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German and Scandinavian Protestantism 1700-1918$

Nicholas Hope

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780198269946

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198269943.001.0001

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Church and (Nation‐) State (1840–1890)

Church and (Nation‐) State (1840–1890)

(p.456) 18 Church and (Nation‐) State (1840–1890)
German and Scandinavian Protestantism 1700-1918

Nicholas Hope

Oxford University Press

Abstract and Keywords

Is about the first Protestant church constitutions, which developed out of earlier state legislation (see Ch. 14). Transregional Protestant gatherings and discussion about the constitutional position of Protestant churches are examined, as is their constitutional provision at ‘national’ level. Protestant self‐government or ‘synodalism’ became fashionable everywhere.

Keywords:   church constitutions, nation state, Protestant self‐government, synodalism, transregional Protestant gatherings

I. Transregional Protestant Gatherings and Discussion About the Constitutional Position of Protestant Churches

The half‐century (1840–90) was marked by continuous constitutional discussion within German and Scandinavian Protestant churches. It shaped the first Protestant church constitutions. This was a fresh development which was initiated by German senior clergy and some like‐minded laymen, usually senior state officials who took an interest in church affairs, and Protestant canon lawyers employed by the state as official advisers. Their discussions in a growing national framework albeit against a still plural map of German states, produced in this fifty‐year period a daunting new literature on Protestant church order consisting of many volumes of constitutional legislation and commentaries thereon.1 It is neglected by historians today. Nevertheless, this was a positive step towards an understanding of how historic churches related, if at all, to the modern nation‐state, and it should be recognized as such.

Its timing was very unlucky, however. It was overshadowed almost totally by the more memorable political dramas of a new liberal, constitutional, and national period: the abortive revolutionary year 1848/9; the Danish‐German struggle over which Slesvig/Schleswig and Holsten/Holstein was which between 1848 and eventual Danish defeat in the war of 1864; German unification (1866–71) which focused ethnic and religious identities in Livonia, Estonia, and Courland, and in the mix of German‐ and Polish‐speaking (p.457) parishes in the ‘Province of Prussia’ (1828/9–78); and above all by Bismarck's Kulturkampf (1871–90).

The Kulturkampf, a pomposity typical of a new strident nationalism, coined by the eminent pathologist and progressive liberal, Rudolf Virchow (1821–1902), in a speech in the Prussian Lower House (17 January 1873), was disastrous in the long run for any positive Catholic and Protestant constitutional progress—well under way already in the previous German Confederation—in the new German nation‐state. It had little to do with a replay of the struggle between regnum and sacerdotium invoked by Bismarck's similar infelicity, ‘Canossa’.2 The new German nation‐state (1871–1918) he forged, plural in religious composition but inert in religious matters like marriage, upbringing, and schooling was both an heir to, and still part of, this new constitutional process defining Protestant and Catholic churches in modern states. Bismarck faced, with state legislation on school supervision (1872) and the new register office (1875), a Papacy which opposed in principle the modern State it bracketed with its unfortunate experience of the French Revolution and Napoleon. Similar situations had arisen with his Prussian predecessors and Archbishops Droste zu Vischering of Cologne and von Dunin of Gnesen‐Posen in the 1830s over the upbringing of children of marriages between Catholics and Protestants, with liberal Baden and Archbishop Hermann Vicari (1773–1868) over schooling in the two decades 1850–70 (obligatory civil marriage was eventually enforced in 1869, see below), and even with Catholic Bavaria when a liberal prime minister (1866–70), Prince Chlodwig Hohenlohe‐Schillingsfürst (1819–1901), tried to introduce a new education act in 1867 (Hohenlohe, with Döllinger in 1867, attempted to get European governments to persuade Pius IX against speaking ex cathedra).

Bismarck was especially hard‐faced in Prussia, because he knew all too well as a Pomeranian (and through his wife's family connection with the Pomeranian Lutheran awakening) Prussian religious division between western Reformed and Lutheran eastern provinces raised by the Union, those between Lutheran and Catholic in western Prussia and Silesia, and between Reformed and Catholic in the Rhineland and Westphalia, and how these religious divisions and a residual Protestant belief in the ‘Christian state’ which he (p.458)

                      Church and (Nation‐) State (1840–1890)

Map 3. Expanded Prussia in 1867

(p.459) (p.460) experienced in Prussian Conservative opposition to his school supervision law and the register office, could wreck his state‐building.

