Yearbook for the history of Protestantism in Austria

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Yearbook for the history of Protestantism in Austria

description Theological journal
Area of ​​Expertise Church history
language German
publishing company Evangelical publishing house
First edition 1880
Frequency of publication Once a year
Editor-in-chief Rudolf Leeb
editor Chairman of the Society for the History of Protestantism in Austria
Web link Official website

The yearbook for the history of Protestantism in Austria ( JbGPrÖ or JGPÖ for short ) is a magazine that has been published annually since 1880 and is published by the board of the Society for the History of Protestantism in Austria . The yearbook focuses on the reconstruction of - and reflection on - the past of the Evangelical Church in Austria , but also includes the Anabaptism of the 16th century and newer free churches .

Foundation of the "society"

Periodic media only existed in Austria's Protestant Church since the 1850s. From 1868 the church newspaper Keep what you have appeared in Brno . In this newspaper, which emphasizes the history of its own church, Gustav Trautenberger expressed the suggestion to found a "Society for the History of Protestantism in Austria". The upcoming 100th anniversary of the tolerance patent from 1781 would be a good occasion for this. Carl Alphons Witz-Oberlin, Oberkirchenrat of the Evangelical Church HB , took up this suggestion and became the actual founder of the society. It was founded in Vienna in 1879; in August the statutes were approved by the Imperial and Royal Ministry of the Interior . This makes it "the oldest association of territorial church history in German-speaking Protestantism". The first president of this society was Karl Ritter von Otto. He came from Jena and had been appointed professor of church history at the Imperial and Royal Protestant Theological Faculty in Vienna - that was the first appointment of a foreigner to this faculty , which was originally founded in 1821 as an Imperial and Royal Protestant Theological Institute . In 1850 this school became a - but now Protestant - theological faculty, but still remained outside the University of Vienna . In comparison with the name of the faculty at that time ( evangelical- theological), it is noticeable that the “Society” and then also its yearbook were dedicated to Protestantism . As a church historian, Otto is known for his research into early Christian apologists . In Vienna he turned to the history of the Austrian Reformation (he published on Caspar Tauber and Emperor Maximilian II ).

The yearbook and its name changes

The yearbook of this society began to appear the year after it was founded, in April 1880 - the same year as the communications of the Institute for Austrian Historical Research . The yearbook is one of the oldest German-language scientific journals still in existence . For a private society with no government support, starting a magazine was a big undertaking, so efforts were made to attract many members from their own church to the society in order to have readers and supporters.

In the first few years several issues were published each year, then the company switched to only publishing one volume at a time - a “yearbook”.

The original name was a little longer and also contained the inset "der Gesellschaft": Yearbook of the Society for the History of Protestantism in Austria. The “history of Protestantism” was defined in a narrow sense: “Everything that relates to the history of our church in Austria”.

Since 1926 "in Austria" has been replaced by "in the former and in the new Austria". The reference back to the former Austria meant specifically the Austrian half of the Habsburg Monarchy ( rather excluding Hungary ); So one did not want to limit oneself to today's borders of Austria, as they had after 1918 the smaller “Republic of Austria” - to this the term new Austria referred - thus not at all euphoric . When considering the Habsburg Monarchy, however, the focus was clearly on German-speaking Protestantism.

After the annexation to the German Reich in 1938, the indication of the region in the name of the yearbook was shortened to: "In former Austria".

The end of the First World War (1918) meant a major turning point for the study of Austrian Protestant history due to the breakup of the Habsburg Monarchy and the associated significant change in the content of "Austria" . With the establishment of the “ corporate state ” (1934), which strongly favored Catholicism, apologetic-polemical tendencies were revived on the Protestant side. However, this happened outside of "society" - in this one believed that the importance of the Protestant Church could best be demonstrated through serious historical research. A radical turning point also resulted from the end of the Second World War (1945) and the associated disillusionment with German national ideals, which up until then had had a strong influence in the Protestant area of ​​Austria.

The current title has existed since 1980, due to the return to “in Austria” and the removal of the original addition “der Gesellschaft”.

