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Schleiermacher, Friedrich Daniel Ernst

(917 words)

Author(s): Oberdorfer, Bernd
Friedrich Schleiermacher (1768–1834), the “church father of the 19th century,” was a Protestant theologian, pastor, and philosopher. Born in Breslau (modern Wrocław) as the eldest son of a Prussian military chaplain, Schleiermacher—who was gifted even as a child—was significantly influenced by the Moravian Brethren. He attended their school in Niesky beginning in 1783, then their theological seminary in Barby beginning in 1785. Doubts about traditional dogma, however, aggravated an early alienat…

Zinzendorf, Nikolaus

(1,064 words)

Author(s): Oberdorfer, Bernd
Nikolaus Ludwig, Reichsgraf von (count of) Zinzendorf and Pottendorf (1700–1760), was a German Protestant theologian and founder and organizer of the Moravian Brethren (Herrnhut community). Born in Dresden, Zinzendorf was the son of a high Saxon court official, descended from old Austrian nobility. After his father’s early death and the remarriage of his mother, Zinzendorf was raised in the Upper Lusatia region of eastern Germany by his grandmother Henriette von Gersdorf, who had a strong influence on him. From 1710 to 1716 Zinzendorf attended, with ambivalent experiences…

Francke, August Hermann

(851 words)

Author(s): Oberdorfer, Bernd
August Hermann Francke (1663–1727) was a Lutheran-Pietist theologian, pedagogue, and social reformer. Francke, the son of a jurist, was born in Lübeck and spent his childhood in Gotha. He was early destined for spiritual office, as well as for scholarship, studying in Erfurt and Kiel (1679–82), Hamburg (1682), and Leipzig (from 1684). In 1685 he received his master of philosophy degree on the basis of a work on Hebrew grammar and acquired authorization to teach. As a counter to instructional theology that was reduced largely to dogmatics, in 1686 he founded the Collegium philobiblicum, f…