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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…

Lamparter, Eduard

(218 words)

Author(s): Graf, Friedrich Wilhelm
[German Version] (Nov 21, 1860, Geislingen, Württemberg – Feb 24, 1945, Stuttgart), pastor in Stuttgart, president of the Evangelische Arbeitervereine of Württemberg, from 1913 Landtag deputy and from 1919 a delegate to the Landeskirchenversammlung (meeting of regional churches) drafting a constitution for the regional church. In the 1920s, Lamparter became active in the Verein zur Abwehr des Antisemitismus. In 1928 a collection of his essays was published under the title Evangelische Kirche und Judentum. He demanded legal and social equality for Jews, emphasized the…

Schmitt, Carl

(588 words)

Author(s): Graf, Friedrich Wilhelm
[German Version] (Jul 11, 1888, Plettenburg – Apr 7, 1985, Plettenburg), Roman Catholic jurisprudent and political theorist. Firmly rooted in the traditional Catholic milieu, Schmitt must be considered one of the most brilliant German intellectuals of the 20th century. Despite his partisan advocacy of the “German revolution” of the National Socialists – in part emotional and positional, in part opportunistic, Schmitt, a radical anti-Semite, exercised a strong influence even after his dismissal in …

People and Nationhood

(3,043 words)

Author(s): Junginger, Horst | Gertz, Jan Christian | Graf, Friedrich Wilhelm | Grethlein, Christian | Ustorf, Werner
[German Version] I. Religious Studies People and nationhood are functional political terms that serve to define a collective entity and to incorporate it into a specific context (see III below). Only since the 18th century has it been possible to speak of a German nation as the active subject of its own history. The rupture of the church at the Reformation and the subsequent wars of religion in the 16th and 17th century long prevented the development of an inclusive political or religious identity. It …

Paulus, Heinrich Eberhard Gottlob

(552 words)

Author(s): Graf, Friedrich Wilhelm
[German Version] (Sep 1, 1761, Leonberg – Aug 10, 1851, Heidelberg). After the early death of Paulus’s mother, his father was the major influence on his religious education. In 1771 the father was dismissed from his position as deacon by the Stuttgart Consistory on account of his mystical separatism. While still a seminary student in Tübingen, from 1781 Paulus developed basic elements of a critical rational exegesis, rejecting the supranaturalism (Rationalism) of his teacher G.C. Storr. He was hig…

Piper, Otto Alfred

(299 words)

Author(s): Graf, Friedrich Wilhelm
[German Version] (Nov 29, 1891, Lichte, Thuringia – Feb 13, 1982, Princeton, USA). Piper’s mother, descended from French Huguenots, provided contacts with France that helped to shape his life. A forerunner of the youth movement, he expressed that generation’s typical criticism of capitalism and individualism. He was severely traumatized by voluntary service at the front, and in 1920, having gained his doctorate in Göttingen, he became a socialist advocate of pacifism and ecumenism ¶ (Ecumene). He rejected the identification of faith and politics made by Religious Soci…

Cremer, August Hermann

(773 words)

Author(s): Graf, Friedrich Wilhelm
[German Version] (Oct 18, 1834, Unna – Oct 4, 1903, Greifswald), Protestant theologian. A graduate of the Gütersloh Protestant Gymnasium, from simple origins and shaped by the revival movement (Revival/Revival movements), he studied in Halle from 1853 with F.A.G. Tholuck and Julius Müller and in Tübingen from 1856 with J.T. Beck. Here he established a close friendship with M. Kähler. After a brief stay at the Wittenberg Seminary for Preachers, Cremer received the Lic.Theol. on the basis of his Die eschatologische Rede Jesu Christi Matthäi 24.25 (“The Eschatological Discou…

Tittmann, Johann August Heinrich

(259 words)

Author(s): Graf, Friedrich Wilhelm
[German Version] (Aug 1, 1773, Langensalza – Dec 30, 1831, Leipzig). Tittmann’s father, Karl Christian Tittmann, later became chief consistorial councilor in Dresden. Tittmann studied philosophy and Protestant theology at Wittenberg and Leipzig, where in 1796 he was appointed associate professor, initially in the faculty of philosophy, then (1800) in the faculty of theology; in 1805 he was appointed full professor of theology. He was appointed to a number of church offices (a capitulary of Meißen …

Hausrath, Adolf

(392 words)

Author(s): Graf, Friedrich Wilhelm
[German Version] (Jan 13, 1837, Karlsruhe – Aug 2, 1909, Heidelberg), a Protestant church historian. The son of a prominent pastor from Baden, Hausrath studied Protestant theology and history from 1856 onward in liberal Jena, where K.A. v. Hase became his teacher and close friend. Following study visits to Göttingen, Berlin, and Heidelberg, Hausrath earned his Lic.theol. in Berlin with a study entitled Der Ketzermeister Konrad von Marburg (1861). After completing his curacy, he gained his Habilitation in Heidelberg in 1862 and was employed as an assessor in the…

Eucken, Rudolf Christoph

(384 words)

Author(s): Graf, Friedrich Wilhelm
[German Version] (Jan 5, 1846, Aurich – Sep 15, 1926, Jena), a fashionable philosopher of cultural Protestantism, studied classical philology and philosophy at Göttingen with R.H. Lotze and Gustav Teichmüller (1832–1888) from 1863 to 1867. While writing his dissertation on Aristotle's language, he corresponded with F.A. Trendelenburg. From 1871 to 1874 he …