Importance of the yearbook

A total of 5 years were canceled, namely in the post-war period (1946–1950). Apart from this gap, the yearbook has been published continuously for more than a century. This “society” activity was therefore very constant, while other activities were only carried out intensively at times, for example in the area of ​​collecting and giving lectures.

There is no similar journal for the history of Catholicism in Austria , although the latter was far more influential and has around 20 times as many members as the Evangelical Church. The foundation of a journal on the history of Protestantism was probably based on the experience of an often disadvantaged minority: One expected from the “research and presentation of the passion history of our church” a support “for the ecclesiastical-religious life of the present”, as it was already said in the first volume. Research into the history of Protestantism was concerned with “finding one's identity”.

In a retrospective, Reingrabner does not rate “the echo on the yearbook” as great, and says that “the number of members has always been small”. The "support from abroad was ... overall ... rather low".

The articles published in the yearbook tend towards the externally factual. They avoid anti-Catholic polemics, seldom devote themselves to methodical questions of church historiography, and the take-up of new approaches in German research on the history of the Reformation was only hesitant. But individual approaches published in the yearbook were taken up in historical research, for example Reingrabner's description of a “biconfessionalism” in the self-image of the nobility in Lower Austria during the first decades of Martin Luther's Reformation .

Editors and publishers

In the first decade, there was a body responsible for editing. After that, a single church historian was named as the editor for a century : From 1891, for four decades, Georg Loesche . He came from Berlin and was Otto's successor as Professor of Church History. As such, he made the Austrian Protestant history his main field of work. He sifted through and exploited numerous sources, but his publications increasingly received a combative, apologetic list. In 1902 he published his history of Protestantism in Austria in outline , namely "on behalf of the society ..." - such an overall presentation was a major concern of the "society": The detailed research published in the yearbook should lead to such a solid overall presentation. Loesche's history of Protestantism was published in extended editions ( 2 in 1921, as double volume 40/41 of the JbGPrÖ , and 3 in 1930) and had a great influence. Loesche regularly published bibliographies in the “Jahrbuch”.

From 1930 Karl Völker was the editor of the yearbook. He came from Lemberg , where he grew up bilingual. This gave him good prerequisites for researching church history in Poland . Shortly after the integration of the Evangelical Theological Faculty (as the second theological faculty ) into the University of Vienna (1922), Völker became professor of church history here. He had several students who later emerged as researchers themselves - u. a. the two subsequent yearbook editors Dedic and Kühnert. He died in 1937 at the age of 50.

From 1938 Paul Dedic was the editor. He was born in Olomouc in Moravia . He completed his habilitation in Vienna and was proposed for the professorship in church history, but did not receive it. His thorough investigations into the history of the Reformation in Styria were ascribed only local historical significance. He collected Austrian Anabaptist files, which were later published by Grete Mecenseffy . This esteem for the Anabaptists was a rather new attitude; originally, a clear distancing dominated the “yearbook”. Otto had mentioned “the enthusiastic sect of the Anabaptists”, “with which the confessors of the Gospel had nothing in common, neither in faith nor in life”. A certain distance can also be seen in the present; For Reingrabner, the inclusion of the Anabaptists was a look “beyond the actual evangelical confessions”.

From the restart in 1951 Wilhelm Kühnert was the editor, from 1953 together with Mecenseffy. He was in Strasbourg , the son of Frankish born parents. After almost three decades, Peter Friedrich Barton took over the editing in 1979 . With him as a Viennese , a person born within today's borders of Austria was the editor of the yearbook for the first time. The “native” scientific potential now available in Austria also increasingly took on responsibility for researching Austria's Protestant history.

Barton and his successors as presidents took up the concern that Loesche had implemented at the time. Reingrabner ( Protestants in Austria , 1981) and Barton ( Evangelical in Austria , 1987) designed historical overview presentations . Leeb contributed to an extensive overarching history of Christianity in Austria (2003).