However, the politics and rhetoric of the Kulturkampf produced the modern cleavage between Protestant and Catholic Germany in family, school, work, and political preferences which ultimately played both churches into Hitler's hands in 1933. Also, in the words of a historian of German local government, it masked liberal‐inspired Prussian municipal reform which began gradually to separate the civil from the religious parish. An example along this road was the compromise reached with Prussia's corporate Junker rural order (division between town and country survived) in the Prussian Kreisordnung (13 December 1872), a year and a half before a Vestry Board and Synodal Order was introduced to Prussia's six Lutheran eastern provinces (24 May 1874; see below).3

Protestant clergy and laymen met in a more associative climate after 1840 in transregional gatherings to concentrate their attention on what the ‘church’ was constitutionally: to make room for the Protestant church as a self‐governing corporation (a constitutional term more loosely associated with the Christian corpus used by German collegialism) in a modern State which seemed to expand its sovereign authority with legislation which no longer invoked former Christian ties. The general aim, ‘the development of the constitution [of the Protestant church] towards greater independence’, was the first of the main principles agreed at the first Protestant general synod held at Berlin between 5 January and 13 February 1846.4 This was a wistful, but nevertheless fundamental step away from the old dependent Reformation order of cuius regio. It implied a grudging, but growing recognition of congregational rights; separation of the religious parish from the civil parish (notably in social welfare: Ch. 16); and a gradual abandonment of canon law principle, ‘quidquid est in parochia; est etiam de parochia’, which obliged parishioners to use and pay for the services of the home parish clergyman. The latter was seen as a major anomaly blocking the expansion of a new and growing labour market based on wages. A quaint but typical example of its survival until abolition by state legislation was provided by this obligation of Reformed parishioners towards Catholic parish clergy in the principality of Lippe until 1854/5, and similar arrangements for Lutherans to Reformed urban (p.461) parish clergy in Detmold, and the Reformed, Catholics and new religious groupings to Lutheran urban parish clergy in Lemgo until 1854 and 1857.5 Abolition by one German state after another between 1818 and 1903, signifying the gradual division of the religious and civil parish, fell into step with the advance of Protestant self‐government.

The disruption of the provincial mould of historic Reformation church order begun by Berlin's 1846 general synod was continued by the first national Church Days (Kirchentage, 1848–72) held in different cities, and the biennial, Trinity, eight‐day Protestant Church Conference held in the Wartburg at Eisenach (1855–1919); by meetings to express solidarity amongst church parties such as the Neo‐Lutheran Leipzig conferences (1843/4, 1848) and the Allgemeine Lutherische Kirchenkonferenz (1868), or the ‘liberal’ Protestantenverein (1863) inspired by Reformed Basle and south‐western German constitutionalism, which advocated the modern congregational principle, opposed ‘hierarchy’ in Germany's Landeskirchen, and attempted to reconcile Protestantism with modern ‘culture’, or the new Evangelische Allianz (1868) modelled on British and American evangelicalism and supportive of the Union, notably in Prussia. At another level, group Christianity was spread by charitable organizations such as Wichern's Home Mission (Innere Mission), and by foundations such as the Saxon‐inspired (1842/3) Gustavus Adolphus associations based in Leipzig which aimed to help Lutherans outside local churches. At home parish level, clergy deanery meetings called into being often by local Lutheran and Reformed awakenings (Ch. 15) gave a new sense of constitutional procedure.

Common Protestant purpose was facilitated after 1840 by easier travel (steamship and railway), by better print technology which produced tracts and proceedings quickly and cheaply, and by a new press. Protestant senior clergy and canon lawyers seemed to get more adventurous with constitutional experimentation, though to speak of an emergent ‘liberal’ churchscape remains a moot point: Liberal churchmanship appeared as a more significant force shaping German and Scandinavian church politics only as the nineteenth century turned (Ch. 20).

Self‐governing Protestant Reformation churches really took time to be grasped, and divided as much as united Protestant churchmen.

(p.462) Neo‐Lutherans understood the self‐government of the church to mean hierarchy in a historic home church which subscribed to Lutheran sixteenth‐century articles of religion; those who began to call themselves ‘Protestants’ in the new national‐liberal climate of the 1860s understood the term to mean, to a greater or lesser extent, the marriage of the congregational principle with rights of citizenship of the kind conferred by the national Frankfurt Parliament of 1848. For the first time since the Reformation, Protestant Germany and Scandinavia divided in mid‐century into identifiable political conservative ‘right’ or ‘high’, and liberal ‘left’ or ‘low’ church circles. But these church circles were, as the membership lists of the various gatherings show, mainly official and professional, upper‐middle and middle class, and still reflected dependency associated with a corporate rural and home‐town order. Their advocacy of self‐governing Protestant churches thus tended to follow the introduction of limited constitutional reforms in the state: even Neo‐Lutherans noted for their attachment to their home church started to think of self‐government, implying severing links with the prince. This was risky. Karl August von Hase (1800–90), the great liberal‐minded Jena (1833–90) theologian and patristic scholar—opposed in equal measure to Baur and the Tübingen school's reading of the Gospels and the shrill voice of ‘rational’ Halle and Jena theology—who had joined the Frankfurt parliament pseudonymously as ‘Karl von Steinbach’, warned colleagues about this in the reactionary climate of 1852 apropos the new liberties which had fallen into the Protestant church's lap in 1848. Liberties gained, self‐government, had to be worked for and vigorously defended, Hase argued; they could be recalled just as arbitrarily by the state.6

German unification by Prussia representing the Union raised the same issue for annexed German Lutheran churches (Schleswig‐Holstein, Hanover, Electoral Hesse, and Frankfurt), and the Lutheran Baltic provinces of Estonia, Livonia, and Courland. A clearly worried Theodosius Harnack, professor of practical theology at Dorpat (1865–75), sensing Russification in provinces where Estonians and Latvians had opened again to Moravian mission and converted in large numbers to Russian Orthodoxy, penned down (p.463) the essential arguments in Die freie lutherische Volkskirche (1870): one of the most popular amongst many Lutheran tracts for the times advocating self‐government as Lutheranism's best defence. In other words, Protestant churches were politicized by the expansion of the modern state in our modern constitutional sense after 1840, whether clergy (Protestant and Catholic) with little political experience liked it or not.

