state. The former emphasizes the responsibility and cooperation of all for socially just structures within a society; the latter tends to suggest a “nanny state” that guarantees social security (Security, Social) and is concerned primarily with the redistribution of social resources. The social state attaches great importance to subsidiarity, i.e. helping people to help themselves th…

Habermann, Hans Max

(213 words)

Author(s): Kaiser, Jochen-Christoph
[German Version] (Mar 21, 1885, Altona – Oct 30, 1944, Gifhorn). The son of a mastertailor initially became a bookseller in his home city. By reading the journal Der Kunstwart [custodian of art], he came into contact with the German social movement and the Deutsch-Nationaler Handlungsgehilfenverband (DHV, German National Association of Commercial Clerks), for which he began working in 1907. As editor of the Deutsche Handelswacht [German business watch] beginning in 1911, he advocated the superiority of models of corporative self-governance over against a soci…

White Cross Association

(383 words)

Author(s): Kaiser, Jochen-Christoph
[German Version] The White Cross is one of several independent associations founded in the second half of the 19th century within the spectrum of the religious denominations for the purpose of improving public morality. Inspired by the battle in England against the double morality of bourgeois society and the bordello system (J.E. Butler), especially against its “regulation” in restricted area, the Deutsch-evangelischer Verein zur Förderung der Sittlichkeit und der Rettungsarbeit was formed under …

Social Work

(1,010 words)

Author(s): Kaiser, Jochen-Christoph
[German Version] I. Definition Since the early 20th century, social work has been defined as “organized assistance on the part of the state and municipalities, public corporations, and private organizations . . . provided to individuals, families, and groups to avert internal and external hardship and meet their essential needs” (Heyne, 917). Related concepts are relief and social welfare. The term Sozialarbeit was accepted only gradually in Germany, obviously influenced by the Anglo-American term social work and the notion of social work as a distinct profession. II. Organiz…


(95 words)

Author(s): Kaiser, Jochen-Christoph
[German Version] (Wichern Association), founded in 1908 by Martin Hennig, for the purpose of reviving the Christian faith among the population alienated from the church, primarily by distributing ¶ Bibles in missionary work among the people. During the Weimar Republic, the association under Walter Birnbaum put special emphasis on combating free thought (Free thinkers). Banned under National Socialism and refounded after the war, the association was dissolved in 2000. Jochen-Christoph Kaiser Bibliography K. Janssen, RGG 3 VI, 1962, 1680f. F.W. Bautz, “Hennig, Martin,” BBKL II, …

Gerstenmaier, Eugen Karl Albrecht

(215 words)

Author(s): Kaiser, Jochen-Christoph
[German Version] (Aug 25, 1906, Kirchheim – Mar 13, 1986, Remagen). Gerstenmaier, the son of the manager of a piano factory in Württemberg, initially trained for a business career; after completing his Abitur, he began a second education in theology. The Christdeutsche Jugend of L. Cordier had a formative influence on him. After graduation as a student of F. Brunstäd in Rostock, Gerstenmaier went to Berlin, where he worked with T. Heckel in the church's foreign office. He became a member of the Confessing Church early on and j…


(1,551 words)

Author(s): Kaiser, Jochen-Christoph
[German Version] I. Establishment – II. History – III. Current Situation I. Establishment 1. Founders. The notion of caritas as social assistance to those in need deriving from a sense of Christian responsibility has existed as long as the church itself. However, the organizational unification of such efforts beyond the boundaries of the dioceses and without exclusive ties to the socio-charitable religious orders is a modern phenomenon, which did not emerge within Catholicism until…

Red Cross

(866 words)

Author(s): Kaiser, Jochen-Christoph
[German Version] I. The International Red Cross Movement. Sympathy and concern for the victims of war first reached a substantial public in the Crimean War (1854–1856), when a report of the British nurse F. Nightingale (who had spent some time at Kaiserswerth, during her training) drew attention throughout Europe to conditions in the Crimea. Her report also made an impression on Henry Dunant (1828–1910), a businessman from an upper-class family in Geneva. At the end of June in the same year, he vis…

Youth and Welfare Service of the German Evangelical Church

(308 words)

Author(s): Kaiser, Jochen-Christoph
[German Version] The Youth and Welfare Service was a creation of the Weimar Republic and its accelerated transformation of Germany into a social state. The “mixed economy of welfare” (Sachße & Tennstedt) involving both public and private providers of social services that developed in this setting required legislative regulations that were established by consensus in the early 1920s under the pressure of the postwar burdens. In the sphere of private welfare system, this meant primarily Caritas and …


