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Holbach, Paul Heinrich Dietrich

(178 words)

Author(s): Beutel, Albrecht
[German Version] (baptized Dec 8, 1723, Edesheim – Jan 21, 1789, Paris). Holbach studied law and natural sciences in Leiden from 1744 to 1748 and lived the rest of his life as a wealthy man in Paris. Holbach's Paris townhouse and his country residence Granval were meeting points of pre-revolutionary Enlightenment (I) and were frequented by D. Hume, J.-J. Rousseau, D. Diderot, Claude Adrien Helvetius, and others. Holbach wrote over 400 (perhaps as many as 1,100) articles for Diderot's Encyclopédie (Encyclopedia, Encyclopedists), which he probably helped finance to a conside…

Heumann, Christoph August

(339 words)

Author(s): Beutel, Albrecht
[German Version] (Aug 3, 1681, Allstedt – May 1, 1764, Göttingen) studied philosophy and theology in Jena (M.A. in 1702), where he also lectured in philosophy from 1702 to 1709. He undertook an educational journey to the Netherlands in 1705, became superintendent of the theological seminary and collaborator at the Gymnasium of Eisenach in 1709, superintendent and professor (and eventually headmaster) at the gymnasium of Göttingen in 1717, and was awarded a Dr. theol. in Helmstedt in 1728. With the…

Loeffler, Josias Friedrich Christian

(184 words)

Author(s): Beutel, Albrecht
[German Version] (Jan 18, 1752, Saalfeld – Feb 4, 1816, Gamstädt near Gotha), studied in Halle an der Saale from 1769 onward (esp. under J.S. Semler and J.A. Nösselt), served as a preacher in Berlin, was appointed professor of theology in Frankfurt an der Oder in 1782, and general superintendent as well as senior councilor of the consistory in Gotha in 1788. As the ecclesial and theological popularizer of an enlightened rationalism (1803–1816: editor of the Magazin für Prediger [Journal for preachers]), Loeffler's translation (1781, 21792) of Souverain's Le Platonisme dévoilé (1700) …


(12,278 words)

Author(s): Nicol, Martin | Beutel, Albrecht | Fuchs, Ottmar | Felmy, Karl Christian | Hermelink, Jan | Et al.
[German Version] I. General Preaching (from Lat. praedicare, “proclaim publicly”) is spiritual or religious speech, in contrast, for example, to forensic speech, political speech, or celebratory speech. Its setting is the worship of the community (Ministerial offices), church activities such as evangelism, devotions (Devotion [Attitude]), and ordinations (Consecration/Ordination/Dedication), and – in various forms – the media (see IV below). ¶ Communication in preaching, reduced to its basic elements, can be represented as a triangle of the preacher, th…

Church History/Church Historiography

(14,105 words)

Author(s): Markschies, Christoph | Plümacher, Eckhard | Brennecke, Hanns Christof | Beutel, Albrecht | Koschorke, Klaus | Et al.
[German Version] I. Concept, Presuppositions – II. Development – III. Middle Eastern Church History and Historiography – IV. Religious Education I. Concept, Presuppositions 1. Concept The concept of church history has not yet been studied sufficiently, but it is already clear that since antiquity extraordinarily different conceptions of Christian historiography have been in simultaneous competition over the interpretation of past, present, and future. Often the different methodological option…


(1,064 words)

Author(s): Beutel, Albrecht | Wiggermann, Uta | Christophersen, Alf
[German Version] 1. August Friedrich Wilhelm (Feb 4, 1703, Harzgerode – Apr 23, 1786, Berlin), Reformed theologian. In 1722 he began to study theology in Frankfurt an der Oder; in 1724 he served as a domestic tutor in Stettin (Szczecin) and Holland, where he was influenced by Jean Barbeyrac (1674–1744), a critic of confessional tests, and Arminianism (Arminians: I). In 1728 he was appointed tutor to the heir to the throne of Hesse-Homburg. In 1731 he was appointed third preacher of German Reformed chu…

Hafenreffer, Matthias

(179 words)

Author(s): Beutel, Albrecht
[German Version] (Jun 24, 1561, Lorch – Oct 22, 1619, Tübingen) studied philosophy and theology in Tübingen and became a deacon in Herrenberg in 1586, pastor in Ehningen in 1588, and court preacher and consistorial counselor in Stuttgart in 1590. He received his doctorate in theology and became professor of theology in Tübingen (1592) and then chancellor (1617) and provost of the university. He was an important representative of post-Concord Lutheran theology. In contrast to J. Kepler, who valued …


(806 words)

Author(s): Beutel, Albrecht
[German Version] The term edification (“building up”) in its metaphorical religious sense was introduced by the NT (Gk οἰκοδομή/ oikodomē, Lat. aedificatio). It denotes a central aspect of ecclesiology (Church) involving the interplay between the part and the whole. Despite both the deficient and inflationary senses the word has taken on in modern usage, its original, precise sense is vital for theological reflection on the church and the local congregation. The metaphorical use of edification in the NT, borrowed loosely from OT usage, refers t…

Crusius, Christian August

(183 words)

Author(s): Beutel, Albrecht
[German Version] (Jan 10, 1715, Leuna – Oct 18, 1775, Leipzig) was appointed adjunct professor of philosophy in Leipzig in 1744 and professor of theology at the same university in 1750. As a philosopher, Crusius gave anti-Wolffianism (C. Wolff) its definitive form. By distinguishing between epistemic or ideal causes and real causes, he was able to contest the ontological proof of the existence of God, as well as Leibniz-Wolffian determinism and the notion of a preestablished harmony (G.W. Leibniz). As a theologian, ¶ Crusius was inspired by J. Cocceius and J.A. Bengel …

Hippel, Theodor Gottlieb von

(360 words)