This new process was clearly visible in the increasing muscle of the new Minister for Church Affairs and Education (Kultusminister), his ministry's increasing concern with education at school and university, and its employment of canon lawyers who worked as go‐betweens for state and church. Even conservative Stockholm opened a Department for Church Affairs (Ecklesiastikdepartementet) under a minister in 1840 for most church administration including stipends and pensions, but education and cultural affairs began to dominate its business increasingly as in Germany.7 In this way, in Germany, the traditional equal mix of clergy and legal advisers in Reformation consistories and the religious language of sixteenth‐century church orders was pushed aside by modern state ministries, their procedures, and their officialese. This latter found its way into church government too. Discussions were stenographed and printed officially as proceedings: those of the first nineteen Protestantentage, 1865–96, were bound as books. The language of church order took on a modern administrative and constitutional prose tone. In a period of state‐ and nation‐building, this was prose which was also permeated by a strong idealism, high moral sentiments, and rectitude. A Neo‐Lutheran such as Tholuck, or his Anglican and Tractarian friend, Pusey, disliked this phraseology as one which smacked of dull office hours, but they were forced to acknowledge it as a sign of modern church times.

II. Constitutional Provision at ‘National’ Level

A. Germany

Parity of three major Christian denominations under the law (1648, 1815) which was expanded after 1840 to include a limited parochial voice, reflected the increased political weight of Reformed western and south‐western Germany. The Rhine‐Westphalian Church (p.464) Order of 1835, reflecting a shift from the Calvinist understanding of salvation (that it came by predestination), to an emphasis on constitutional representation by elected elders (better‐situated parishioners) and the notion of discipline as good constitutional order, linked for the first time elective presbyteries and synods to Lutheran consistories. Both provinces were placed under a general superintendent and provincial consistory (§ 148).8 But relations with the Prussian state remained unfocused: superintendents, to take an example, acted as school‐inspectors ensuring a Christian education on the Prussian state's behalf (§ 38/8, § 117). However, the Rhine‐Westphalian model became normative for Protestant church government in Germany, given its propagation by the weighty voice of like‐minded awakened Berlin and Stuttgart ministers, canonists, and senior clergy amongst the delegates sent by governments of twenty‐seven Protestant states to Berlin's 1846 general synod.

Major figures who shaped debate in this direction in mid‐century and after were the following. Bethmann‐Hollweg, a believer in federal ‘evangelical Catholicity’, chaired the synod, and the new Church Days (1848–72), and presided over Wichern's new national committee of the Innere Mission. The Saxon canonist, Aemilius Ludwig Richter (1808–64), one of Savigny's star pupils, a professor of jurisprudence at Marburg (1838–46), was appointed to a chair at Berlin by Eichhorn, Altenstein's successor, just before the general synod met. Eichhorn wished Richter, a liberal‐minded collegialist noted for his pioneering and elegant textbook comparing Catholic and Protestant canon law (1842), to get Prussian church and state disentangled. Richter chaired the discussion and edited the proceedings of the general synod. He drafted most Prussian church legislation as a member of Berlin's new Protestant Oberkirchenrat (1850–9) and Ministry of Church Affairs thereafter, a thankless task in the course of which he retained his humour but lost his health. Richter was balanced by Friedrich Julius Stahl (1802–61), a Lutheran convert from Munich's small orthodox Judaic community (1819) and pupil of Neo‐Lutheran Erlangen, who was appointed as a canonist to a Berlin chair in 1840. Stahl published the most influential conservative publication on a Protestant church constitution the same year. Stuttgart's voice was served by Karl Grüneisen (1802–78), Stuttgart's senior court chaplain (1835–68). Grüneisen, like many Tübingen ordinands in the 1820s, linked a training there (p.465) with study under Schleiermacher at Berlin, and his hobby, Christian art, in a subsequent trip to Italy with the ecclesiological revival inspired by Bunsen and the Nazarene painters. He put this experience to good use in Stuttgart as a liturgical reformer of service‐ and hymn‐book in the 1830s, as a sponsor of parish and diocesan self‐government in the 1850s, and as first editor of the first Protestant national periodical on Christian art and ecclesiology, Stuttgart's Christliches Kunstblatt (1858–1918).

