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Neology

(1,047 words)

Author(s): Sparn, Walter
1. Term Originally coined to denote linguistic and literary innovation, “neology” came to be used from about 1770 as a term of reproach against theologians who were viewed as proposing new doctrines. The orthodox who were critical of the Enlightenment adopted it, but so too did many supporters (e.g., G. E. Lessing). The reference today is to the middle phase of Enlightenment Protestant theology after 1740. Advocates used it of themselves only rarely and with reservations, preferring “Enlightenment.” Nor is the meaning always uniform. It is i…

Physicotheology

(1,988 words)

Author(s): Sparn, Walter
Physicotheology is theology that gathers evidences of purpose in nature. It arose in the early Enlightenment as a form of the older European natural theology. It made use of the same allegorical interpretation of nature and of the same teleological proof of God (God, Arguments for the Existence of, 2.5), deducing the existence of an all-powerful and all-wise builder of the universe from its perfect, purposeful, and beautiful order. 1. Roots 1.1. Scientific Physicotheology was an important factor in the development of modern science. By demystifying nature in a pious …

Orthodoxy

(6,002 words)

Author(s): Baur, Jörg | Sparn, Walter | Muller, Richard A.
1. Lutheran Orthodoxy 1.1. Epoch The term “Lutheran orthodoxy” (sometimes “old Lutheran orthodoxy” or “old Protestant orthodoxy”) is ill adapted to describe this specific form of Reformation Christianity, which extended between the Reformation and the Enlightenment. Radical Pietism called the period orthodox because of (1) its interest in pure doctrine alone and not also in a holy life in devout fellowship and (2) the alliance between ecclesiastical and secular government. But this summary was a cari…