Theological Faculty of Halle

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The Halle Theological Faculty , part of the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg , is internationally known for its biblical studies . It is the historical successor to the theological faculty of the University of Wittenberg , home of the Lutheran Reformation , and the theological faculty of the Friedrichs University of Halle , the home of Halle Pietism . The Reformation and Pietism were each rooted in a new discovery of the Bible and have shaped modern Central European history and intellectual history in a special way.

Seat of the biblical seminars of the theological faculty in Halle (house 25 of the Francke Foundations , former Mägdeleinhaus)


The first print of the complete Luther Bible , Wittenberg 1534

The Wittenberg Theological Faculty , founded in 1502 , at which Martin Luther taught biblical exegesis (mainly Old Testament ) for 32 years , was the very first Protestant theological faculty and, as such, quickly developed across Europe. While Wittenberg theology was later shaped by Lutheran Orthodoxy , Wittenberg Hebrew Studies played an outstanding role over the long term.

The theological faculty of the Friedrichs-Universität Halle , founded in 1694 , where August Hermann Francke , previously a Hebraist in Leipzig , had taught scriptural interpretation since 1698 , became the center of Pietism. With the Francke Foundations founded in 1698, there was close cooperation and personal overlaps. Above all, the Collegium Orientale Theologicum had international significance , which with famous scholars such as Johann Heinrich Callenberg , Johann Heinrich Michaelis and Siegmund Jakob Baumgarten became an important center of Oriental studies , with a special focus on the Semitic languages . Johann Salomo Semler positioned himself critically to the pietistic basic trend of the faculty , who laid the foundation stone for the historical-critical biblical study with his treatise of free investigation of the Canon (4 vols., 1771-1775) .

Wilhelm Gesenius , professor of the theological faculty in Halle from 1810 to 1842

The outstanding figure of the theological faculty in the Friedrichsuniversität Halle-Wittenberg , which was united in 1817 , was Wilhelm Gesenius , an Old Testament scholar , Hebraist and orientalist. His name is still known today because of his Hebrew grammar , but above all because of his Hebrew and Aramaic concise dictionary on the Old Testament, the " Gesenius ". He was followed by Hermann Hupfeld , the founder of the modern document hypothesis on the Pentateuch , which is still influential today . Awakening and mediation theologians such as August Tholuck , Julius Müller or Martin Kähler then increasingly shaped many students in the faculty, which consistently remained the largest in Prussia until the time of the Empire.

Important theologians in the 20th century were Hermann Gunkel , authoritative exponent of the religious history school and founder of the method of form and genre history , and Otto Eißfeldt , one of the most important Old Testament scholars of his time, and 1929–1930 and 1945–1948 also rector of the university. Today, the great biblical and Hebrew tradition is continued, among other things, through the critical edition of the Samaritan Pentateuch being created in Halle , through the Wilhelm Gesenius guest professorship , which has been in existence since 2011, and the Woskin scholarship , which has been in place since 2018 .

Eminent former professors

Wittenberg (since 1502)

Halle (since 1694)

Halle-Wittenberg (since 1817)



Main building of the theological faculty in Halle (House 30 of the Francke Foundations , former defeat building)

The theological faculty has been located in the new campus in the Francke Foundations since 1999 . The main building of the faculty, with a foyer, lecture halls, seminar rooms and offices, is a former warehouse, which has been completely rebuilt for this purpose and expanded to include a lecture hall wing (building 30). The deanery is also located here. Further seminar rooms, the library of the Corpus Hellenisticum, the Eißfeldt library and the offices of the Biblical Studies department are located in the former “Mägdeleinhaus” (house 25), the offices for systematic theology in the former “English house” (house 26). The faculty library is located in building 31, together with the Library of Education and Jewish Studies , as a common branch library of the University and State Library Saxony-Anhalt , in a building that was 1952 to 1953 for the Workers 'and Peasants' Faculty has been established and which housed the institute for preparation for studying abroad until 1990 and the Elisabeth Gymnasium from 1991 to 1997 . An annex has been added for use as a library. A special feature of the Theological Faculty in Halle is the diversity of student life in several Konvicts : The Evangelical Konvict is located on the same campus, alongside the Silesian Konvict and the Reformed Convict (RC) .