Author(s): Beutel, Albrecht
[German Version] (Jan 31,1741, Zheleznodorozhny [Gerdauen], Russia – Apr 23, 1796, Kaliningrad [Königsberg], Russia). Hippel studied theology in Königsberg from 1756 to 1760, journeyed to Russia from 1760 to 1761, and was tutor in Königsberg from 1761 to 1762. He studied jurisprudence there from 1762 to 1765, became barrister at the municipal court of Königsberg, and later director of the criminal court and city councillor. A member of the Prussian Landrechtskommission (commission for regional law) from 1780 onward, he was then appointed mayor of ¶ Königsberg and war councillor,…

Jerusalem, Johann Friedrich Wilhelm

(523 words)

Author(s): Beutel, Albrecht
[German Version] (Nov 22, 1709, Osnabrück – Sep 2, 1789, Braunschweig), leading proponent of neology (Enlightenment: II, 4.c). Jerusalem studied philosophy, theology and oriental languages in Leipzig (1727–1730, with Johann Christoph Gottsched, among others), received the M.A. (1731, Wittenberg), undertook a two-year study journey through Holland, and was a private tutor in Göttingen (1734–1737). After several years in England, to which he owed important impulses, and work as a tutor in Hannover (…

Mosheim, Johann Lorenz von

(408 words)

Author(s): Beutel, Albrecht
[German Version] (Oct 9, 1693, Lübeck – Sep 9, 1755, Göttingen) studied in Kiel from 1716 onward and became professor for controversial theology in Helmstedt in 1723 (for church history in 1725), also abbot of Marienthal and Michaelstein from 1727, general inspector of schools in Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel from 1729, and president of the Leipzig “Deutsche Gesellschaft” from 1732; he played a major part in the founding of Göttingen University (authoring, inter alia, the statutes of the theological school), where he was professor of theology from 1747, and the univer…

Henke, Heinrich Philipp Konrad

(385 words)

Author(s): Beutel, Albrecht
[German Version] (Jul 3, 1752, Hehlen – May 2, 1809, Helmstedt). Henke studied theology and philology in Helmstedt (1772–1776), became associate professor of philosophy (1777), associate professor (1778), and full professor of theology (1780) there, and also abbot of the Michaelstein seminary (Harz) in 1786. In 1803, he succeeded his teacher and father-in-law, Johann Benedikt V. Carpzov, as abbot of Königslutter. In 1804, he became vice-president of the consistory and ephorus of the Collegium Carolinum in Braunschweig. Henke was a major proponent of pre-Kantian theologic…

Coverdale, Miles

(261 words)

Author(s): Beutel, Albrecht
[German Version] (c. 1488, York – Jan 20, 1569, London), OSA in 1514, studied philosophy and theology at Cambridge. In 1528 Coverdale left the order under the impact of Luther's theology, which had been taught him by Robert Barnes. In 1534–1535 Coverdale published the first English complete Bible (Bible translationsβ : II, 1.b.). From 1540 Coverdale lived under the pseudonym of Michael Anglus on the continent, in Tübingen and elsewhere and as pastor in Bergzabern from 1543–1547. Coverdale returned to England …

Döderlein, Christian Albrecht

(179 words)

Author(s): Beutel, Albrecht
[German Version] (Dec 11, 1714, Seyringen, Principality of Oettingen – Nov 4, 1789, Büt-¶ zow) was inspector of the Halle orphanage in 1752 and deacon at St. Moritz (Halle) in 1753. In 1758 Döderlein was called by Duke Friedrich v. Mecklenburg to Rostock as professor and consistory councillor. Owing to unanimous opposition to the installation of the Pietist Döderlein on the part of the cleri…

Stosch, Bartholomäus

(331 words)

Author(s): Beutel, Albrecht
[German Version] (Sep 12, 1604, Strehlen, Silesia [now Strzelin, Poland] – Mar 5 [?], 1686, Berlin), Reformed theologian and adviser on religious policy. After schooling at the Schönaichianum Gymnasium in Beuthen [Bytom], he began to study theology in Frankfurt an der Oder in 1626. In 1629 he began working as a private tutor in East Prussia. From 1632 to 1640 he broadened his education by traveling in the ¶ Netherlands (Leiden), England, and France. In 1640 he was appointed pastor in Pilten (Livonia; now Piltene, Latvia). In 1643 he was appointed court chaplain i…


(176 words)

Author(s): Beutel, Albrecht
[German Version] Beginning in the 17th century, the early modern notion of progress took on a dynamic that increasingly permeated ethical, religious, and political theory, making the idea of perfectibility a fundamental thought form of the era. In France the word perfectibilité quickly came into use after 1750 and became a guiding principle of the French Revolution. Borrowed into German in the mid-18th century, the concept of anthropological, ethical, and religious perfectibility, extended around 1800 to cultural (Christianity, science…

Reimarus, Hermann Samuel

(495 words)

Author(s): Beutel, Albrecht
[German Version] (Dec 22, 1694, Hamburg – Mar 1, 1768, Hamburg), began studying theology, philosophy, and philology at Jena in 1714 and moved to Wittenberg in 1716, where he received his M.A. in 1717 and was appointed adjunct on the philosophical faculty in 1719. From 1720 to 1722 he took a study trip to Leiden, Oxford, and London. After a brief teaching stint in Wittenberg, he was appointed rector of the municipal school in Wismar and in 1728 (not 1727) professor of Hebrew and Oriental languages …

Spalding, Johann Joachim

(843 words)

Author(s): Beutel, Albrecht
[German Version] (Nov 1, 1714, Tribsees, Swedish Pomerania – May 22, 1804, Berlin). One of the most important Lutheran theologians of the 18th century, revered by his contemporaries as the patriarch of Enlightenment theology for his intellectual honesty, ecclesiastical modernity, and human integrity, Spalding was a pioneer of modern theology. From 1731 to 1733 he studied philosophy and theology in Rostock and afterwards in Greifswald, receiving his Dr.phil. in 1736. From 1745 to 1747 he served as secretary of the Swedish embassy in Berlin, whil…

Döderlein, Johann Christoph

(163 words)

