Protestant theology is a scientific discipline. It is divided into the sub-disciplines of the Old Testament , New Testament , Church History , Systematic Theology ( dogmatics and ethics ) and practical theology . Sometimes mission theology , canon law and other sub-disciplines are also included. "Evangelical" is the self-designation of the churches that emerged from the Reformation . Protestant theology relates in a special way to the Gospel or the Bible and to the confessional writings, whereby the canon of the Lutheran confessional writings is concluded ( BSLK ), while in the churches of Reformed tradition around the world new confessional texts are being formulated again and again, to which Reformed theologians refer can relate to their reasoning.
Theological research also seeks dialogue with other sciences in its reflection.
An essential function of theological training is preparation for church activities.
In its sub-disciplines, Protestant theology deals on the one hand with historical questions and uses the methods of historical studies and other historical sciences, on the other hand with the exegesis of the Bible, for which methods from literary studies are used. In addition, she accompanies today's life of the church in a critical and reflective manner ( practical theology ), incorporating knowledge of psychology , sociology , pedagogy and other human sciences into her theories. Furthermore with the basic questions of the Christian faith and morals and ethics ; as a systematic theology , it is also in constant dialogue with philosophy and the natural sciences . Consistent and scientific work with recognized methodologies is the focus here. Protestant theology serves the church as an organization by giving prospective pastors the theoretical knowledge they need for their work. It is precisely under the latter aspect that it faces the churches as a corrective authority and is not obliged to become a teacher. That is one of the reasons why it finds its place in the state universities. The lecturers should be independent of the respective churches.
Some Protestant theologians have particularly shaped the image of Protestant theology, such as August Hermann Francke , Albrecht Ritschl , Ernst Troeltsch , Friedrich Schleiermacher , Johann Hinrich Wichern , Friedrich Gogarten , Adolf von Harnack , Theodor Zahn , Albert Schweitzer , Adolf Schlatter , Paul Tillich , Karl Barth , Emil Brunner , Rudolf Bultmann , Dietrich Bonhoeffer , Helmut Thielicke , Kurt Aland , Dorothee Sölle , John Stott .
Basic texts of the more recent evangelical theology
Certain texts have become particularly effective in the course of Protestant theology. The following table shows a selection of important texts, sorted by theologians in the order of their year of birth. The text selection is based on Wilfried Härle.
|Friedrich Daniel Ernst Schleiermacher (1768–1834)||
About religion. Speeches to the educated among their despisers (1799)
Brief description of the theological studies ( 2 1830)
The Christian faith. Volume 1 ( 2 1830/31)
|David Friedrich Strauss (1808–1874)||The old and the new faith (1872)|
|Sören Kierkegaard (1813–1855)||Fear and trembling (1843)
The Sickness to Death (1849)
|Albrecht Ritschl (1822-1889)||Teaching the Christian Religion (1875)|
|Martin Kähler (1835–1912)||The so-called historical Jesus and the historical, biblical Christ (1892)|
|Johann Georg Wilhelm Herrmann (1846–1922)||Our Faith in God (1912)|
|Adolf von Harnack (1851–1930)||The essence of Christianity (1899/1900)|
|Ernst Peter Wilhelm Troeltsch (1865–1923)||The absoluteness of Christianity and the history of religion (1902)|
|Albert Schweitzer (1875–1965)||The history of the life of Jesus research (1913)|
|Rudolf Otto (1869–1937)||The Holy (1917)|
|Friedrich Gogarten (1887–1967)||Between the Times (1921)
Doom and Hope of Modern Times (1953)
|Rudolf Bultmann (1884–1976)||What's the point of talking about God? (1925)
New Testament and Mythology (1941)
|Werner August Friedrich Immanuel Elert (1885–1954)||Law and Gospel (1948)|
|Karl Barth (1886–1968)||The word of God as a task of theology (1922)
The Doctrine of the Word of God - Prolegomena to Church Dogmatics (1932)
The humanity of God (1956)
|Karl Barth et al||Theological declaration on the current situation of the German Protestant Church ( Barmer Theological Declaration 1934)|
