Real Encyclopedia for Protestant Theology and Church

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RE, 3rd edition

The Real Encyclopedia for Protestant Theology and Church was a major lexical project in Protestant theology that appeared in three editions between 1854 and 1913. In the first and second editions the title was Real Encyclopedia for Protestant Theology and Church . The common abbreviation is RE or - more rarely - PRE.

The RE is the predecessor of the Theological Real Encyclopedia (TRE).

Edition history

Mathias Schnekenburger

It was founded by Johann Jakob Herzog (1805–1882) after the death of Matthias Schneckenburger (1804–1848), originally intended as editor . Herzog began his work in Halle (Saale) , where he held an extraordinary professorship for church history and New Testament exegesis, and continued it from the second volume in Erlangen , where he was appointed to the chair of Reformed theology in 1854. He emphasized the denominationally Irish character of the encyclopedia as well as the historical research in methodological terms.

Herzog first won the Lutheran and extraordinary professor of church history Gustav Leopold Plitt (1836–1880) as co-editor for the second, improved edition of RE. After his early death, Albert Hauck (1845–1918), Professor of Church History and Christian Archeology in Erlangen, took over the editing of the second edition and completed it as editor after Herzog's death in 1882. Later, in the years from 1896 to 1913, he was the editor of the third edition from Leipzig , where he was now professor of church history. Therefore, the RE can be described as a joint effort between Erlangen Reformed and Lutherans.

Translation and aftermath

Philip Schaff

An English translation was published in the USA under the name Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge by Philip Schaff and was widely used. It is a translation of the second German edition.

The third edition of the Real Encyclopedia for Protestant Theology and Church is considered to be the basic work for the Theological Real Encyclopedia . This standard work is also important for the Biographical-Bibliographical Church Lexicon and all other derivatives.


“The leading Protestant lexicon of the 19th century. Especially in its third edition to this day, a work of unsurpassed thoroughness and care and, for example, still of elementary value in terms of church history. … A look at many of the RE articles teaches us humility: in some areas we don't know more than a century ago; In some areas the historical awareness of the problem and the sovereign knowledge of the sources was higher then than it is today. "

- Marco Frenschkowski : literary guide theology and religious studies. Books and Internet addresses. Paderborn u. a. 2004, ISBN 3-8252-2405-8 (UTB 2405), p. 39

Overview of the requirements

Title page of the 1st edition
1st edition
  • Ed. Johann Jakob Herzog, Vol. 1–22; Rudolf Besser, Gotha 1854–1866
2nd Edition
  • Volumes 01–8: Eds. Johann Jakob Herzog and Gustav Leopold Plitt, Vol. 1–8; JC Hinrichs, Leipzig 1877–1881
  • Volumes 09–11: Eds. Johann Jakob Herzog and Albert Hauck; 1882-1883
  • Volumes 12-18: Ed. Albert Hauck; 1883-1888
A page from the 3rd edition
3. Edition
  • Ed. Albert Hauck, Vol. 1–22; 1896-1909
  • Supplementary volumes 23 and 24, 1913

Web links

Wikisource: Digital copies on the Internet  - sources and full texts