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Societies, Theological

(534 words)

Author(s): WilhelmGraf, Friedrich
[German Version] The roots of scientific societies go back to the learned societies of the Enlightenment. In the secular form of private …

Deutscher Evangelischer Kirchenbund

(360 words)

Author(s): Wilhelm Graf, Friedrich
[German Version] (DEKB; German Association of Protestant Churches). The end of ecclesiastical authority in the hands of the territorial princes and the birth of the Weimar Republic in 1919 provoked debates about internal reform and democratization of the church and the possibility of a national church. In the name of territorial autonomy, politically and eccle…


(636 words)

Author(s): Wilhelm Graf, Friedrich
[German Version] The origins and the history of the concept have scarcely been investigated. The earliest known German attestations date from the Vormärz , around 1830. In terms of its conceptual history, confessionalism is thus a specifically modern phenomenon. It reflects upon dramatic processes of religio-cultural change. In many European societies, from c. 1780 onward, the drifting apart of state and society as well as a growing socio-cultural differentiation concided with new trends towards religious pluralization. Protestantism, Catholicism, and Judaism witnessed the emergence of …

Confession Cultures

(566 words)

Author(s): Wilhelm Graf, Friedrich
[German Version] The relatively recent concept of confession cultures belongs to the terminology of modern cultural studies, where it is employed in conjunction with the analysis of the processes of confessional socialization, especially in Germany, but also in other multi-denominational European societies. Following the end of the confessionally homogeneous society of the old German Reich, during which ecclesial and political authorities had…


(1,043 words)

Author(s): Wilhelm Graf, Friedrich | Wolfes, Matthias
[German Version] I. Church History Talk of a “new” or “modern” Protestantism surfaced sporadically c. 1800, but did not achieve a firm foothold until the hardening of deep religious and cultural divides between “liberal theologians” (Liberal theology), mediation theologians (Mediation theology), theological Hegelians (Hegelianism), and Neo-Lutheran confessionalists (Neo-Lutheranism) during the 1830s. The neologism neo-Protestants was initially used in the late 1830s as a pejorative description of Protestant theologians who interpreted the Reformation as a revolution against ecclesiastical authority ushering in the modern history of freedom and declared the individual’s religious freedom of conscience and the political freedom of the individual citizen (Freedom of belief) to be the essence of Protestantism. In the 1840s, the noun neo-Protestantism surfaced as a critical cipher designating Lichtfreunde and Left Hegelians. F.C. Baur and his students made neo-Protestantism the central concept of a theory of modernity which, although recognizing the Reformation as marking the beginning of the history of freedom in the modern era, identified Pietism and the Enlightenment as epochal stages in the total cultural victory of the libertas christiana. Now neo-Protestantism came to designate a historical era – in contrast to the Protestant orthodoxy (II, 2) of the 16th-ear…