Rudolf Kögel

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Rudolf Kögel

Johannes Theodor Rudolf Kögel (born February 18, 1829 in Birnbaum ; † July 2, 1896 in Berlin ) was a German Protestant theologian and pulpit speaker . Under the emperors Wilhelm I and Wilhelm II he officiated as court preacher at the Berlin Cathedral


His parents were the pastor of Birnbaum Gottfried Kögel (1796–1871) (from 1865 superintendent) and his wife Florentine Bartusch (1809–1852).


Interior view of the old Berlin Cathedral (painting by Eduard Gaertner from 1824)

Rudolf Kögel studied theology and philology in Halle and Berlin from 1847 to 1852 and accompanied his teacher August Tholuck on a trip to France and Spain and Hans Hugo von Kleist-Retzow to Austria, Switzerland and Italy. From 1852 to 1854 he worked as a religion teacher at the Vitzthumschen Gymnasium in Dresden , then as a teacher at the seminar for city schools in Berlin. In 1853 he was due a dissertation Augustine's doctrine of sin and Gnadein Leipzig to Dr. phil. PhD. From 1854 to 1857 he was pastor in Nakel near Bromberg and then until 1863 preacher of the German Protestant community in The Hague (Holland).

From here he was called to Berlin by Wilhelm I as court and cathedral preacher and at the same time a member of the Consistory of the Mark Brandenburg and a lecturing councilor in the Ministry of Culture . In 1873 he also received the office of castle preacher and Ephorus of the cathedral candidate pen . In 1878 he was appointed a member of the Old Prussian Evangelical Upper Church Council (EOK) and in 1880 he was appointed general superintendent of the Kurmark and senior court preacher. In 1884 he became a member of the State Council .

Kögel already had great influence under Education Minister Heinrich von Mühler (until 1872) and was able to enforce the appointment of several theology professors with a "positive" orientation. During the tenure of his predecessor as Oberhofprediger Wilhelm von Hengstenberg (1873-1880) he was the strongest personality within the college of court preachers, to which Wilhelm Baur and Adolf Stoecker belonged since 1872 and 1874 respectively . He was considered to be the leader of the so-called "court preachers' party", which thanks to their direct access to the emperor and his wife Augusta , were able to shape church policy in Prussia in a conservative spirit. During the Kulturkampf he fought the liberal minister of education Adalbert Falk and the EOK president Emil Herrmann and achieved their resignation in 1878/79. With his brother-in-law Leopold Schultze (1827-1893) he founded the “ Positive Union ” in 1875 as a split from the Evangelical Association , which until 1918 was the dominant church party in Prussia. He supported Adolf Stoecker's commitment to social issues , but remained aloof from his party-political activities.

Memorial stone on the Berlin Cathedral Cemetery II

Seriously ill from 1890 onwards, Kögel had to gradually give up his offices. In 1890 he gave up the office of palace preacher and in 1892 the general superintendent's position to Ernst Dryander , who after his death also became senior court preacher; in March 1894 he left the EOK. He was buried in Domfriedhof II on Müllerstrasse in Berlin.

Kögel was described as an excellent pulpit speaker ( The preacher among the princes, the prince among the preachers ); many of his sermons appeared as collections. In addition, he also published poems and hymns, some of which (e.g. Zion's silence should spread ) were included in hymn books. Since 1880 he edited the yearbook Neue Christoterpe with Wilhelm Baur and Emil Frommel . 1868 awarded him Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-University of Bonn , the honorary doctorate ( D. h c.. ); In 1887 the emperor appointed him canon in Brandenburg .


Kögel married Marie Müller (1832–1883) in Halle in 1855, a daughter of theology professor Julius Müller († 1878). The couple had nine children including:

  • Gottfried Kögel (1858–1918), administrative lawyer (he published a three-volume biography of his father from 1899–1904)
  • Linda Kögel (1861–1940), painter (she painted a portrait of her father in 1895)
  • Julius Kögel (1871–1928), professor of theology in Kiel
  • Anna Kögel (1874–1957), from 1898 married to the Protestant pastor Andreas Braem (1873–1955), engaged in the Confessing Church

After the death of his first wife, he married Karoline von Bodelschwingh (1845–1902), a daughter of Minister Karl von Bodelschwingh , in 1884 .

Fonts (selection)

  • The first letter of Peter interpreted in twenty sermons Kunze, Mainz 1863 (2nd edition Bremen 1879).
  • Be reconciled to God! Sermons (2nd edition, Berlin 1865)
  • The Beatitudes of the Sermon on the Mount are interpreted in eight sermons. Rauh, Berlin 1869.
  • From the forecourt into the sanctuary. A vintage of evangelical testimonies about Old Testament texts. Two volumes. Müller, Bremen 1875 f. (2nd ed. 1878-80).
  • Pauli's letter to the Romans presented in sermons. A homiletic attempt. Müller, Bremen 1876 (2nd edition 1883)
  • The task of the evangelical clergyman on the social question (Bremen 1878)
  • The Lord's Prayer interpreted in eleven sermons (2nd edition, Bremen 1881)
  • Wake up, you city of Jerusalem! Time sermons and speeches. Müller, Bremen 1882.
  • Ethical and aesthetic: lectures and reflections. Müller, Bremen 1888.
  • The letter of James interpreted in twenty-five sermons. Müller, Bremen 1889.
  • Poems (Bremen 1891, ²1900)
  • Patriotic and ecclesiastical memorial days: speeches and speeches. Müller, Bremen 1892.
  • Rudolf Kögel. His poetry and singing. Edited by the daughters Marie Blech geb. Kögel and Linda Kögel. Hall / S. 1925.


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. .
  2. ^ Margit Scholz: Braem, Anna, geb. Kögel. In: Eva Labouvie (Ed.): Women in Saxony-Anhalt 2: A biographical-bibliographical lexicon from the 19th century to 1945. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2018, pp. 99–101.
  3. Printed in: Collection of Sources for the History of German Social Policy 1867 to 1914 , Section I: From the Founding of the Empire to the Imperial Social Message (1867–1881), Volume 8: Basic Issues of Social Policy in Public Discussion: Churches, Parties, Associations and Associations , edited by Ralf Stremmel, Florian Tennstedt and Gisela Fleckenstein, Darmstadt 2006, No. 144.