Course offer

The five classic subjects Old Testament , New Testament , Church History , Systematic Theology and Practical Theology are taught . In addition, in the tradition of missiology , there is a professorship for religious studies / intercultural theology as well as the chair for state church law and canon law, which is located at the law faculty but is co-opted with the theological faculty . The biblical languages Hebrew , Aramaic and Greek as well as Latin are also offered regularly.

In addition to the undergraduate diploma course in Protestant theology, with the professional goal of a pastorate , there are teaching courses in Protestant religion for elementary , secondary and grammar schools , as well as bachelor and master courses , which can be freely combined with other subjects.

Professors (as of May 2019)


  • Udo Schnelle (Ed.): Reformation and modern times. 300 years of theology in Halle. Berlin / New York 1994, ISBN 978-3-11-014588-5 , doi : 10.1515 / 9783110875386
  • Friedemann Stengel: The theological faculties in the GDR as a problem of church and university policy of the SED state up to their transformation into sections in 1970/71. Leipzig 1998, ISBN 3-374-01708-8
  • Irene Dingel (Ed.): The Theological Faculty Wittenberg 1502 to 1602: Contributions to the 500th anniversary of the founding year of Leucorea. Leipzig 2002, ISBN 3-374-02019-4
  • Arno Sames (Ed.): 500 years of theology in Wittenberg and Halle 1502 to 2002. Contributions from the theological faculty of the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg on the university anniversary in 2002. Leipzig 2003, ISBN 3-374-02115-8
  • Christian Stephan: The silent faculty. Biographical contributions to the history of the theological faculty of the University of Halle. Dössel 2005, ISBN 3-89923-103-1
  • Armin Kohnle : Book of Professors of the Theological Faculty of the University of Wittenberg: 1502 to 1815/17. Leipzig 2016, ISBN 3-374-02747-4
  • Veronika Albrecht-Birkner : Hallesche theologians in the second half of the 18th century. Traditions - receptions - interactions. (Hallesche Forschungen, Volume 54.) 2 volumes, Halle 2019, ISBN 978-3-447-11253-6

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b OpenStreetMap (house 25)
  2. ^ Siegfried Hermle : Martin Luther (AT). In: wibilex. January 2008, accessed May 17, 2019 .
  3. ^ Gianfranco Miletto: Die Hebraistik in Wittenberg (1502-1813): Andreas Sennert , Theodor Dassov and Christoph Wichmannshausen . In: Klaus Fitschen u. a. (Ed.): Cultural Effects of the Reformation 2. Leipzig 2018, pp. 239–247.
  4. Stefan Schorch , Ernst-Joachim Waschke (ed.): Biblical exegesis and Hebrew lexicography. The "Hebrew-German Concise Dictionary" by Wilhelm Gesenius as a mirror and source of Old Testament and Hebrew research, 200 years after its first edition (= supplement to the journal for Old Testament science 427), de Gruyter, Berlin / Boston 2013, ISBN 978-3- 11-026612-2 , XI.
  5. Oliver Janz: Citizens of a special kind. Evangelical pastors in Prussia 1850–1914. de Gruyter, Berlin 1994, p. 156, 248 f.
  6. Ernst-Joachim Waschke: Hermann Gunkel, the founder of the school of religious history and genre-historical research. In: Arno Sames (Ed.): 500 years of theology in Wittenberg and Halle - 1502 to 2002. Leipzig 2003, ISBN 3-374-02115-8 , pp. 129–142.
  7. Woskin Scholarship
  8. a b OpenStreetMap (house 30)
  9. Tour through the historic school town .
  10. OpenStreetMap (House 31)
  11. Press release from 2002
  12. See the tour through the Theological Faculty on the homepage of the Theological Faculty in Halle.

Coordinates: 51 ° 28 ′ 38.4 "  N , 11 ° 58 ′ 15.9"  E