|Paul Tillich (1886–1965)||Systematic Theology, Volume 1 (1951)|
|Paul Althaus (1888–1966)||The Christian Truth (1947)|
|Emanuel Hirsch (1988–1972)||World Consciousness and Faith Secret (1967)|
|Emil Brunner (1889–1966)||Our Faith: A Christian Teaching (1939)|
|Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906–1945)||Succession (1937)
Resistance and Surrender (1944)
|Erwin Metzke (1906–1956)||Sacrament and Metaphysics (1948)|
|Helmut Gollwitzer (1908–1993)||Revolution as a theological problem (1970)|
|Gerhard Ebeling (1912-2001)||The essence of the Christian faith (1959)|
|Wolfhart Pannenberg (1928–2014)||Dogmatic Theses on the Doctrine of Revelation (1961)|
|John Hick (1922-2012)||Verification in the afterlife (1963)|
|John B. Cobb (* 1925) / David Ray Griffin (* 1939)||Process Theology (1976)|
|Jürgen Moltmann (* 1926)||The God of Hope (1967)
Political Theology (1984)
|Dietrich Ritschl (1929-2018)||"Story" as the raw material of theology (1976)|
|Dorothee Sölle (1929-2003)||Believe in God atheistically? (1968)|
|Eberhard Jüngel (* 1934)||The world as possibility and reality (1969)
The Human Man (1985)
|-||Agreement of Reformation Churches in Germany ( Leuenberg Agreement ) (1973)|
|Falk Wagner (1939–1998)||The Reality of God as Spirit (1977)|
|Walter Altmann (* 1944)||Conversion, Deliverance, and Justification (1983)|
|Rosemary Radford Ruether (* 1936)||Can a Male Redeemer save women? (1983)|
|Eilert Herms (* 1940)||Revelation (1985)|
|Wolfgang Huber (* 1942)||Good Theology (2004)|
|Ingolf Ulrich Dalferth (* 1948)||Full grave, empty faith? On the dispute over the raising of the crucified Christ (1998)|
The study of Protestant theology comprises 9 to 10 semesters , depending on the federal state and regional church . In addition, there are 2 semesters for learning the languages ancient Hebrew and ancient Greek , depending on requirements . In addition to Hebraicum and Graecum (one of the two languages for the MA as well as a combined BA and MA with theology as a major, with theology as a minor, neither of the two), the Latinum is required for the course , but usually no semester is added for learning.
As a rule, a Philosophicum and a Biblicum are also taken during the course .
The course Evangelical theology can with the first ecclesiastical examination or the diploma to complete. In addition, a Magister / BA - MA degree is also possible. The related studies teaching degree is called "Protestant religious doctrine " and closes with the first state examination from.
The basic course comprises four to five semesters - plus the "language semester" - in which the focus is on biblical sciences and the history of the church and dogma. The basic course concludes with the intermediate examination or preliminary diploma examination, which usually consists of a written and an oral examination as well as a six-week term paper.
In the four-semester main course , the subjects are treated roughly equally, but the students are free to set priorities themselves.
In the diploma or examination course, the standard period of study is supplemented by an additional semester to prepare for exams. The prerequisite for completing the course (except MA) is membership in a Christian church that belongs to the ACK .
History of the Protestant theological schools
Protestant theology not only ties in with the dogmas and symbols (such as the creed ) of the early church , but is also shaped by the career of the great reformers. Martin Luther , Ulrich Zwingli , Philipp Melanchthon and Johannes Calvin deserve special mention .
In particular, justification from faith ( sola fide ) is a central evangelical theme. In addition, the Reformation weighted any shortcomings in scholasticism more strongly and shifted the emphasis of theology to Scripture and “what Christ does” ( sola scriptura ).
In the so-called confessional age , the western church is split into Lutheranism , Calvinism and Roman Catholicism , with Anglicanism as “via media”, in which both Catholic and Protestant content, forms and beliefs are important, “standing in the middle “, Moderately mediating between the two poles of tradition and writing, represents a special or mixed form. In 1648 the Thirty Years' War ended in the Peace of Westphalia .