As could be expected from a conference of official delegates meeting at a time of religious and romantic awakening, lengthy debates reopened the historic divide between Lutheran Germany and the expanding Union. Delegates in a debate about the obligation of clergy to religious articles worried too about a levelling Enlightenment (Claudius, Hamann, and Herder were invoked as counter‐Enlightenment figures), and an awakening which might revive Enthusiasm in the interests of too much religious democracy.9 Agreement was reached significantly on the need to cherish historic articles of religion incorporated in Prussia's Union Church (listed one by one); that Christian tradition was anchored in the biblical canon (only Bibles without the Apocrypha were to be printed); and the New Testament sacraments of baptism and communion were reaffirmed.10 Politically, 1846 reflected the provincial undercurrent to German unification: the fear of confederate Protestant statesmen that Prussia's Union was a major agent in destroying historic political and religious identities. Landeskirchen and their senior consistories thus survived; a permanent national synod and national consistory never materialized. Nevertheless, the general synod was a big step in a risky constitutional marriage between Reformed presbytery and synod and Lutheran consistory in Protestant German states (application to Prussia's Lutheran eastern provinces was foreseen: Hauptsätze, §§ 1–14); ‘Evangelical’ was used officially for the first time to mean Lutheran, Reformed, and Union churches; and a sense of common Protestant purpose was reached in an agreement to meet every three to five years.

(p.466) The Frankfurt Parliament was equally influential in shaping Protestant and Catholic self‐government and ecclesiology. The transformation of St Paul's church, built in the revivalist 1830s, into a national parliament was seen as a metaphor for ‘liberal’ times: a president sat where the altar had been; parliamentarians sitting in concentric semi‐circular benches surrounded by a huge public gallery seating 1,500–2,000 spectators replaced the congregational nave; and pulpit and organ were hidden by flags and national emblems. A parliamentary St Paul's raised the basic modern question: what did a national parliament mean for a universal Catholic church in the middle of a religious revival, and awakened historic provincial Lutheran and Reformed churches linked respectively to ruler and town magistrate, and to government by elders in presbytery and synod? Self‐government of the church seemed the only solution. But basic rights of modern citizenship (Grundrechte), coupled with paragraphs in the republican constitution (28 March 1849) defining the modern state as inert in religious affairs—freedom of faith, conscience, religious conviction (§ 144), civil liberties (§ 146), freedom to research and learn in Protestant and Catholic universities (§§ 152–6), and the basic modern constitutional rule (§ 147): every religious denomination to be governed independently, but subject to the laws of the state; none to enjoy special privileges in the state (keine Staatskirche); new religious denominations could form without having their articles of religion approved by the state—suggested that a modern national parliament might not provide sufficient safeguards for the Christian church.11

If matters were brought to a halt by Frederick William IV's rejection of a national crown and parliamentary constitution on 28 April 1849, the Frankfurt parliament was a benchmark defining a constitutional relationship between the Christian church and the modern state.

It speeded up self‐government amongst Protestant and Catholic churchmen, if only to secure historic identities. At the end of August 1848, Neo‐Lutherans held their own Leipzig conference (some 256 clergy and laity). The first Church Day (21–3 September 1848) was convened at Wittenberg by Bethmann‐Hollweg uniting some 500 Protestant laymen and clergy minus the Neo‐Lutherans. It was conceived of as a confederation of Protestant churches of Groβdeutsch (p.467) format which would acknowledge, like the 1846 General Synod, historic doctrinal and liturgical divisions, and also establish Wichern's Home Mission on a national footing (Innere Mission der deutschen evangelischen Kirche). Catholic bishops met at Würzburg between 22 October and 16 November 1848 (Döllinger set the agenda) for the first time since Ems (1786), and Catholicism became associational as new Piusvereine which inspired the first Catholic Day (Katholikentag) at Mainz, 3–6 October, 1848.

If 1848/9 failed to give Germany's Protestant churches a common national organization, Wittenberg did inaugurate the Deutsche Evangelische Kirchenkonferenz. The title was chosen to stress continuity with 1846; it was chaired by the same men; Wiesbaden and Stuttgart ran business in turns. It met for the first time in the Wartburg on Trinity Sunday, 3 June 1852, as a national forum for Protestant constitutional discussion in a liberal Lutheran Thuringian churchscape where local clergy tried—without much success—to introduce a common Thuringian church.12

If Eisenach differed from Berlin in the voluntary basis of a membership representing twenty‐four Landeskirchen (the churches annexed by Prussia in 1866 continued to send representatives), it became the first significant Protestant German forum, and had an information‐gathering agency equipped with an archive, and a newspaper, Allgemeine Kirchenblatt für das evangelische Deutschland.

