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Kirchengeschichtsschreibung

(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

Dogmengeschichte

(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

Kontroverstheologie

(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

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

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

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

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) …

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…

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 …

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…

Edification

(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…

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…

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…

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…

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 …

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…

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…

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 …

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…
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