17th and 18th centuries
In the time of Pietism and the Enlightenment , the Reformation approaches were subjected to a fundamental criticism. Fundamental areas of conflict arose from the questions to theology that were now confidently submitted. By leading philosophers of the Enlightenment, the foundations of the creed and the Bible were, for example, provided as the sole source of divine revelation in question.
The fact that both Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel and Friedrich Schleiermacher taught at the newly founded University of Berlin has shaped Protestant theology just as much as the proclamation of the Prussian Uniate Church of King Friedrich Wilhelm III. (Prussia) . In the upheaval in theology after the First World War, dialectical theology emerged .
Universities and high schools in the age of denominationalism
The most important Protestant training centers ( universities ) for the German-speaking area were separated between the Lutheran and Reformed denominations until the beginning of the 19th century. Some of them were - especially for the training of Reformed theologians - in the area of today's Netherlands or in the neighboring "foreign countries". Lutheran universities also existed in Scandinavia. The English and Scottish universities developed independently in the field of Protestant theology. A study of Protestants at Catholic universities - also at the non-theological faculties - was excluded by a matriculation oath or doctoral oath according to a bull by Pope Pius IV (1564) with a few exceptions ( Padua , Bourges , Orléans , Angers , Ingolstadt ). In 1732, the theological candidates in Brandenburg-Prussia were banned from studying in Switzerland, England and Holland, which King Friedrich Wilhelm I considered particularistic.
At high schools or academic grammar schools ( grammar school Illustre , Archigymnasium, scholars' school , academy ), the material of the university artist faculty was taught and propaedeutic theological lectures were held. In contrast to the universities, these educational establishments did not have the imperial privilege of awarding academic degrees.
The language of instruction and science at all training centers was Latin until the 18th century . Doctoral theses were published in Latin in the 19th century.
- University of Wittenberg , founded in 1502 ( Ernestine Electorate of Saxony )
- University of Erfurt , opened in 1392, under Protestant influence since 1520, denominational stalemate and decline in the following period, Protestant faculty from 1633 to 1635 or 1644, finally Electorate of Mainz from 1664 (former imperial city of Erfurt ; Swedish occupation)
- University of Greifswald , founded in 1456, Protestant since 1526 ( Duchy of Pomerania- Wolgast, Swedish Pomerania )
- Goldberg Latin School ( Złotoryja ), founded in 1504, converted into an important Protestant grammar school by Duke Friedrich II of Liegnitz under Valentin Friedland in 1523 , accepted many students who left the University of Krakow ( Duchy of Liegnitz ) in 1549
- University of Liegnitz ( Legnica ), founded in 1526 as the first Protestant university, closed in 1530 (Duchies of Liegnitz, Brieg and Wohlau )
- Præsteskole (seminary) Haderslev , founded in 1526, was considered the "Wittenberg of the North", teaching was discontinued after the opening of the Protestant faculty at Copenhagen University in 1537 ( Kingdom of Denmark , Duchy of Schleswig )
- University of Marburg , founded in 1527 as a Protestant university, Lutheran from 1527 to 1605 and from 1624/25 to 1649 ( Landgraviate of Hesse , Hesse-Darmstadt )
- University of Tübingen , founded in 1477, Protestant since 1535 ( Duchy of Württemberg )
- University of Copenhagen , founded in 1479, Protestant since 1537 (Kingdom of Denmark, also attended from the Duchy of Schleswig)
- University of Leipzig , founded in 1409, Protestant since 1539 ( Albertine Duchy of Saxony)