Richter argued that the Eisenach conferences would popularize synodal organization at provincial and parish level; that this would strengthen rather than weaken the development of self‐governing Protestant churches. Eisenach spurred on a common Lutheran identity too, evident in the way discussion about Protestant Germany's plural liturgical order inspired the first common Lutheran liturgical conference at Dresden (November 1852), which began to co‐ordinate the important reforms initiated, for example, by Kliefoth in the Mecklenburgs, and by Löhe and Erlangen theologians in Bavaria (Ch. 20). Discussion of contemporary issues raised by the rise of a German nation‐state, such as registration, marriage, and divorce (especially after 1875), public worship, the traditional Christian year and holidays, charity, religious instruction in schools, and the official conduct of clergy, produced the first Protestant (p.468) German national arrangements, such as common guidelines for Protestant church architecture in the shape of the Eisenach Regulativ 1861 (revised 1898), and in 1865 the first proper statistical survey of German Protestant churches (minus Hamburg, Bremen, and Coburg‐Gotha), which used the more reliable German census of 1861 to look especially at the income of churches and clergy positions. A commission was founded which began regular surveys after 1878–80 (Ch. 19). Also new was a more professional historical interest in the Reformation, and in bringing ancient and modern in public and private worship together in the best possible way (see Ch. 20). Some examples are the first common Protestant hymn‐book containing a core of 150 basic hymns (1853), Grüneisen's Stuttgart Christliches Kunstblatt für Kirche, Schule und Haus (1858–1918) to popularize Christian art in Protestant Germany (Ch. 20), a trial run of Luther's revised New Testament (1867), daily lectionaries for use at home and church (1868), a common Protestant Church Calendar (1868, 1870), a draft revised Bible (Probebibel, 1883) and Bible (1892), a revised Little Catechism (1884) which began to replace over sixty different editions still used in 1880 in church, school, and home, and a Perikopenbuch (1896). It was introduced the following year into the eight ‘old’ Prussian church provinces.

B. Scandinavia

Criticism (c.1840) of Danish (1665/83) and Swedish (1686) uniformity as anachronisms and coercion was a major feature of a burgeoning rural and township awakening and constitutional politics of a ‘liberal’ parliamentary hue, and an emergent cultural nationalism visible in the first common ‘Nordic’ political meetings (1839–1851/2) held in Copenhagen or Christiania (Oslo) which even attempted to ‘Scandinavianize’ languages, and the first common Scandinavian church synods (Kirkemøde, Kyrkomöte) held at Copenhagen in July 1857, Lund in August—September 1859, and in Christiania in July 1861. The German constitutional path was followed with great interest: most of the relevant constitutional commentaries, such as Stahl's and Richter's, found their way into the libraries of senior ministers and clergy, and the university libraries of Copenhagen, Lund, and Uppsala.

Copenhagen led the way constitutionally in March 1848. The Danish Peoples' Church (Folke‐Kirke), mixing the constitutional thought and debate initiated by Schleiermacher, Clausen, (p.469) Grundtvig, and Presbyterian Scotland after the Disruption (1843), was the brainchild of an enigmatic and charmingly erratic clergyman‐cum‐politician who suffered from cyclothymia: Palmerston's ‘mad’ figure in his bon mot on the Schleswig‐Holstein Question, Ditlev Gothardt Monrad (1811–87).13 Monrad, a leading spokesman of parliamentary government as an editor of the liberal newspaper Fædrelandet (1840) with the patriotic poet Carl Ploug (1813–94), co‐founder of Denmark's Scandinavian Society (1843), and the Minister for Church Affairs in Denmark's first constitutional government (22 March 1848) who drafted Denmark's modern parliamentary constitution—thereafter briefly bishop of Lolland and Falster (1849–54) and fatefully Prime Minister between 31 December 1863 and his dismissal on 8 July 1864 over Danish defeat, which prompted him to migrate to New Zealand (1865–9)—saw synodal self‐government as the best way forward.14 In circulars sent to parish clergy for commentary (May—October 1848), Monrad argued progressively, that a Danish People's Church was based on the same principles as those behind the constitutional reform of the old Danish absolute state: release the powers within the church; provide a national synod with equal numbers of clergy and laity, and leave it in charge of the liturgy and hymn‐book, religious instruction, church discipline, and business concerning the clergy office and clergy stipends and pensions. This was a big step: his correspondence ending in November 1849 showed that many parish clergy became extremely confused. But Monrad's national synod was approved by 581 of Denmark's 1,231 parish clergy (c.47.2%); even conservative‐minded bishops saw it as a necessary evil.15 In Copenhagen's constituent assembly, opinions divided over Grundtvig's question as to what one should understand by ‘Evangelical‐Lutheran’ in Denmark. Many feared the consequences of loosening the bond between the crown and church posed by Monrad's draft paragraph 6, ‘the King shall belong to the Evangelical‐Lutheran Church’; and the democratic implications of paragraph 2, that Denmark's Lutheran church was the Danish Folkekirke.