Author(s): Beutel, Albrecht
[German Version] (Jan 20, 1746, Windsheim, Franken – Dec 2, 1792, Jena) became professor of theology and dean in Altdorf in 1772, and professor in Jena in 1782. A proponent of a moderate Enlightenment theology, Döderlein was the only neologist (Enlightenment: II, 4.c) to protest against the Fragmente eines Ungenannten (Anonymous Fragments, 1774–1778) published by G.E. Lessing in writing ( Antifragmente, 1778/79, 21780). Here, he explicitly maintained the resurrection of Jesus as a miraculous proof of his divine commission. His chief work of dogmatics, Institutio theologi christ…

Bahrdt, Carl Friedrich

(281 words)

Author(s): Beutel, Albrecht
[German Version] (Aug 25, 1740 [not 1741], Bischofswerda – Apr 23, 1792, Nietleben near Halle) studied theology in Leipzig, became lecturer there in 1761, and professor in 1766, followed by Erfurt in 1769 and Gießen in 1771; in 1775, he became director of the Philanthropinum in Marschlins (Graubünden), then General Superintendent of Dürkheim on the Haardt in 1…

Dietenberger, Johannes

(211 words)

Author(s): Beutel, Albrecht
[German Version] (c. 1475, Frankfurt am Main – Sep 4, 1537, Mainz) joined the Dominican Order of Preachers (1501), became prior in Frankfurt (1510), received his Dr.Theol. (1515), was again prior in Frankfurt (1516/1517), then regens in Trier (1518), prior in Koblenz (1519), again in Frankfurt (1520–1526) and in Koblenz (from 1527), and finally became professor of theology in Mainz (1532). With the encouragement of J. Cochläus, Dietenberger authored many polemical writings (e.g. Contra temerarium M. Lutheri de votis monasticis iudicium, 1524) and ascetic tractates which did…

Heerbrand, Jakob

(169 words)

Author(s): Beutel, Albrecht
[German Version] (Aug 12, 1521, Giengen/Brenz – May 22, 1600, Tübingen), studied philosophy and theology in Wittenberg (1538–1543, with Luther and Melanchthon, among others), became dean in Tübingen (1543), was removed from office (1548; Augsburg Interim), became pastor and superintendent in Herrenberg and received the Dr.theol. (1551), was professor of theology in Tübingen (1557–1598), while also serving as superintendent after 1561, chancellor of the university (1590–1599), provost and ducal adviser. Heerbrand was a signatory to the Confessio Virtembergica (1551) and w…

Edelmann, Johann Christian

(285 words)

Author(s): Beutel, Albrecht
[German Version] (Jul 9, 1698, Weißenfels – Feb 15, 1767, Berlin), student of theology in Jena (1720–1724, under J.F. Buddeus and J.G. Walch [1]) and tutor (1724–1734, in Vienna, Dresden, et alibi). Influenced by G. Arnold, Edelmann sought contact with various (radical) Pietist communities, such as the Gichtelians (J.G. Gichtel) and Herrnhut Brethren (after 1735; Bohemian and Moravian Brethren). In 1736, he …

Carpov, Jakob

(151 words)

Author(s): Beutel, Albrecht
[German Version] (Sep 29, 1699, Goslar – Jun 6, 1768, Weimar) gained his M.A. in Jena in 1725, became a Gymnasium teacher in 1737, becoming director in Weimar in 1745. The first of the theological Wolffians (C. Wolff) to do so, Carpov developed his entire dogmatics in a strictly mathematical and demonstrative manner. While in material respects he held fast to orthodox doctrine by explicitly confessing the symbolic books, he wanted to assure the academic standing of theology by applying the methodus scientifica. With the aid of a rational theory of revelation, he sought…

Opitz, Martin

(326 words)

Author(s): Beutel, Albrecht
[German Version] (Dec 23, 1597, Bunzlau, Silesia – Aug 20, 1639, Danzig), late Humanist poet and diplomat. Opitz studied jurisprudence and philosophy in Frankfurt an der Oder (1618) and Heidelberg (1619), and in 1620 fled, at the approach of Spanish troops, to the Netherlands; in 1621 he moved to Jutland, in 1622 he was a teacher in Weissenburg, Transylvania (Alba Iulia, Romania), in 1623 counselor at the court of the dukes of Liegnitz and Brieg, in 1625 crowned poeta laureatus, between 1626 and 1632 diplomat in the service of Karl Hannibal, count of Dohna, a Catholic impe…

Toellner, Johann Gottlieb

(396 words)

Author(s): Beutel, Albrecht
[German Version] (Dec 9, 1724, Berlin-Charlottenburg – Jan 26, 1774, Frankfurt an der Oder). In 1739 Toellner was awarded a scholarship at the Francke schools in Halle. In 1741 he began studying philosophy and theology in Halle (encouraged and influenced by S.J. Baumgarten). After 1745 he served as a domestic tutor in Pomerania and Berlin; in 1748 he was appointed military chaplain in Frankfurt an der Oder. In 1756 be was appointed associate professor of philosophy in Frankfurt and in 1760 full pr…


(771 words)

Author(s): Beutel, Albrecht
[German Version] 1. Romanus (Feb 21, 1703, Leipzig – Apr 5, 1750, Leipzig), began studying philosophy and theology in Leipzig in 1719, receiving his M.A. in 1721. In 1723 he was appointed catechist at the church of St. Peter and in 1727 Saturday preacher at the church of St. Thomas, both in Leipzig. In 1730 he was appointed deacon at the church of St. Maximus in Merseburg, in 1731 catechist at the church of St. Peter, in 1737 deacon, and in 1745 pastor of St. Thomas in Leipzig. After receiving his B…

Diterich, Johann Samuel

(205 words)