- Brandenburg University of Frankfurt , Protestant from 1539 ( Electorate of Brandenburg ), moved to Breslau in 1811
- University of Strasbourg , founded in 1538 as Illustre grammar school, academy in 1566, university in 1621 (imperial city of Strasbourg ), closed in 1792 during the French Revolution, reopened as Faculté in 1803
- University of Rostock , founded in 1419, Protestant since 1542 ( Duchy of Mecklenburg )
- Landscape School Enns, founded in 1542, relocated to Linz in 1574, closed in 1626 (landscape in Austria above the Enns )
- University of Königsberg , founded in 1544 ( Duchy of Prussia )
- High school Illustre Düsseldorf , founded in 1545 under the Lutheran rectorate, taken over by Jesuits in 1620 ( Duchy of Jülich-Berg )
- University of Heidelberg , founded in 1386, Lutheran from 1556/57 to around 1560 and from 1576 to 1583/84 ( Kurpfalz )
- High School (Stiftsschule) Graz, founded in 1557, prohibited in 1598 ( Styrian landscape)
- University of Jena , founded in 1548 as a "high school", 1558 university ( Ernestine Duchy of Saxony )
- High school illustrious Hornbach , founded in 1559 as a state school, since 1631 at different locations (Zweibrücken, Meisenheim) (Duchy of Pfalz-Zweibrücken )
- High school illustrious Lauingen , founded in 1561 as a state school, abolished in 1616, taken over by Jesuits in 1617 (Duchy of Pfalz-Zweibrücken-Neuburg )
- Archigymnasium Dortmund , founded in 1543, Lutheran in 1562 (imperial city of Dortmund )
- Gymnasium Iglau , founded in 1560/61 by the city council as a Protestant Latin school, in 1622 the Protestant teachers were expelled, in 1624 taken over by the Jesuits (city of Iglau in the margraviate of Moravia in the Kingdom of Bohemia)
- Wiener Landschaftsschule, founded in 1565, moved to Horn in 1578 , abolished in 1620
- Thorner Gymnasium , founded in 1568 by merging two Latin schools, elevated to an academic high school in 1594 (Hanseatic City of Thorn ( Toruń ) in Prussia royal share )
- High School Loosdorf , founded in 1574, landscape school since 1592, abolished in 1627 (landscape in Austria under the Enns )
- University of Altdorf , founded in 1575 as an academy, 1622 University, under the Prokanzler Philipp Camerarius (1537-1624) Philippine romantic minded and also for Reformed students open ( Imperial City ), 1809 resolved
- University of Helmstedt , founded in 1576, closed in 1810 ( Principality of Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel )
- Uppsala University , rebuilt in 1593 ( Kingdom of Sweden , Uppland Province )
- Elbing grammar school, founded in 1535/36, privilege of the Polish king in 1576, with the claim of an academic grammar school since around 1597 (Hanseatic city of Elbing ( Elbląg ) in Prussia royal share )
- Academic Gymnasium Casimirianum Coburg , founded in 1605, university from 1705 to 1723 (Ernestine Duchy of Saxony-Coburg )
- University of Giessen , founded in 1607, abolished in 1624/25, restored in 1650 ( Landgraviate Hessen-Darmstadt )
- Akademisches Gymnasium Hamburg , founded in 1529 as a "scholarly school", 1613 Gymnasium illustrious (imperial city of Hamburg )
- University of Rinteln , founded in 1610 as an illustrious grammar school in Stadthagen, moved to Rinteln in 1619, university in 1620/21, Catholic in 1630, Lutheran again since 1633 ( Grafschaft Schaumburg , Landgraviate Hessen-Kassel )
- Sorø Academy , founded in 1586 as a Latin school, converted into a knight academy in 1623, university in 1643 (Kingdom of Denmark)
- University of Dorpat , founded in 1632 (Kingdom of Sweden, Province of Swedish Livonia )
- Kungliga Akademien i Åbo , founded in 1640, moved to Helsinki in 1828 (Kingdom of Sweden, Province of Finland )
- University of Kiel , founded in 1665 (Duchy of Schleswig-Holstein-Gottorf )
- University of Lund , founded in 1666 (Kingdom of Sweden, Province of Scania )
- University of Halle , founded in 1694, establishment of a reformed professorship at the Lutheran faculty (Electorate of Brandenburg) in 1713