(p.470) Denmark's basic law (Grundlov) of 5 June 1849, the June Constitution, which abolished the notion of an absolute ‘king's religion’ and introduced a constitutional hereditary monarchy with a democratic bicameral parliament, reduced Denmark's Lutheran church to a handful of paragraphs.16 The king remained a member of the Danish Evangelical‐Lutheran Church (§ 6), but the state was non‐denominational: ministers and civil servants did not have to belong to an established church. The Danish state and Lutheran church, almost separate institutions, co‐operated with each other. The State recognized established faiths (Catholics, Greek Orthodox, Jews, Reformed, and, soon, Methodists); other dissenting congregations were guaranteed assembly and freedom of religious opinion. This took the wind out of the sails of small congregations such as the Baptists who had gained ground in the 1840s. A ‘roomy’ Folkekirke (99.5% of Danes) continued broadly on the basis of the Reformation articles of religion acknowledged in 1665, and it received support from state legislation on doctrine, the liturgy, and Christian festivals.

In practice, parliament (§§ 3, 6) governed a state church regulated by civil law (§ 80), though it was still common to use the old word ‘guardianship’ (formynderskab). The Danish Minister for Church Affairs, equipped with wide powers, was responsible to parliament. If little legislation was passed by parliament after 1849—abolition of the home parish principle (Sognebåndsløsningslov, 1855), the legal recognition of Grundtvigian gathered congregations supervised by bishop and rural dean, approved of by the king, and supported by voluntary congregational offerings (Valgmenighedslov, 1868), and a law of 1872 on the proper use of churches—before a series of acts passed in 1903, the June Constitution was a fundamental secular step.17 It weakened the authority of the established Danish Lutheran church. This became apparent with the appearance of a new political public in the 1860s.

Parliamentary control of church finance was far less clear, though theoretically the State paid for clergy training and a Christian education in schools. Parliamentary control exposed Denmark's old Reformation economic order for the first time. A state church and new gathered congregations meant different sources and methods of (p.471) finance. An unfocused public debate began which rumbled on for the rest of the century; particularly amongst a liberal‐minded farming interest producing for a free market. They demanded the transference of church property to the state, and called for the election of parish clergy paid by fixed stipends.

In this more open churchscape, it was ironic that synodal self‐government ventilated by Monrad never materialized as it did in 1863 in more conservative Sweden. Danish parliamentarians wanted no rival legislative assembly, and a powerful Grundtvigian church party feared being squashed by a parliamentary majority. Parliamentary advance consisting of five different constitutions (1849–66) and the introduction of the first proportional system in Europe by the mathematician Carl Andræ (1812–93) in 1856 with an eye to representing minorities in the duchies, the identity of the duchies themselves until Danish defeat in 1864, and rural Liberalism, interested a new Danish electorate more than did a church constitution.18 In parishes, parish clergy remained blissfully unaware of difficult modern Protestant canon law; parishioners were also cool to anything that smacked of novelty, especially legislation which suggested hierarchy and moral policing such as a presbytery (menighedsraad, circular, 24 September 1856); even at the turn of the century the average parishioner simply lacked any understanding of what the constitutional independence of the church really meant.19 But nevertheless, the Danish Folkekirke went furthest, perhaps in both Germany and Scandinavia, along the road towards implementing the voluntary principle of the gathered laypersons' church within the state before 1918.

In Sweden, synodalism entered the agenda and vocabulary of diocesan debate and the theology faculties at Uppsala and Lund, and became the subject of heated exchanges in the House of Clergy between 1840 and the royal ordinance establishing a national ecclesiastical council, or synod (Kyrkomöte) on 16 November 1863; a step ahead of the abolition of the House of Clergy in the new bicameral parliament fashioned by Baron Louis de Geer (1865/6).

This process differed from that in Denmark in not being an abrupt change from a church under absolutism to a church governed by the king and a modern parliament (majority rule came first in 1901); in the way Sweden's House of Clergy began, in the liberal 1840s, to (p.472) question whether their parliament (still, since 1809, mixing church and state), really defended the church (many looked back to the seventeenth‐century consistorium generale as the best way to reform the established church from within); and in the way Sweden's other parliamentary estates pressed for a basic reform of the old uniform Swedish church‐state. The latter consisted of a basic municipal reform; especially local government care of the poor, which abolished the old home‐parish jurisdiction, and better representation of parishioners in vestries in parishes being changed by land reform and internal migration (Ch. 16.)

Sweden's awakening a decade or so later than Denmark's, especially the growth of gathered congregations of New Readers in the Härnösand diocese, but also parish revival in Stockholm and the south‐west which began to look to Scottish and American free‐church models and German synodalism, coloured a new public debate (1840–60) about church and state conducted in a new press and in many popular pamphlets and books. Swedish theologians also started to collect the relevant foreign literature for both their private and their faculty libraries.

There was also a new evangelical presence. In Stockholm after 1830, and in the areas of Bible and tract mission and temperance in central and northern Sweden, the Scottish Methodist, George Scott (1804–72) was influential. Scott was the minister of Stockholm's British Methodist congregation, which, after 1840, gathered outside official hours of worship in a new ‘chapel’ much to the annoyance of Stockholmers.20 Although demonstrations by Stockholmers closed the chapel in 1842 and Scott returned to Britain to work as a travelling gospeller, his evangelical Christianity caught on (the chapel was reopened as the Betlehemskyrkan in 1854 by a local evangelical society), especially under his Swedish disciple, Rosenius. ‘Clergy societies’ in towns such as Stockholm, Uppsala, Lund, Narke, and Sodertälje, spread an associational message calling for more ‘religious freedoms’ and revision of Sweden's hierarchical Church Law and liturgy, and warmed to the idea of mission (home and foreign) beyond the previously isolated world of the Swedish diocese.

