Carsten Colpe

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Carsten Colpe (born July 19, 1929 in Dresden ; † November 24, 2009 in Berlin ) was a German religious scholar , New Testament scholar and Iranist .


In 1954 he received his doctorate in religious studies under Hans Heinrich Schaeder in Göttingen. phil., 1960 with Joachim Jeremias with the book Die Religionsgeschichtliche Schule. Presentation and criticism of her picture of the Gnostic redemption myth (published in Göttingen 1961) for Dr. theol. Also in 1960 he completed his habilitation with the thesis The Son of Man and His Prehistory for the subject »History of Religion with special consideration of the New Testament environment«. In the same year he had his habilitation in Hamburg . At that time he was also politically active and ran unsuccessfully for the German Peace Union in the 1961 federal election .

In 1962 he was appointed full professor for the history of religion with special emphasis on the environment of the New Testament in Göttingen. In 1969 he moved to a chair for Iranian Studies and the History of Religion at the Free University of Berlin , which was renamed in 1974 in History of Religion and Historical Theology . In 1997 he retired.

In 1963/64 he was visiting professor at Yale University in New Haven (Connecticut) , 1969 at the British Academy , London, and the University of Chicago , 1974/75 at the British Institute of Persian Studies.

Colpe was a member of the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences . He died on November 24, 2009 in Berlin.

In 2006, part of Colpe's private library was donated to the State and University Library in Bremen , a total of approx. 3000 volumes of specialist literature on the religious history of late antiquity, the Middle East and Iranian Studies.

Works (selection)

  • The religious history school. Presentation and criticism of her picture of the Gnostic redeeming myth . Goettingen 1961
  • with Klaus Berger : Textbook of the history of religion on the New Testament . Göttingen 1987, ISBN 978-3-525-51367-5 .
  • Problem islam . Frankfurt am Main 1989, ISBN 978-3-86572-279-9 .
  • The seal of the prophets. Historical relationships between Judaism, Jewish Christianity, paganism and early Islam . Berlin 1990, ISBN 978-3-923095-32-2 .
  • About the sacred. Attempt to critically prevent his misjudgment . Meisenheim / Frankfurt 1990, ISBN 978-3-86572-603-2 .
  • Small fonts . 6 volumes. Berlin 1996, ISBN 978-3-929619-10-2 .
  • World interpretations in conflict . Berlin 1999, ISBN 978-3-11-015712-3 .
  • Iranians - Arameans - Hebrews - Hellenes. Iranian religions and their western relations . Tübingen 2003, ISBN 978-3-16-147800-0 .
  • Greeks - Byzantines - Semites - Muslims. Hellenistic religions and the west-east dehellenization. Phenomenology and main phenomenological chapters . Tübingen 2008, ISBN 978-3-16-148890-0 .
  • Introduction to the Nag Hammadi Scriptures . (= Jerusalem Theological Forum, Volume 16.) Münster 2011, ISBN 978-3-402-11021-8 .

Editorial activities (selection)


  • Christoph Elsas, Hans G. Kippenberg (ed.): Loyalty conflicts in the history of religion. Festschrift for Carsten Colpe. Königshausen & Neumann, Würzburg 1990, ISBN 3-88479-505-8 .
  • Christoph Elsas et al. (Ed.): Tradition and Translation. On the problem of the intercultural translatability of religious phenomena. Festschrift for Carsten Colpe on his 65th birthday. De Gruyter, Berlin et al. 1994, ISBN 3-11-013930-8 .
  • Albrecht Dihle : Carsten Colpe. July 19, 1929-24. November 2009. In: Yearbook for Antiquity and Christianity . Vol. 52, 2009, pp. 5-6.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. See the "Annual Report 2006/07" of the State and University Library Bremen, page 15 PDF .