Since 1996 the respective board of the Society for the History of Protestantism in Austria has been responsible for the publication . From that year Gustav Reingrabner was president of this society and thus also chairman of the board of directors that published the yearbook. However, he had already taken over the publication of the yearbook together with Karl W. Schwarz in 1990. Rudolf Leeb has been President since 2005 .

The publisher responsible for the yearbook was originally Julius Klinkhardt (in Leipzig and Vienna), since 1944 the Evangelical Press Association in Austria (in Vienna), and since the 2007 edition the yearbook has been published by the Evangelische Verlagsanstalt (in Leipzig).

Topics and authors since around 1990

Rudolf Leeb explains the regional reference to "Austria" with regard to the eventful history of this region and his rule as follows: It is about the "history of the Protestants of Austria or the Habsburg states and the archbishopric of Salzburg". Since 2004 Leeb has held a professorship for church history with a focus on territorial church history at the University of Vienna. The results of his research can be found regularly in the yearbook. Numerous contributions also go back to the canon lawyers Gustav Reingrabner and Karl W. Schwarz - the latter is vice president of the society and researches the history of the Evangelical Theological Faculty and the church during the Nazi era as well as the churches of the Habsburg monarchy. Other authors focus on the following: Karl-Reinhart Trauner describes evangelicals in the army and armed forces, and others. a. the military chaplaincy . Hans Krawarik looks at confessional conflicts, and Franz Graf-Stuhlhofer traces the history of free churches , especially the Baptists .

This yearbook usually contains a large number of articles by different authors, each recently focused on a specific topic. But there were also exceptions such as B. an extensive double volume containing source texts from the explosive period from 1918 to 1945. The size of a yearbook is generally more than 200 pages. While book reviews used to make up a considerable part of a yearbook (up to a quarter of the size), since 2005 there have only been a few. There are also individual obituaries and author-related (non-topic-related) bibliographies .


  • Gustav Reingrabner : Society for the History of Protestantism in Austria . In: JbGPrÖ 120 (2004) pp. 17–30 (brief description of the story). There p. 30 references to “Notes on the history of society” in earlier volumes; for the 100th anniversary in JbGPrÖ 96 (1980), pp. 9–52.
  • Gustav Reingrabner: Preliminary remarks on the occasion [namely for the 125th anniversary]. In: JbGPrÖ 120 (2004), pp. 11–15.
  • Peter F. Barton: Bibliography on the history of Evangelical Christians and Protestantism in Austria and the former Danube Monarchy , volume. 1: The "Yearbook for [the] History of Protestantism in Austria", essays, reviews, bibliographic advertisements. Vienna 1999.
  • Rudolf Leeb: On the academic profile of the church historians teaching at the faculty and on the Austrian Protestant historiography. In: Karl Schwarz, Falk Wagner: Zeitwechsel , pp. 13–49. Facultas, Vienna ISBN 978-3-85114-314-0
  • Karl Schwarz, Falk Wagner (ed.): Changing times and constancy. Contributions to the history of the Evangelical Theological Faculty in Vienna 1821–1996 . Facultas WUV, Vienna 1997, ISBN 3-85114-314-0 (= series of publications of the University Archives , University of Vienna , Volume 10).
  • Karl Schwarz: 125 years of the “Society for the History of Protestantism in Austria” as reflected in its board (1879–2004). In: JbGPrÖ 120 (2004), pp. 33-46. (First, pp. 33–40, a tabular, chronological representation of the respective holders of the functions in the “Society”; then, pp. 41–46, short biographies of these functionaries.)