Voluntary Protestant churchmanship outside Sweden, particularly in America, owing to the links provided by Swedish emigrants, Scotland after the Disruption, and the synodal views of (p.473) Schleiermacher (via Clausen in Copenhagen) and Richter, became fashionable. The American evangelical, Robert Baird, toured Sweden in 1840 lecturing on American voluntary and associative churchmanship; his book on American religious freedom was translated in 1847 (at Jönköping), a year after translation of de Tocqueville's Democracy in America (1839–46). An Edinburgh pupil of Chalmers, James Lumsden (1810–75), an Aberdeenshire Free Church minister (at Barry, near Carnoustie), who promoted Swedish translations of the Disruption debate and a common Scottish‐Swedish front based on former seventeenth‐century links, participated in Stockholm's pioneering Allmänna Svensk Prästsällskapsmöte uniting clergy and laymen on a voluntary basis (14–17 June 1853); spoke about the Ten Years' Conflict at another similar conference at Hälsingborg (19–20 July 1853); visited several parishes in the Lund diocese; and in 1856 helped found Sweden's first National Evangelical Foundation (Evangeliska Fosterlands‐Stiftelsen).21 A liberal‐minded Lutheran, Johan Henrik Thomander, professor of pastoral theology at Lund after 1833, and member of the House of Clergy (1840–57), preached in Scott's Methodist chapel and warmed to Richter's synodal view that the church alone was authoritative in doctrinal and liturgical matters: Thomander scorned Bunsen's speech at the Lund Luther festival in 1846 for emphasizing Luther's support of princes.22

Sweden's mid‐century clergy generation, schooled in this awakened churchscape was one which despised, as being unevangelical, the presence of political bishops in the parliament of the eighteenth‐century, and enlightened liturgical reform after 1793, which produced the 1811 service‐book and 1819 hymn‐book. Diocesan presses began to ventilate one proposal after another for a synod which would do nationally what diocesan deanery meetings did locally; drafts began to circulate in cathedral chapters and parliament. These varied between liberal—giving laymen a say in synods with powers to make decisions (beslutanderätt)—and conservative versions: clergy synods having only an advisory capacity. Norway's emancipatory Dissenter Law (1845) was closely examined.23

(p.474) Ecclesiology entered Lund and Uppsala universities (c.1840–50). If it became fashionable to speak of ‘low‐church’ Uppsala and ‘high‐church’ Lund thereafter, and of both theology faculties as being immensely influential in their respective ways in shaping the churchmanship of their diocesan hinterlands until a more liberal turn of the century, there was in practice more of a mix of this theological and ecclesiological influence amongst parish clergy, and both tendencies drew as much on Swedish tradition and Swedish debate spurred on by the spread of an indigenous revival and the inevitable reform of traditional pastoral care it caused, as they did to Scottish and American evangelical churchmanship, and German collegialism or Neo‐Lutheranism. The Anglican revival was noted by Lund theologians (c.1850), but did not become influential with a senior pastorate whose second language was usually German, and who found Kliefoth's neighbouring Neo‐Lutheran ritualism congenial.

Thomander, as a member of the parliamentary commission revising Sweden's Church Law (1846), pioneered the Swedish church's synodal way forward in this light: a national synod was to be summoned when king, bishops, and chapter thought appropriate; membership would consist of the primate and bishops (including Stockholm's senior), the Minister for Church Affairs, the professors of theology at Uppsala and Lund, and one clergyman and layman elected by the parishes of each diocese. Thomander's synod possessed the right to decide in administrative affairs, but in liturgical matters it was checked by the right of each parish to retain its old church books as long as it thought fit. This was in keeping with Thomander's call for a professional pastoral theology coloured by modern German textbooks, and his congregationalism influenced by collegialism.24