Author(s): Beutel, Albrecht
[German Version] (Dec 15, 1721, Berlin – Jan 14, 1797, ibid.), private tutor in Berlin in 1744, deacon in 1748, archdeacon in 1751, pastor of St. Mary's (Berlin) in 1754, and senior consistorial councilor in 1770. Diterich, a student of S.J. Baumgarten, was a respected proponent of the theological Enlightenment (II) in Berlin (a member of the “Wednesday Society” and sometime father confessor to the queen). He promoted the neological renewal of church life through his preaching, catechetical writings ( Unterweisung zur Glückseligkeit nach der Lehre Jesu [Instruction on happiness a…

Lüdke, Friedrich Germanus

(356 words)

Author(s): Beutel, Albrecht
[German Version] (Apr 10, 1730, Stendal – Mar 8, 1792, Berlin) studied theology in Halle an der Saal, initially with S.J. Baumgarten, then, after participating in the Seven Years War as a chaplain, under the definitive influence of J.A. Nösselt. In 1765, he became deacon, then archdeacon at St. Nicholas (Berlin). Through his writings and, even more, through his many contributions to F. Nicolai's Allgemeine deutsche Bibliothek ( Comprehensive German Library, nearly 1000 reviews), Lüdke became an important proponent of neology (Enlightenment, The: II, 4, c). His ess…


(573 words)

Author(s): Beutel, Albrecht
[German Version] 1. Hermann Daniel (Jan 24, 1731, Piaseczno [Petznick], Poland – Nov 12, 1807, Kiel[?]), the brother of 2. Hermes studied in Halle from 1750 before teaching in Berlin and serving as a pastor in Dierberg from 1756 and in Zossen from 1760. He became a professor at a Gymnasium in 1766, provost in 1771, and senior councilor of the consistory in Breslau in 1787. Called to Berlin as a councilor of the consistory in 1791, he became president of the Geistliche Immediat-Examinationskommission there in 1792.…

Bauer, Georg Lorenz

(288 words)

Author(s): Beutel, Albrecht
[German Version] (Aug 14, 1755, Hiltpoltstein – Jan 13, 1806, Heidelberg). From 1789 professor of eloquence, oriental studies, and ethics and from 1793 professor of Biblical Exegesis at Altdorf. From 1805 professor of oriental studies and practical exegesis; and member of the church council in Heidelberg. Within the theology of the Enlightenment, Bauer was the most important exponent of a strictly historical “biblical theology.” He was the first to call this approach programmatically “historical-critical” ( Historisch-kritische Einleitung in das Alte Testament, 1794, 31806). …

Bible Translations

(16,696 words)

Author(s): Dogniez, Cécile | Schulz-Flügel, Eva | Juckel, Andreas | Veltri, Giuseppe | Griffith, Sydney H. | Et al.
[German Version] I. Translations into Ancient Languages – II. Christian Translations into European Languages since the Middle Ages– III. Translations into Non-European Languages in Modern Times I. Translations into Ancient Languages 1. Translations of the Old Testament into Greek a. The first written translation of the Hebrew Bible, the Septuagint (LXX), owes its name to the circumstance that the Letter of Aristeas refers to 72 elders who had come to Alexandria from Jerusalem in order to translate the Torah of the Jews into…

Nicolai, Christoph Friedrich

(591 words)

Author(s): Beutel, Albrecht
[German Version] (Mar 18, 1733, Berlin – Aug 1, 1811, Berlin), bookseller and writer. After attending the Gymnasium in Joachimsthal, the Latin school of the Halle orphanage (1745–1748), and Hecker’s Realschule in Berlin (1749) he went to Frankfurt an der Oder in 1749 to learn his father’s bookselling business, continuing his education as an autodidact. In 1752 he joined the staff of the Berlin bookstore and in 1758 took over as director. There he became one of the most important representatives of the (Berlin) Enlightenment …

Hermes, Johann August

(203 words)

Author(s): Beutel, Albrecht
[German Version] (Aug 24, 1736, Magdeburg – Jan 6, 1822, Quedlinburg), was raised in the Pietist tradition in Bergen monastery under the abbot Johann Adam Steinmetz, but turned to the Enlightenment during his studies in Halle. Beginning in 1757 he held various pastoral positions in Mecklenburg and in 1765 became provost in Waren. His neological restatement of the doctrine of justification, presented in his Wöchentliche Beiträge zur Beförderung der Gottseligkeit [weekly contributions for the promotion of godliness] (2 vols., 1771f.) led in 1773 to conflict with th…

Impostores tres

(174 words)

Author(s): Beutel, Albrecht
[German Version] (“the three impostors”). In continuation of the religion-critical motif of deceit, known since antiquity, the claim that the three religion-founders Moses, Jesus, and Muḥammad deceived humanity has been in circulation since the Middle Ages (thus in the charge brought by Gregory IX against Emperor Frederick Hohenstaufen). In the late Middle Ages, rumors concerning the existence of a tractate entitled De tribus impostoribus began to spread, leading to numerous attributions and suspicions. The first attested text is the pamphlet De impostoris religionum, which w…

Gruner, Johann Friedrich

(177 words)

Author(s): Beutel, Albrecht
[German Version] (Aug 1, 1723, Coburg –Mar 29, 1778, Halle/Saale), began studies in 1742 in Jena and Leipzig, gained his M.A. (1745), became a teacher in the acadmeic gymnasium in Coburg (1747) and, on the recommendation of J.S. Semler, professor ¶ of theology in Halle (1764), received the Dr.theol. (1766), and married Christine Sophie Francke, a granddaughter of A.H. Francke (1767). Gruner was an independent proponent of neology (Enlightenment: II, 4.c); he sought to return the teaching of the church, transformed by Platonism and Aris…

Moritz, Karl Philipp

(434 words)

Author(s): Beutel, Albrecht
[German Version] (Sep 15, 1756, Hamelin – Jun 26, 1793, Berlin), writer and versatile philosophical essayist who paradigmatically embodied the intellectual contradictions of his time. Following a depressing childhood, shaped by his separatist and quietist father, Moritz became apprentice to a hatter in 1768; he ended his apprenticeship in 1770 with an attempted suicide. He entered the Hannover Gymnasium in 1771. The year 1776 marked the beginning of several unsuccessful attempts to become an actor…