Nation

(936 words)

Author(s): Graf, Friedrich Wilhelm
[German Version] The Latin word natio (from nasci, “be born”) denotes the place of origin of a person or thing. Natio was the goddess of birth. The Latin word also meant a tribe or people. Since the Middle Ages, nation (or natio) has had a wide range of heterogeneous meanings. The medieval nationes of universities, councils, merchants, clerics, and nobility were not precursors of modern ideas of a nation, although clerics and landed nobility in the late Middle Ages developed notions of a German national consciousness or sense of a German Reich. Formulas using the word natio and references …

Krüger, Gustav

(181 words)

Author(s): Graf, Friedrich Wilhelm
[German Version] (Jun 29, 1862, Bremen – Mar 13, 1940, Gießen), Protestant church historian. He studied in history, philosophy, and theology in Heidelberg, Jena, Gießen, and Göttingen. He was awarded a Dr.theol. in Jena (1884) and a Lic.theol. in Gießen (1886), where he became associate professor for church history in 1889 and full professor in 1891. Deeply rooted in the education-oriented cultural Protestantism of the prewar period, the “social aristocrat” Krüger edited the Handbuch der Kirchengeschichte für Studierende (1909–1912, 21923–1932), and the Theologischer Jahresbe…

Secularization

(7,317 words)

Author(s): Bergunder, Michael | Lehmann, Hartmut | Graf, Friedrich Wilhelm | Mathisen, James A. | de Wall, Heinrich | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies In the 1960s, religious studies began to discuss the continuing decline of religious commitment in Europe intensively. In particular the writings of Bryan Wilson ( Religion in a Secular Society, 1966) and Peter L. Berger ( The Sacred Canopy, 1967), drawing on the ideas of M. Weber, É. Durkheim, and others led to formulation of a so-called theory of secularization, where secularization denotes a natural aspect of the process of modernization, in which the traditional religious legitimation of the world has increasingly lost…

Nowak, Kurt

(341 words)

Author(s): Graf, Friedrich Wilhelm
[German Version] (Oct 28, 1942, Leipzig – Dec 31, 2001, Leipzig). Nowak gained his Abitur in 1961; he refused military service, and after working in the Leipzig city theater, and then with the Leipzig theater company, began to study theology in 1964. With a church history dissertation on “Euthanasia and Sterilization in the Third Reich,” a German studies dissertation under Claus Träger on Schleiermacher (1984), and a further dissertation on “The Protestant Church and the WeimarRepublic,” he gained a high repu…

Cultural Protestantism

(913 words)

Author(s): Graf, Friedrich Wilhelm
[German Version] Despite intensive historical research, the origins of the term cultural Protestantism have been identified only in broad outline. Originally it was not a self-designation but a polemical term used by others, reflecting the florescence of cultural semantics (Culture: II) in the late 19th and early 20th century. In all European societies, the widespread sense of a crisis of modernity, the cultural pessimism rife among the bourgeoisie, and the relat…

Revolution

(3,474 words)

Author(s): Stroh, Ralf | Graf, Friedrich Wilhelm | Amjad-Ali, Charles
[German Version] I. Concept The term revolution (from Lat. revolvere, “turn over”) denotes a sudden qualitative change of existing circumstances and processes, a change that does not just affect individual elements – like the replacement of government personnel in a coup – but brings change of the overall system. The term was used originally in astronomy for the orbit of a heavenly body. Since the early modern era, has been used to refer to changes that overturn the political system, but this definition …

Rendtorff

(543 words)

Author(s): Winkler, Eberhard | Graf, Friedrich Wilhelm
[German Version] 1. Franz Martin Leopold (Aug 1, 1860, Gütergotz near Potsdam – Mar 17, 1937, Leipzig-Schleußig). After serving as a pastor in Westerland, Eisenach, and Preetz, Rendtorff directed the Preetz Predigerseminar from 1896 onward. He became a Privatdozent in practical theology in Kiel in 1902, honorary professor in 1906, and full professor for practical theology and New Testament in Leipzig in 1910, where he also became director of the Predigerkolleg in 1912 and rector of the university in 1924. He postulated a Liturgisches Erbrecht (1913, repr. 1969 [Liturgical law o…

Kahnis, Karl Friedrich August

(160 words)

Author(s): Graf, Friedrich Wilhelm
[German Version] (Dec 22, 1814, Greiz, Vogtland – Jun 20, 1888, Leipzig). Kahnis became associate professor in Breslau (Warcław) in 1844 and professor of dogmatics in Leipzig in 1850. He emerged as a proponent of a moderate Lutheran confessionalism which is evident from his major work Die lutherische Dogmatik historisch-genetisch dargestellt [Lutheran dogmatics presented historically and genetically] (3 vols., 1861–1868; 2 vols., 21874/1875). His theology emphasizes Scripture and confession. In opposition to K.I. Nitzsch, he was critical of union (Unions, …

Emigration

(521 words)

Author(s): Graf, Friedrich Wilhelm
[German Version] was originally an imperial legal term for the forced or desired emigration of Christian citizens to another jurisdiction primarily for religious reasons. In 1555, the Peace of Augsburg guaranteed Catholic subjects of Protestant rulers the right to depart with no tax obligation or departure fee ( emigrationis census). The degree to which a ruler could force citizens of other Christian confessions to emigrate remained contested. Detailed regulations for the ius emigrandi for adherents of the religious parties privileged under …
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