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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…

Eisenach Conference

(517 words)

Author(s): Graf, Friedrich Wilhelm
[German Version] After the end of the old Reich and the associated dissolution of the Corpus evangelicorum the regional churches ( Landeskirchen) of the German Protestant church no longer had a joint representative body. Following controversies in the ¶ media about a new all-Protestant body and negotiations moderated by M.A. v. Bethmann Hollweg which took place after 1846 in Berlin between representatives of the regional churches, in 1850 a number of church …

Schneckenburger, Matthias

(281 words)

Author(s): Graf, Friedrich Wilhelm
[German Version] (Jan 17, 1804, Thalheim, near Tuttlingen – Jun 3, 1848, Bern), elder brother of the writer Max Schneckenburger, author of the 1840 “Die Wacht am Rhein” (“The Watch on the Rhine”), the most important German patriotic anthem during the 1870/1871 Franco-Prussian War. Matthias rapidly completed all the stages of theological education in Württemberg. In Berlin in 1826 he attended the lectures of F.D.E. Schleiermacher, P.K. Marheineke, J.W.A. Neander, and G.W.F. Hegel. As a lecturer at the Tübingen Stift at the age of 23, he belonged to the Geniepromotion class that inclu…

Hahn, August

(304 words)

Author(s): Graf, Friedrich Wilhelm
[German Version] (Mar 27, 1792, Großosterhausen – May 13, 1863, Wrocław [Ger. Breslau], Poland), Protestant theologian. At the age of eight, Hahn lost his father, a cantor. His pietistic mother shaped his religion. In rationalist Leipzig, he studied Protestant theology and oriental philology. After three years as tutor, Carl Ludwig Nitzsch, Johann Friedrich Schleusner and Heinrich Leonhard Heubner in the Wittenberg seminary brought him back to revivalist piety and supranaturalism in 1817. In 1819,…

Dechristianization

(816 words)

Author(s): Graf, Friedrich Wilhelm
[German Version] I. History of the Concept – II. Concept in Cultural Studies I. History of the Concept Dechristianization can be identified since c. 1820 as a translation for déchristianisation, which was coined in the struggles over religious policy in the French Revolution. Déchristianiser initially referred to the spontaneous acts of violence by lower-class groups against the church, that is, the theft of church property, the destruction of churches, and the execution …

Liberalism

(4,291 words)

Author(s): Langewiesche, Dieter | Graf, Friedrich Wilhelm | Zenkert, Georg | Gräb, Wilhelm
[German Version] I. History – II. Philosophy – III. Social Sciences and Ethics – IV. Religion I. History 1. General Since the 18th century, European liberalism has fought for a civil society, demanding three kinds of civil rights: (1) equality before the law, guaranteed by the rule of law; (2) equal opportunity for political participation, made possible by the right to vote and free access to the public arena; (3) provision of basic social opportunities. Legal equality was the first of these demands put forward…

Lieb, Fritz

(203 words)

Author(s): Graf, Friedrich Wilhelm
[German Version] (June 10, 1892, Rothenfluh, Switzerland – Nov 6, 1970, Basel), Reformed theologian. Lieb, who was fascinated by the religious socialism of H. Kutter and L. Ragaz, studied Assyriology and then (1915) theology. After joining the Swiss Social Democratic Party, he was involved in demonstrations against the war and clashes in Basel during the general strike of 1919. In 1920, impressed by the October Revolution, the Slavophile joined the Communist Party and collected books and liturgical objects of Russian Orthodoxy. Lieb, also a friend of K. Barth, received his Habilitati…

Gerlach

(1,122 words)

Author(s): Graf, Friedrich Wilhelm
[German Version] 1. Ludwig Friedrich Leopold von (Oct 17, 1790, Berlin – Jan 10, 1861, Potsdam). In 1806, after graduating from ¶ the Prussian military academy, Gerlach fought against Napoleon. Following the Prussian defeat, he studied law (in particular with F.K. v. Savigny and Gustav Hugo), joining the Christlich-deutsche Tischgesellschaft and the Maikäferei group that grew out of it. Promoted to officer status in the Wars of Liberation, he remained in the military; in 1826 he was appointed personal adjutant to the…

Germanization of Christianity

(367 words)

Author(s): Graf, Friedrich Wilhelm
[German Version] This expression was coined in 1896 by the liberal Protestant clergyman Arthur Bonus, who combined old antithetical notions of “Romanism” and “Germanism” with P.A. de Lagarde's call for a new “national religion” in a program designed to “modernize” the traditional elements of Christianity on the basis of German national culture. His modern neo-Germanic concept of Christianity was intended to infuse a uniform ethos into the disintegrating society of imperial Germany. Especially among the culturally critical haute-bourgeoisie, a feeling of distress in the f…

Fascism

(1,633 words)

Author(s): Graf, Friedrich Wilhelm
[German Version] I. The Term – II. Italian Fascism – III. Fascism and Christianity – IV. Fascism and the German Public I. The Term Fascism, the term for a very significant aspect of 20th-century politics, has a wide range of meanings. It was initially used for Benito Mussolini's system of authoritarian-corporatist rule in Italy from 1922 to 1943/45. Even in the 1920s, nationalist protest movements (Nationalism) in other European countries were taking up the concept of fascism in order to legitimize their struggle a…

Parties, Political and Church

(4,565 words)