Goeze, Johann Melchior

(437 words)

Author(s): Beutel, Albrecht
[German Version] (Oct 16, 1717, Halberstadt – May 19, 1786, Hamburg), studied theology, mathematics and physics at Jena and Halle (1734–1738), received the Dr.theol. (1738), became adjunct professor (1741), deacon in Aschersleben (1744), pastor in Magdeburg (1750), senior pastor at the Katharinenkirche in Hamburg (from 1755) and later Senior in the clerical ministry there (1760–1770). The popular preacher and learned theologian (works include Versuch einer Historie der gedruckten Niedersächsischen Bibeln, 1775) was a ¶ combative proponent of late Lutheran orthodoxy (O…

Enlightenment, The

(11,495 words)

Author(s): Beutel, Albrecht | Prien, Hans-Jürgen | Hardy, Daniel
[German Version] I. Intellectual History – II. Theology and Church History – III. Latin America, Asia, Africa – IV. Missiology I. Intellectual History 1. The Term Equivalents to the term “Enlightenment” are found in all European languages (Dutch verlichting, Fr. les lumières, Germ. Aufklärung, Ital. illuminismo, Span. ilustración). The term is ambiguous almost to the point of equivocation. The history of the German word is especially illuminating. The verb aufklären appears for the first time in Kaspar Stieler's Teutscher Sprachschatz (1691), where it is used in the se…

Edifying Literature

(3,117 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich | Weismayer, Josef | Beutel, Albrecht
[German Version] I. To the Reformation – II. Modern Era – III. Present I. To the Reformation The term “edifying literature” (or “devotional literature”) embraces all Christian literature that is not liturgical, juristic, merely informative, or scholarly (history, theology) but is meant to edify and encourage piety and Christian conduct. But the boundaries distinguishing e…


(173 words)

Author(s): Beutel, Albrecht
[German Version] (“Friends of Truth”). In 1736, Ernst Christoph Graf von Manteuffel, sometime cabinet minister of Saxony, J.G. Reinbeck, provost of Berlin, and Ambrosius Haude, a bookseller, founded the Societas Alethophilorum in Berlin. There were soon daughter societies, especially in the territory of Saxony (including Weissenfels, Leipzig, and …

Steinbart, Gotthilf Samuel

(342 words)

Author(s): Beutel, Albrecht
[German Version] (Sep 21, 1738, Züllichau – Feb 3, 1809, Frankfurt an der Oder), was educated in the school at Kloster Bergen; he counteracted its culture of Pietism and transitional theology by privately reading the philosophers of the Enlightenment, including J. Locke and Voltaire. He went on to study theology in Halle (S.J. Baumgarten) and Frankfurt an der Oder ( J.G. Toellner). After teaching in Berlin and Züllichau, in 1774 he was appointed director of the Züllichau orphanage as well as professor of philosophy and associate professor of theology in ¶ Frankfurt; he was promoted t…

Theological tendencies

(1,457 words)

Author(s): Beutel, Albrecht
1. Definition The umbrella term theological tendencies is somewhat fuzzy. In any case, it denotes theological phenomena, not religious movements, which tended to appear primarily in forms of piety, such as the late medieval  devotio moderna, Pietism, or Methodism (Religious reform movements). Within the history of theology (as methodical and systematic reflection on objects of religious life and belief), it is broader than the concept of a school, which (at least in the strict sense) means the narrow circle of students associat…
Date: 2022-11-07


(12,506 words)

Author(s): Walter, Peter | Beutel, Albrecht | Felmy, Karl Christian | Grözinger, Karl Erich
1. IntroductionThe Greek word  theología (discourse/teaching concerning God and divinity) was used by Aristotle for the highest level of philosophy, so-called metaphysics ( Metaphysics 11.  7, 1064 b 1–3). In late antiquity, Christians used it initially for statements about the nature of God, while using the Greek word  oikonomía (household management) in the sense of “order of salvation” for God’s action in the world as Creator and Redeemer [2. 1081 f.]. In the 12th century, when theology was used for Christian theology rather than purely philosophically as…
Date: 2022-11-07

Controversial theology

(666 words)

Author(s): Beutel, Albrecht
While the debate of Christian theology with non-Christian religions takes place under the heading of apologetics, controversial theology denotes doctrinal debate within Christianity. It does not deal with differences between individual theologians or schools of thought but only with issues that divide Christian churches, confessions, and denominations from each other. The term is used particularly for the debate between Catholicism and the major Protestant confessions (Protestantism). The divisive differences…
Date: 2019-10-14

Ecclesiastical historiography

(1,747 words)

Author(s): Beutel, Albrecht
1. Humanism and ReformationWhereas late medieval ecclesiastical historians [13] preferred the genres of chronicles, annals, and vitae (Biography; Hagiography), Humanism brought epoch-making changes of direction with its new critical and philological erudition and its programmatic turn to the texts of Antiquity ( ad fontes, “to the sources”). The invention of printing also led to the production of a wide range of reliable editions in Christian historiography, including first Latin, later Greek sources, culminating in the recovery o…
Date: 2019-10-14

Dogma, history of

(906 words)

Author(s): Beutel, Albrecht
1. Background and antecedentsThe idea of a history of dogma, that is, historicization of the truth claim of ecclesiastical teaching, was developed in the age of the Enlightenment as a sophisticated way of criticizing dogma. The early church was convinced of the immutability of its doctrinal tradition and therefore considered dogmatic divergences to be expressions of heresy. In the Middle Ages, the idea cautiously arose that the binding body of the church’s teaching could be extended, albeit not cha…
Date: 2019-10-14


(14,627 words)

Author(s): Walther, Gerrit | Steinle, Friedrich | Beutel, Albrecht | Tschopp, Silvia Serena | Kanz, Roland | Et al.
1. Concept and definition Enlightenment in English is first attested from 1865 as a translation of the German  Aufklärung, which was first recorded in 1691. With their European cognates  lumières (French), illuminismo (Italian), and  ilustración (Spanish), they denote the most influential European educational and cultural movement of the 18th century, as well as its overriding goals: to subject all authorities, traditions, and hierarchies to the critical measure of a newly defined reason, and to abolish them if they ran counter…
Date: 2019-10-14