Web links


  1. He lived from 1845 to 1918. See Evangelischer Friedhof Simmering .
  2. See his review in JbGPrÖ 25 (1904) pp. 1-4. - Some of the title pages of the yearbook expressly stated this: “In connection with Theodor Haase and G. Trautenberger / Founded by CA Witz-Oberlin”, z. B. JbGPrÖ 1904 or 1908.
  3. "The emergence of our society" is reported at the beginning of the first issue: JbGPrÖ 1 (1880) pp. 1-10 ( Google Books ).
  4. ^ Reingrabner: Preliminary remarks , p. 15.
  6. This distinction is emphasized, especially with regard to the JbGPrÖ, by Peter F. Barton: Georg Loesche and the problem of periodization in the history of the faculty. Between politics, church politics, cultural Protestantism and nationalism . In: Schwarz, Wagner: Zeitenwechsel , pp. 50–69, there 65–66.
  7. ^ Leeb: Church Historian , pp. 18-21.
  8. In France there was a much older model, namely the magazine Le Bulletin de la Société de l'Histoire du Protestantisme Français, founded in 1852 .
  9. ^ So the Central board: The emergence of our society. In: JbGPrÖ 1 (1880) p. 6.
  10. Reingrabner: Gesellschaft , 2004, pp. 21–22.
  11. How the professors of the Evangelical Theological Faculty in particular acted in the various phases of Austria's history was examined by Karl Schwarz: "House in Time": The Faculty in the Confusions of this Century . In: Schwarz, Wagner: Zeitenwechsel , 1997, pp. 124–208. However, Schwarz does not include the “Jahrbuch” as a source.
  12. The changes are listed by Andreas Lawaty u. a. (Ed.): German-Polish relations in the past and present. Bibliography . Vol. 2. Otto Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden 2000, p. 31 ( limited preview in the Google book search).
  13. Therefore, z. E.g. the year that appears in 2010 is number 126, i.e. 131 minus 5 (since the year 1 appeared in 1880, one would expect the year 131 in 2010, i.e. 130 years later).
  14. ^ JbGPrÖ 1880, p. 9, in the submission printed there by the Central Board of Directors of the Society to the Imperial and Royal Evangelical Upper Church Council .
  15. ^ Reingrabner: Gesellschaft , p. 18f.
  16. ^ Reingrabner: Preliminary remarks , pp. 11-13. - For the low response, see also Reingrabner: Gesellschaft , pp. 19, 24.
  17. ^ Reingrabner: Gesellschaft , pp. 18f, 24f.
  18. ^ Gernot Heiss : Reformation and Counter-Reformation (1519–1618) . In: Erich Zöllner (ed.): The sources of the history of Austria (= writings of the Institute for Austrian Studies; 40). Österreichischer Bundesverlag, Vienna 1982, pp. 114–132, there 123f, on Reingrabner's “excellent introduction to the evaluability of the various types of sources for religious self-understanding”. Reingrabner's study appeared in JbGPrÖ 90/91 (1975) pp. 3-59.
  19. On the successive editors Loesche, Völker, Dedic and Kühnert see Leeb: Kirchenhistoriker , pp. 21–40.
  20. Peter F. Barton: Georg Loesche and the problem of periodization in the history of the faculty . In: Schwarz, Wagner: Zeitenwechsel , 1997, pp. 50–69, there 65, Barton lists all of Loesche's bibliographies (from 1886 to 1927).
  21. ^ Karl von Otto: The beginnings of the Reformation in the Archduchy of Austria (1522–1564) . In: JbGPrÖ 1 (1880) pp. 11-20, there p. 13.
  22. ^ Reingrabner: Preliminary remarks , p. 14.
  23. Peter Karner: The reformed chair of the Protestant theological faculty in Vienna . In: Peter Karner (Hrsg.): The evangelical community HB in Vienna . Franz Deuticke, Vienna 1986, ISBN 3-7005-4579-7 , p. 186.
  24. ^ Leeb in the preface to JbGPrÖ 123 (2007), p. 7.
  25. ^ Archive of the online newspaper of the University of Vienna .
  26. ^ Gustav Reingrabner, Karl Schwarz (Ed.): Source texts on the Austrian Protestant church history between 1918 and 1945. Vienna 1989 (= JbGPrÖ 104/105, 1988/89), 868 pages.
  27. The price is around € 30 (members of the society receive it free of charge).
  28. Most recently the following bibliographies: 2005: Bishop Dieter Knall , Peter F. Barton; 2006: Bishop Oskar Sakrausky .
This version was added to the list of articles worth reading on January 19, 2013 .