Author(s): Hübinger, Gangolf | Oberreuter, Heinrich | Mayeur, Jean-M. | Slenczka, Notger | Graf, Friedrich Wilhelm
[German Version] I. Concept, Historical and Legal Foundations The concept of the party has always been polyvalent in the political semantics of European modernity, while the historical configurations of parties have been subject to extreme variations. As intermediary, organizationally cemented groups representing shared views and positioned between the general population and the government, and legitimized by the respective national electoral law, parties have helped promote the parliamentarization and …

Personality Cult

(1,350 words)

Author(s): Bergunder, Michael | Graf, Friedrich Wilhelm | Wermke, Michael
[German Version] I. Religious Studies The term personality cult probably became popular in February of 1956, when Nikita Khrushchev’s famous “secret speech” at the 20th Party Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union admitted numerous excesses during the Stalin period and ascribed them to the “cult of personality” (Russ. kult lichnosti) surrounding J. Stalin . Since that time, personality cult has been a political watchword denoting exaggerated importance attached to the role of personality in politics, society, or history. Because of its polit…

Lehmus, Adam Theodor Albert Franz

(249 words)

Author(s): Graf, Friedrich Wilhelm
[German Version] (Dec 2, 1777, Soest – Aug 18, 1837, Nuremberg), theologian. As a student in Halle an der Saale and Jena, Lehmus was enthused by Rationalism, I. Kant's criticism, and J.G. Fichte's idealism. A deacon from 1807 in Dinkelsbühl and Ansbach, he initially espoused, with F. Schelling and G. Hegel, a speculative theology in order to prove the internal rationality of the symbols of faith. After his appointment in 1814 as associate professor of theology and preacher at the university church…

Jaeger, Werner Wilhelm

(255 words)

Author(s): Graf, Friedrich Wilhelm
[German Version] (Jul 30, 1888, Lobberich – Oct 19, 1961, Boston), a classical philologist, studied philosophy and ancient philology beginning in 1907 in Marburg and Berlin, became an instructor in Berlin in 1914, and was professor in Basel (1914), Kiel (1915), and Berlin (1921). He was dismissed from the Prussian civil service in 1936 at his own request for political and family reasons and emigrated to the United States, where he was professor in Chicago (1937) and Harvard (from 1939). After defi…

Rosenstock-Huessy, Eugen

(567 words)

Author(s): Graf, Friedrich Wilhelm
[German Version] (Jul 6, 1888, Berlin – Feb 23, 1973, Norwich, VT), jurisprudent, cultural philosopher, and sociologist. Rosenstock-Huessy, from a Jewish banking family, was a highly creative religious intellectual. He combined studies in diverse fields of cultural studies with a search for meaning, moral education, and center-left social reform. In 1905, at the age of 17, he converted to Protestantism. After studying law, history, and philosophy in Zürich, Berlin, and Heidelberg, he received his …

Wendland, Heinz-Dietrich

(476 words)

Author(s): Graf, Friedrich Wilhelm
[German Version] (Jun 22, 1900, Berlin – Aug 7, 1992, Hamburg) grew up in the “nationalistic German tradition of the Protestant parsonage” ( Wege, 18); in 1913 he joined the Wandervogel (Jugendbewegung) and in 1919 the Wingolf. In 1921 he was a co-founder of the Jungnationaler Bund. Beginning in 1919, he studied theology in Berlin and Heidelberg. In 1924 ¶ he received his doctorate under Willy Lüttge with a dissertation on A.E. Biedermann; in 1929 he received his habilitation under M. Dibelius with a thesis on the eschatology of the kingdom of God in the…

Heydenreich, August Ludwig Christian

(196 words)

Author(s): Graf, Friedrich Wilhelm
[German Version] (Jul 25, 1773, Wiesbaden – Sep 26, 1858, Wiesbaden). During his studies at Erlangen, Heydenreich became strongly critical of theological rationalism and the Kantian critical method. His Romantic supranaturalism was influenced by F.D.E. Schleiermacher and the revival movement. After a series of pastorates, in 1818 he received a call to the Protestant seminary in Herborn. An advocate of a united Lutheran/Reformed church, he rejected historical-critical exegesis in three volumes of studies entitled Ueber die Unzulässigkeit der mythischen Auffassung des H…

Ronge, Johannes

(327 words)

Author(s): Graf, Friedrich Wilhelm
[German Version] (Oct 16, 1813, Bischofswalde, Silesia – Oct 26, 1887, Döbling near Vienna), the most influential representative of German Catholicism. He came from a farming family with strict church convictions. While studying theology and philosophy in Breslau from 1836 to 1839, Ronge belonged to a student fraternity and was an enthusiastic supporter of the cultural ideals of the Enlightenment and German Idealism, and also of the early liberals’ demands for emancipation. From 1841 he was chapla…

Weber, Max

(2,461 words)

Author(s): Graf, Friedrich Wilhelm | Lepsius, M. Rainer
[German Version] (Apr 21, 1864, Erfurt – Jun 14, 1920, Munich) I. Life and Work From his childhood, Karl Emil Maximilian Weber was deeply influenced by the cultural ideals of the educated German Protestant bourgeoisie. His father Max Weber Sr. (1836–1897), a lawyer, represented the National Liberal Party as a deputy in the Landtag and Reichstag. His mother Helene Weber née Fallenstein, who was descended from a family of Huguenots, was a deeply religious and morally sensitive woman with a strong commitment to charitable social work. His sister Henriette w…
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