Theological Faculty of the Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg

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The college building I of the Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg with the theological, philological and philosophical faculties

The theological faculty of the Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg has existed since the university was founded in 1457.


Around 1500 the reformer and later Strasbourg cathedral preacher Geiler von Kaysersberg , the Alsatian Franciscan and poet Thomas Murner and the opponent of the Reformation Johannes Eck taught and researched here . From 1529 on, Erasmus von Rotterdam also conducted research here during his stay in Freiburg , although he did not give any lectures. During the Reformation, the university remained Catholic, as it was a university in Upper Austria.

In 1586, as a result of the Council of Trent, the theological subjects were divided into four areas, namely exegesis , dogmatics , moral and controversial theology .

In 1620 there was another turning point, when the Jesuits came to Freiburg and occupied most of the chairs; this remained so until the abolition of the order in 1773. Under the Archduchess Maria Theresa and her son Joseph II , the orientation changed after the departure of the religious in the direction of exegetical-historical subjects. Then there was church history, pastoral theology and the biblical languages.

The founding of the Grand Duchy of Baden in 1805 also affected the Upper Austrian Breisgau and thus Freiburg with its university. This led to financial uncertainty threatening the entire university, but also to an expansion of the teaching staff, as three professorships were moved from Heidelberg to Freiburg. With the establishment of the Archdiocese of Freiburg in 1827, this faculty also became the academic training center for the diocese's priests.

In 1868 the training in canon law was shifted from the legal to the theological faculty and in 1870 a separate chair was established for it.

The chair for Christian archeology and art history expanded the offer of teaching in 1916. It was the only one in Germany, this was followed in 1925 by the also unique Institute for Caritas Science.

In the Third Reich, a number of professors were forced to retire or their teaching authorization was revoked. In 1939 the faculty was closed, but remained intact.

Due to the progress of scientific research and the associated differentiation, the chairs for the history of religion, Christian philosophy of religion and Christian social doctrine came after 1945. This was followed in 1957 by the Raimundus-Lullus Institute for Source Studies in Medieval Theology and in 1995 the work unit for the history of piety and ecclesiastical history as the successor to the Institute for Religious Folklore.

Bernhard Welte , who integrated phenomenology into the philosophy of religion, was important for the theological orientation of the Faculty's seminar for the philosophy of religion.

Through the exegetes Alfons Deissler and Anton Vögtle , the Freiburg Theological Faculty became one of the leading centers for the renewal of biblical studies and the establishment of the historical-critical method in Catholic theology in Germany in the second half of the 20th century.


Today the faculty is divided into the following institutes:

  • Institute for Biblical and Historical Theology
  • Institute for Systematic Theology
  • Institute for Practical Theology


See also

Sources and web links

Coordinates: 47 ° 59 ′ 37.3 "  N , 7 ° 50 ′ 45.7"  E