(4,991 words)

Author(s): Beutel, Albrecht | Leicht, Reimund
1. Christianity 1. TerminologyThe German abstract noun Frömmigkeit (piety) and the adjective it is based on –  fromm (pious, devout) – were long polysemous. Until the late 19th century, they preserved their original meaning: OHG  fruma meant “benefit,” “usefulness”; the derived MHG adjective  vrum ( frumb) was used in the sense of “beneficial,” “useful” (e.g.  ein frommes Pferd [a useful horse];  zum Nutz und Frommen [to the benefit (of someone)]). As an expression of orderliness, God himself is extolled as fromm in hymns (Hymn [church anthem]): the apostrophe O Gott du…
Date: 2020-10-06

Bible translation

(4,210 words)

Author(s): Beutel, Albrecht | Walter, Peter | Bryner, Erich
1. Protestantism The Reformers saw the Bible as the complete, self-evident revelation of God. This meant a rejection of a spiritualistic appeal to additional inner revelations as well as the Catholic view that God has revealed himself equally in the Bible and in Church tradition so that the Bible can only be properly understood and interpreted by ecclesiastical ministers of the teaching tradition (Ministry [ecclesiastical]), and under no circumstances by just anyone. This difference in revelation …
Date: 2019-10-14


(5,070 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Ute | Beutel, Albrecht | Otto, Martin
1. General considerations Censorship (Lat. censura; “examination,” “judgment”) is now understood as the “authoritative monitoring of human utterances” [18. 3] and serves for communication monitoring, generally for the stabilization of a state or church system. This monitoring is realized by means of various different practical measures: by preventive censorship, which requires the submission for examination of manuscripts by relevant institutions before printing begins, or subsequent or repressive censorship, whi…
Date: 2019-10-14


(4,449 words)

Author(s): Rode-Breymann, Susanne | Fischer, Michael | Beutel, Albrecht
1. TerminologyThe word “song” – denoting (a) the act of sustaining a melody with the voice, and (b) a composition for singing – dates back to Old English and has virtually identical cognates in all the Germanic languages (e.g. ON söngr, Dutch zang, OHG sang). NHG Gesang, however, was superseded in the sense of “composition for voice” by Lied in the 15th century. According to Grimm’s  Deutsches Wörterbuch, Lied (compare ON  ljóð, OE leóð, ME leth, “lay”) originally denoted making music by plucking strings; OHG glosses render the Latin bardus (bard) as liudari, and the explanatory carminu…
Date: 2022-08-17


(4,365 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Ute | Beutel, Albrecht | Otto, Martin
1. AllgemeinZ. (lat. censura; »Prüfung«, »Beurteilung«) wird heute als »autoritäre Kontrolle menschlicher Äußerungen« verstanden [18. 3] und dient der Kommunikations-Kontrolle, in der Regel zur Stabilisierung eines staatlichen oder kirchl. Systems. Diese Kontrolle wird durch verschiedene praktische Maßnahmen realisiert: durch Präventiv-Z., die die Vorlage von Manuskripten vor Druckbeginn zur Prüfung bei entsprechenden Institutionen erfordert, oder Nach-Z. bzw. Repressiv-Z., die Medien nach ihrer Veröffentlichung indiziert und Druckerzeugnisse ggf. besc…
Date: 2019-11-19


(3,557 words)

Author(s): Beutel, Albrecht | Walter, Peter | Bryner, Erich
1. ProtestantismusDie Reformatoren sahen in der Bibel die vollständige, in sich evidente Offenbarung Gottes. Damit war eine spiritualistische Berufung auf zusätzliche innere Offenbarungen ebenso abgewehrt wie die katholische Auffassung, dass sich Gott gleichermaßen in Bibel und kirchlicher Tradition offenbart habe und die Bibel deshalb allein von den kirchlichen Sachwaltern der Lehrtradition (Lehramt), keinesfalls aber von jedermann, recht verstanden und gedeutet werden könne. Diese offenbarungstheologische…
Date: 2019-11-19


(1,556 words)

Author(s): Beutel, Albrecht
1. Humanismus und ReformationGegenüber der spätma. K. [13], die in Chroniken, Annalen und Viten (Biographie; Hagiographie) ihre bevorzugten Gattungen fand, brachte der Humanismus mit seiner neuartigen, philologisch-kritisch orientierten Gelehrsamkeit und seiner programmatischen Hinwendung zur antiken Textwelt ( ad fontes, »zu den Quellen«) epochenscheidend neue Impulse. Dank der Erfindung des Buchdrucks kam es auch im Bereich der christl. Historiographie zu einer breiten, zuverlässigen Editions-Arbeit, die sich zunächst auf lat., dann auch auf griech.…
Date: 2020-11-18


(11,949 words)

Author(s): Walter, Peter | Beutel, Albrecht | Felmy, Karl Christian | Grözinger, Karl Erich
1. EinleitungDas griech. Wort theología (Rede bzw. Lehre von Gott und den göttlichen Dingen), mit dem Aristoteles die höchste Stufe der Philosophie, die sog. Metaphysik, bezeichnete ( Metaphysik 11, 7, 1064 b 1–3), wurde in der christl. Spätantike zunächst für Aussagen über das Wesen Gottes gebraucht, während sein Wirken in der Welt als Schöpfer und Erlöser unter den griech. Begriff oikonomía (»Hausverwaltung«) im Sinne von Heilsordnung gefasst wurde [2. 1081 f.]. Im 12. Jh. nahm Th., wenn nicht rein philosophisch als Synonym von Metaphysik, sondern für die chr…
Date: 2020-11-18


(629 words)