- University of Göttingen , opened in 1737 ( Electorate of Braunschweig-Lüneburg )
- University of Bayreuth-Erlangen , founded in Bayreuth in 1742, relocated to Erlangen in 1743 ( Margraviate Brandenburg-Kulmbach )
- High School Zurich , founded in 1525 (Imperial City Zurich )
- University of Basel , founded in 1460, Protestant since around 1529 (City of Basel ), open to Lutheran students in the 17th century
- Theological Academy Patak am Bodrog (Sárospataki Református Kollégium), founded in 1531 (city of Sárospatak , Prince Rákóczi and others), called "Athens am Bodrog", closed in 1671 (moved to Debrecen and Weissenburg ), reopened in 1703, closed in 1951 by the communist authorities, 1991 re-established
- High School Bern , founded in 1534 (Imperial City of Bern )
- University of Lausanne , founded in 1537 (Bernese Bailiwick of Lausanne )
- Reformed College Debrecen , founded 1538/67 ( Kingdom of Hungary , Ottoman Empire )
- Pińczów Academy , founded in 1550, closed in 1565 (Oleśnicki rule in the Kingdom of Poland , Lesser Poland Province )
- Academic Gymnasium Danzig , founded in 1558, Lutheran in the 17th century (Hanseatic City of Danzig in Prussia royal share)
- Académie de Genève , founded in 1559 (Republic of Geneva )
- University of Heidelberg, founded in 1386, around 1560 to 1576 and reformed from 1583/84 (Kurpfalz), closed from 1632 to 1652
- Theological school at the Collège des Arts in Nîmes , founded in 1561, banned in 1664, the Collège des Arts was taken over by the Jesuits
- Gereformeerde School (Athenaeum illustrious) te Antwerpen, founded in 1563, closed in 1585
- Orthez University , founded in 1566 as an Académie, royal university in 1583, relocated to Lescar from 1591 to 1609, closed in 1620 ( County of Béarn of the Kingdom of Navarre )
- Académie Orange , founded in 1573 instead of the university founded in 1365, abolished in 1562, occupation by French troops from 1686 to 1697, abolished in 1703 ( Principality of Oranien-Nassau )
- Leiden University , founded in 1575 ( Republic of the Seven United Provinces ), open to Lutheran students since 1581 (abolition of the oath of denomination for the Faculty of Theology)
- Casimirianum Neustadt , founded in 1578, moved to Heidelberg in 1583/84 ( Duchy of Palatinate-Simmern-Kaiserslautern )
- Sedan Academy , founded as a college in 1579, Académie in 1601, closed in 1681 ( Duchy of Bouillon and Principality of Sedan )
- Académie Montauban , founded in 1579 as a high school, 1598/1600 academy, moved to Puylaurens in 1659 , closed in 1685, re-established as a Faculté in 1808, moved to Montpellier in 1919
- Doorluchtige Gereformeerde Schoole (Athenaeum illustrious) te Gent "ten Jacopynen", founded 1578/80, closed in 1584 with the fall of the Ghent Republic (Republic of Gent )
- Gymnasium Illustre - Hohe Schule Zerbst , founded in 1582 with Filipist orientation, reformed since 1606, initially remained reformed under Lutheran rule (since 1644), had Reformed and Lutheran professors in the 18th century (Principality of Anhalt-Köthen , Principality of Anhalt-Zerbst )
- High School Herborn , founded in 1584, university in 1654 ( County Nassau-Dillenburg )
- Illustre Gymnasium Bremen , founded in 1584/1610 (Imperial City of Bremen )
- University of Franeker , founded in 1585 ( province of Friesland ), also open to Lutheran students
- High School Steinfurt , founded in Schüttdorf in 1588, moved to Burgsteinfurt in 1591 (Grafschaft Bentheim-Tecklenburg )
- Académie Montpellier , founded in 1596, merged with the Academy of Nîmes in 1617 and relocated there and banned in 1664, re-established as a Faculté in 1919
- Académie Saumur , founded in 1599 or 1600, closed in 1685
- Gymnasium academicum Beuthen an der Oder (today Bytom Odrzański ), founded in 1601 ( "Schoenaichianum -Carolatheum"), closed after the recatholicization of the city in 1628 ( Majorat Carolath )
- Académie Die , founded in 1601/04, abolished in 1684