(267 words)

Author(s): Kaiser, Jochen-Christoph
[German Version] The town of Vandsburg in West Prussia, first mentioned in 1384, was Prussian until 1919, when it went to Poland as Więcbork. It was a center of the revival movement (Revival/Revival movements) that began in the 1890s under the influence of the Anglo-American Holiness movement. The movement’s spiritual leaders were the pastors Carl Ferdinand Blazejewski (1862–1900) from Borken (East Prussia; today Borki Male) and Theophil Krawielitzki (1866–1942) from Vandsburg. As a result of a co…


(134 words)

Author(s): Kaiser, Jochen-Christoph
[German Version] Based on Hutterite tradition (L. Hutter), but independently in connection with religio-social pacifist and communitarian ideas (Neuwerk [New Work Movement]), the Protestant theologian E. Arnold, founded the first German Bruderhof in Sannerz near Schlüchtern in 1920. It was moved in 1931 to Neuhof near Fulda and renamed Rhön-Bruderhof; it was then recognized by the Hutterites in the USA as Bruderhof. From 1933, approx. 150 people lived and worked there until the National Socialists dissolved the Bruderhof and its members emigrated to …

Inland Mission

(2,172 words)

Author(s): Kaiser, Jochen-Christoph
[German Version] I. Origins – II. The Concept – III. Wittenberg, the Central Committee and the Organization of Christian Charity – IV. Inland Mission, Church, and the Ermergence of the Social State – V. Third Reich, New Beginning, and Incorporation into the Diaconal Ministry I. Origins The end of the ancien régime also had consequences for the regional Protestant churches and the self-conception of its subdivisions at the turn of the 18th to the 19th century: the early bourgeois society encouraged the development of a “whole church” awarene…

Spiecker, Friedrich Albert

(282 words)

Author(s): Kaiser, Jochen-Christoph
[German Version] (Feb 19, 1854, Boppard – Jul 10, 1937, Berlin), businessman. After an apprenticeship in Hachenburg (Westerwald), in 1872 he began language study in Antwerp and London. In 1879 he was appointed director of the Missions-Handels-Actien-Gesellschaft of the Rhenish Missionary Society in Barmen. In 1902 he was appointed to the executive board of Siemens in Berlin. Spiecker embodied the novel figure of the Protestant economic self-made men, who by virtue of personal competence and commun…

Free Thinker

(1,574 words)

Author(s): Kaiser, Jochen-Christoph
[German Version] Free thought in organized form is a product of the 19th century, when the social and legal conditions for its appearance were first created. Of course there had been “free thinking” and concomitant criticism of religion and churches long before. The philosophical roots of organized atheism were developed primarily in the English and French Enlightenment. J. Toland may be considered the founder of this movement; his student A. Collins introduced the term into general use in 1713 in his Discourse of Free-Thinking. In France the term was associated primarily with…


(1,294 words)

Author(s): Kaiser, Jochen-Christoph | Benad, Matthias
[German Version] 1. Friedrich von, the Elder (Mar 6, 1831, Tecklenburg – Apr 2, 1910, Bethel) was one of a small group belonging to the ancient Prussian aristocracy who turned to theology in the middle of the 19th century and came to exercise enormous influence, less through their official positions than through their personality and family contacts. Under the influence of …


(372 words)

Author(s): Fix, Karl-Heinz | Kaiser, Jochen-Christoph
[German Version] 1. Adolf von (Jan 6, 1796, Berlin – Nov 23, 1882, Batzwitz [today Baszewice, Poland]), estate owner. As a young officer in Berlin, Thadden-Trieglaff came into contact with the Romantic conservative Christlich-Deutsche Tischgesellschaft; in 1816 he came into contact with the Catholic revival movement in southern Germany (Revival/Revival movements: I, 7). To the displeasure of church and state authorities, he established a homegroup on his estate; in its influential successor, O. v. Bi…


(1,117 words)

Author(s): Kaiser, Jochen-Christoph | de Wall, Heinrich | Hausmanninger, Thomas
[German Version] I. Social Science Subsidiarity is a principle that regulates the relationship between the state and non-state social agents. It presupposes personal responsibility on the part of individuals as well as limitation of public regulatory authority over them and the groups to which they belong. Human beings can exist only in social communities, into which they must be integrated. At the same time, their endowment with reason allows them to act on their own responsibility, and the communit…
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