Author(s): Beutel, Albrecht
Während die Auseinandersetzung der christl. Theologie mit nichtchristl. Religionen unter dem Begriff Apologetik firmiert, bezeichnet K. denjenigen innerchristl. Lehrstreit, der nicht die Sachdifferenzen zwischen einzelnen Theologen oder Schulrichtungen zum Gegenstand hat, sondern allein solche Streitfragen, an denen sich christl. Kirchen, Konfessionen und Denominationen voneinander scheiden. Insbes. steht der Begriff für die Auseinandersetzung zwischen dem Katholizismus und den großen protest. Konfessionen (Protestantismus). Dabei werden die trennenden …
Date: 2019-11-19

Theologische Richtungen

(1,374 words)

Author(s): Beutel, Albrecht
1. Sachverhalt Die Sammelbezeichnung Th. R. ist ein Begriff von mittlerer Schärfe. Er zielt in jedem Fall auf theologische (= theol.) Phänomene, meint also nicht relig. Strömungen, die primär als Frömmigkeitsbewegungen in Erscheinung getreten sind wie z. B. die spätma. devotio moderna, der Pietismus oder der Methodismus (Religiöse Reformbewegungen). Innerhalb der Geschichte der als methodisch und systematisch verfahrende Reflexion von relig. Lebens- und Glaubensbeständen betriebenen Theologie greift er über den Begriff der Schule hin…
Date: 2019-11-19


(13,283 words)

Author(s): Walther, Gerrit | Tschopp, Silvia Serena | Steinle, Friedrich | Beutel, Albrecht | Kanz, Roland | Et al.
1. Begriff und DefinitionA. (im Deutschen 1691 erstmals belegt) und ihre europ. Parallelbegriffe enlightenment, lumières, illuminismo, ilustración bezeichnen die wirkungsmächtigste europ. Bildungsbewegung des 18. Jh.s und zugleich deren spezifisches Ziel: alle Autoritäten, Traditionen und Hierarchien am Maß einer neu definierten Vernunft kritisch zu prüfen und abzuschaffen, falls sie deren Gesetzen widersprechen sollten, die gesamte Lebenswelt nach diesen Gesetzen neu zu ordnen und möglichst viele Menschen fähig zu machen, kraft dieser Vernunft ein besseres, glüc…
Date: 2021-06-18


(814 words)

Author(s): Beutel, Albrecht
1. Gegenstand und VorgeschichteDie Idee einer D., also einer Historisierung des Wahrheitsanspruchs kirchlicher Lehre, wurde im Zeitalter der Aufklärung als eine sublime Form der Dogmenkritik entwickelt und führte im 19. Jh. zu konstruktiven Neubegründungen der theologischen Geschichtsschreibung. Die Alte Kirche war von der Unabänderlichkeit ihrer Lehrtradition überzeugt; dogmatische Abweichungen galten ihr darum als Ausdruck von Ketzerei (Häresie). Im MA tauchte zaghaft der Gedanke auf, der bindende kirchliche Lehrbestand könnte, wenn auch nicht ver…
Date: 2019-11-19


(4,600 words)

Author(s): Beutel, Albrecht | Leicht, Reimund
1. Christentum 1.1. BegriffDas Abstraktum Frömmigkeit (= Fr.) und das zugrunde liegende Adjektiv fromm bildeten lange Zeit Polyseme. Bis ins späte 19. Jh. erhielt sich die ursprgl. Bedeutung: Das althochdt. fruma stand für »Nutzen«, das abgeleitete mhdt. Adjektiv vrum ( frumb) wurde im Sinne von »förderlich«, »nützlich«, »brauchbar« verwendet (z. B. »ein frommes Pferd«, »zu Nutz und Frommen«); auf Personen bezogen konnte es aber auch »treu«, »rechtschaffen« und »tüchtig« bedeuten. Als Ausdruck von Ordnungsgemäßheit wurde selbst Gott …
Date: 2019-11-19


(247 words)

Author(s): Beutel, Albrecht
[English Version] Opitz, Martin (23.12.1597 Bunzlau, Schlesien – 20.8.1639 Danzig), späthumanistischer Dichter und Diplomat. Studium der Jurisprudenz und Philos. in Frankfurt/O. (1618) und Heidelberg (1619), 1620 Flucht vor den span. Truppen in die Niederlande, 1621 nach Jütland, 1622 Lehrer in Weißenburg (Siebenbürgen), 1623 Rat am Hof der Herzöge von Liegnitz und Brieg, 1625 zum »poeta laureatus« gekrönt, 1626–1632 Diplomat im Dienst des kath. kaiserlichen Kammerpräsidenten Karl Hannibal Graf zu …


(10,773 words)

Author(s): Nicol, Martin | Beutel, Albrecht | Fuchs, Ottmar | Felmy, Karl Christian | Hermelink, Jan | Et al.
[English Version] I. Allgemein P. (von lat. praedicare, »öfftl. bekannt machen«) ist geistl. bzw. rel. Rede im Unterschied etwa zur Gerichtsrede, der polit. Rede oder der Festrede. Sie hat ihren Ort im Gottesdienst der Gemeinde (Kasualien), bei verschiedenen kirchl. Anlässen (Evangelisation, Andacht, Weihe/Weihehandlungen etc.) und vielgestaltig in den Medien (s.u. VI.). Die Kommunikation in der P. läßt sich elementarisiert darstellen als Geschehen im Dreieck von Prediger, Text und Hörer (s.u. IV. …


(587 words)

Author(s): Beutel, Albrecht
[English Version] 1.Romanus , (21.2.1703 Leipzig – 5.4.1750 ebd.), 1719 Studium der Philos. und Theol. in Leipzig (1721 M.A.), 1723 Katechet an St. Petri, 1727 Sonnabendprediger an St. Thomae ebd., 1730 Diakonus an St. Maximi in Merseburg, 1731 Katechet an St. Petri, 1737 Diakonus, 1745 Pastor an St. Thomae in Leipzig. Daneben als Bacc. theol. seit 1723 exegetische und homiletische Vorlesungen, 1735 a.o., 1740 o. Prof. der Theol. in Leipzig, 1741 zudem Domherr in Zeitz. – T. war ein überregional g…