- University of Marburg, 1605 to 1624/25 and reformed since 1653 ( Landgraviate Hessen-Kassel )
- High School Hanau , founded in 1607 ( County Hanau-Munzenberg )
- Middelburg Theological Academy , founded in 1611 (province of Zeeland ), Athenaeum illustrious in 1560, closed in 1666
- University of Groningen , founded in 1614 (City of Groningen claiming to be an imperial city)
- Academic college in Weissenburg (Karlsburg), founded in 1622, closed in 1660 (Principality of Transylvania )
- Athenaeum Illustre Amsterdam , founded in 1632 (City of Amsterdam )
- University of Kassel , opened in 1629, founded in 1633, relocated to Marburg in 1653 (Landgraviate Hessen-Kassel)
- Utrecht University , founded in 1636 (Republic of the Seven United Provinces)
- University of Harderwijk , founded in 1648 (Republic of the Seven United Provinces, Gelderland Province )
- Illustere Academie Nijmegen , founded in 1655, closed in 1679 for lack of money (Republic of the Seven United Provinces)
- University of Duisburg , founded in 1655 (Electorate Brandenburg- Duchy of Kleve )
- Academic Gymnasium Hamm , opened in 1657, closed at the end of the 18th century (Electorate of Brandenburg- Grafschaft Mark )
- University (Akademisches Gymnasium) Lingen , founded in 1697 (Republic of the Seven United Provinces)
Utraquists and Brothers Union
- University of Prague , founded in 1348, Hussite or Utraquist since 1417 , predominantly Lutheran around 1600, re-Catholicized in 1622 ( Bohemia )
- High school Mladá Boleslav (Jungbunzlau)
- Gymnasium Lissa ( Leszno ), founded in 1555, supported by the Brothers' Union, school privilege in 1579, elevated to Gymnasium illustrious in 1624, reorganized by Rector Johann Amos Comenius from 1635 , destroyed in 1656, later rebuilt (Reign of Leszczyński , Kingdom of Poland, Province of Greater Poland )
- High schools in Přerov (Prerau), Prostějov (Proßnitz), Strážnice (Straßnitz), Slavkov u Brna (Austerlitz), Fulnek , Ostrava (Moravian Ostrau), Moravský Krumlov (Moravian Kromlov) in various domains of the margraviate of Moravia in the Kingdom of Bohemia
- Noble school and spiritual seminary in Ivančice (Eibenschitz), in 1575 Esrom Rüdinger was appointed rector
- College and Academy Klausenburg ( Cluj-Napoca ), founded in 1557 and 1566, reorganized after 1718 (Kingdom of Hungary)
- Lewartów Gymnasium ( Lubartów ), founded as a Reformed school, Socinian in 1588 , closed in 1598 (Kazimirski rule in the Kingdom of Poland, Lesser Poland Province)
- Raków Gymnasium (Gymnasium bonarum artium), founded in 1602, open to students of various denominations, called " Sarmatian Athens", closed in 1638 (Sienieński rule in the Kingdom of Poland, Lesser Poland Province)
- Influence around 1600/15 on some professors and students at the Altdorf Academy ( Ernst Soner , Martin Ruarus , Johannes Crellius and others)
- Heinz Zahrnt : The thing with God. Protestant theology in the 20th century . Piper, Munich 2002, ISBN 3-492-20890-8 .
- Hermann Fischer : Systematic Theology, Conceptions and Problems in the 20th Century (Basic Theology Course; Vol. 6). Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 1992, ISBN 3-17-010027-0 .
- Hermann Fischer: Protestant Theology in the 20th Century , Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 2002, ISBN 3-17-015754-X .
- Theological training in the EKD. Documents and texts from the work of the Mixed Commission for the Reform of Theology Studies / Expert Commission I (Parish Office, Diploma and Magister Theologiae) 2005–2013, ed. by Michael Beintker and Michael Wöller with the collaboration of Michael Beyer and Alexander Dölecke, Evangelische Verlagsanstalt, Leipzig 2014, ISBN 978-3-374-03755-1 .
- Roman Heiligenthal, Thomas Martin Schneider (Ed.): Introduction to the study of Protestant theology . Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 2004, ISBN 3-17-018045-2 .
- Wilfried Härle: Basic texts of the newer Protestant theology . 2nd Edition. Evangelische Verlagsanstalt, Leipzig 2012.