(695 words)

Author(s): Beutel, Albrecht
[English Version] Spalding, Johann Joachim (1.11.1714 Tribsees, Vorpommern – 22.5.1804 Berlin). Als einer der bedeutendsten luth. Theologen des 18.Jh., von den Zeitgenossen wegen seiner intellektuellen Redlichkeit, kirchl. Modernität und menschlichen Integrität als der Patriarch der Aufklärungstheol. verehrt, ist S. zu einem theol. Bahnbrecher der Moderne geworden. 1731–1733 Studium der Philos. und Theol. in Rostock, danach in Greifswald (1736 Dr. phil.). 1745–1747 Sekretär der schwedischen Gesandtschaft in Berlin, zugleich freundschaftli…


(372 words)

Author(s): Beutel, Albrecht
[English Version] Reimarus, Hermann Samuel (22.12.1694 Hamburg – 1.3.1768 ebd.), 1714 Studium der Theol., Philos. und Philol. in Jena, 1716 in Wittenberg, 1717 M.A., 1719 Adjunkt der philos. Fakultät ebd., 1720–1722 Studienreise nach Leiden, Oxford und London. Nach kurzem Lehraufenthalt in Wittenberg wurde R. 1723 Rektor der Stadtschule Wismar und 1728 (nicht 1727) Prof. für orientalische Sprachen am Akademischen Gymnasium Hamburg; 1761 Aufnahme in die Petersburger Akademie der Wiss. und Ablehnung e…


(750 words)

Author(s): Beutel, Albrecht | Wiggermann, Uta | Christophersen, Alf
[English Version] 1.August Friedrich Wilhelm , (4.2.1703 Harzgerode – 23.4.1786 Berlin), ref. Theologe. 1722 Studium der Theol. in Frankfurt/O., 1724 Hofmeister in Stettin und Holland (Einfluß des Symbolzwang-Kritikers Jean Barbeyrac [1674–1744] und des Arminianismus [Arminianer: I.]), 1728 Erzieher des Erbprinzen von Hessen-Homburg. 1731 dritter, 1737 erster Prediger der dt.-ref. Gemeinde in Magdeburg, 1738 KonsR und Inspektor der ref. Kirchen im Herzogtum Magdeburg mit ausgeprägtem sozialen Engage…


(256 words)

Author(s): Beutel, Albrecht
[English Version] Steinbart, Gotthilf Samuel (21.9.1738 Züllichau – 3.2.1809 Frankfurt/O.). Im Kloster Bergen erzogen und dort die pietistisch-übergangstheol. Bildungsimpulse durch autodidaktische Rezeption der Aufklärungsphilos. (J. Locke, Voltaire) konterkarierend, studierte S. in Halle (S.J. Baumgarten) und Frankfurt/O. (J.G. Toellner) Theol. Danach Lehrer in Berlin und Züllichau, 1774 Direktor des Waisenhauses in Züllichau, zudem o.Prof. der Philos. und ao., 1806 o.Prof. der Theol. in Frankfurt/…


(254 words)

Author(s): Beutel, Albrecht
[English Version] Stosch, Bartholomäus (12.9.1604 Strehlen, Schlesien – 5.[?] 3.1686 Berlin), ref. Theologe und Kirchenpolitiker. Nach Schulbildung am Beuthener Schönaichianum 1626 Studium der Theol. in Frankfurt/O., 1629 Hauslehrer in Ostpreußen, 1632–1640 Studienreise nach den Niederlanden (Leiden), England und Frankreich, 1640 Pfarrer in Pilten (Livland), 1643 Hofprediger in Berlin. S., dessen rel. Einfluß auf die brandenburgische Herrscherfamilie erheblich gewesen sein dürfte, prägte seit 1659 …


(342 words)

Author(s): Beutel, Albrecht
[English Version] Toellner, Johann Gottlieb (9.12.1724 Berlin-Charlottenburg – 26.1.1774 Frankfurt/O.), 1739 Stipendiat der Franckeschen Anstalten in Halle, 1741 Studium der Philos. und Theol. ebd. (von S.J. Baumgarten gefördert und geprägt), 1745 Hauslehrer in Pommern und Berlin, 1748 Feldprediger in Frankfurt/O., 1756 a.o., 1760 o. Prof. der Philos. und Theol. ebd., 1767 Dr. theol. (Halle). – T. war der erste neologische Hochschullehrer, den Studenten in persönlicher Fürsorge (u.a. sonntägliche »a…


(170 words)

Author(s): Beutel, Albrecht
[English Version] . Seit dem 17.Jh. gewann der frühneuzeitliche Fortschrittsgedanke eine Dynamik, die immer stärker in die ethische, rel. und polit. Theoriebildung ausstrahlte und die Idee der P. zu einer basalen Denkform der Epoche werden ließ. In Frankreich wurde das Wort seit 1750 rasch gebräuchlich und avancierte zu einem Leitbegriff der Französischen Revolution. Seit der Mitte des 18.Jh. als Lehnwort ins Dt. übernommen, prägte der Gedanke der anthropologischen und ethisch-rel., seit ca.1800 a…


(491 words)

Author(s): Beutel, Albrecht
[English Version] Nicolai, (Christoph) Friedrich (18.3.1733 Berlin – 8.1.1811 ebd.), Verlagsbuchhändler und Schriftsteller. Nach Besuch des Joachimsthalschen Gymnasiums, der Latina am Waisenhaus Halle (1745–1748) und der Heckerschen Realschule in Berlin 1749 Buchhandelslehre in Frankfurt/O., daneben autodidaktische Weiterbildung; 1752 Mitarbeiter, seit 1758 Leiter der väterlichen Verlagsbuchhandlung in Berlin. N. wurde zu einem der wichtigsten Vertreter der (Berliner) Aufklärung (: I.,3.) und war Mi…
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