His synodal reading of Schleiermacher, Claus Harms, and Richter was supported by several Uppsala theologians who shaped a similar new ‘low‐church’ archdiocese at this time. They were inspired locally by the Swedish romantic history and more socially minded politics of Geijer and Almqvist, and the growth of the New Readers. Three theologians stand out: Anders Erik Knös (1801–62), Lars Anton Anjou (1803–84), and Anders Fredrik Beckman (1812–94). (p.475) Knös, rector of Gamla Uppsala and a professor of pastoral theology (after 1835) and exegesis (after 1852), was, like Thomander, involved in the same parliaments and of the same synodal persuasion when revising Sweden's Church Law. As one of Geijer's pupils fascinated with source‐based work, Knös saw in an organic sense the historical Christ of the New Testament proved in the witness of His disciples and Gospels; he sidelined modern Tübingen historical theology. Knös, like Thomander, warmed to Schleiermacher, Richter, and Claus Harms's pastoral theology, which he translated (1839), editing a new church journal (Ecclesiastik Tidskrift, 1839–42) with him. Knös wanted the parish council to be equally responsible with the parish clergyman, and wanted this representation reflected in a synodal constitution working its way up to national level, though he was sceptical as a parish clergyman close in his views to Spener's pious Hausstand about the readiness of Swedish parishioners for this degree of self‐government.25 Anjou, another of Geijer's pupils (he published one of the first modern school history textbooks in 1842, a three‐volume history of the Swedish Reformation in 1850–1, and a sequel covering 1593–1700 in 1866), was ordained in the same year (1827) as Knös, shared similar views to Knös as a professor of theology and rector of Uppsala's Holy Trinity (1845), Minister for Church Affairs (1855–9), bishop of Visby (1859), and influential member of the Swedish parliaments (1859–66). The younger Beckman, a professor of pastoral theology (1847–8), became possibly the most influential Uppsala synodal spokesman in the decade 1850–60; also as bishop of the huge Härnösand diocese after 1864. Influenced by a mix of German devotional Pietism and Neo‐Lutheranism of the kind exemplified by Philippi's Rostock theology and Höfling's Erlangen ecclesiology, Beckman sponsored division of the religious from the civil parish, and lay preaching as a way of checking ‘high church’ hierarchy, notably in the 1865–6 parliament, and new Upper House (1867–72). All three ventilated these synodal views in a brief but popular new journal, Tidskrift för Svenska Kyrkan (1849–51), which complemented advocacy of an earlier, though more Neo‐Lutheran mix of consistory and presbytery using Rudelbach's ecclesiology to pour scorn on Methodism and Scottish‐American free‐churchmanship in a similar journal, Nordisk Kyrkotidning (p.476) (1840–9), edited by a Stockholm curate close to the devotional piety of the Readers, Johan Ternström (1803–82).26

Party strife between low and high came to a head (1850–70) in a political environment described by the Lundensian, Henrik Reuterdahl (see below) in an anonymous tract on Swedish church and school (1853), as restless, and impatient for change.27 Tempers rose because this new, agitated mood implied the end of the old congruent order of church and state.

Thomander, as bishop of Lund (1856–65), used his episcopal arm, with the support of like‐minded Uppsala colleagues, to push through his synodal proposal in parliament, though he remained critical of the Scottish Free Church model, notably in the 1856–8 parliament which debated the abolition of Sweden's 1726 Conventicle Act, arguing for adequate safeguards against proselytism and heresy. He received support too from his Schartau‐inspired diocesan clergy: notably Hans Birger Hammar (1814–62), rector of Mjällby in Blekinge after 1851, who had warmed to Lumsden's visit, helped found the Christianstad Tract Society (1855), and was a popular speaker in the Copenhagen, Lund, and Christiania Scandinavian clergy conferences (1857–61). Hammar founded a new journal whose title, Evangelisk Kyrkowän (Evangelical Church Friend, 1852–7), stood for the new bond of voluntary fellowship. In it he argued that it was time Swedish clergy broke out of their isolation, that it was time to abolish gags on the voice of laity, such as Sweden's Conventicle Act, and time to place more emphasis, as did the Scottish Free Church (1853 was the earliest use of ‘Free Church’ in a Swedish context), on the gathered, self‐governing congregation of the New Testament.

But such arguments, notably the idea of the voluntary, gathered congregation, faced the bold conservative opposition of mid‐century Lund theologians. Lund ecclesiology, both a reaction to enlightened ecclesiology contained in Lindblom's authorized catechism (1810), the revised Swedish service‐book (1811), and Wallin's authorized Swedish hymn‐book (1819), and a mix of Lund, Erlangen, and Rostock Neo‐Lutheran pastoral theology and (p.477) ritualism associated with Schartau, Löhe, Vilmar, and Kliefoth, became important nationally, chiefly because Henrik Reuterdahl (1795–1870) and Anton Niklas Sundberg (1818–1900), two of its exponents, were able to amplify Lund high‐churchmanship as successive Swedish primates (1856–70 and 1870–1900).

Ability, connections, and preferment counted in the rise of this church party; especially for men such as Reuterdahl, the son of a Malmö wigmaker, or Sundberg, the son of a Gothenburg businessman in a still conservative Swedish social order. On the other hand, liberal mixed with conservative at Lund as it did at Erlangen. Reuterdahl, as a Lund ordinand and young lecturer, warmed to Schartau and Thomander, and was one of the first to break away from the hold of Swedish letters, inveigling the leading Danish publisher to open a dependency in Lund (1826) for the import of foreign literature. As the university librarian (1833), he bought modern German theological and ecclesiological literature during a German tour (1835) undertaken to study Protestant universities and their clergy training. As senior professor of theology and cathedral dean (1845–52), Reuterdahl brought this freshness approach and German system to Lund, as had Harleβ at Erlangen, and, as a historian like Knös and Anjou, pioneered a source‐based narrative history—perhaps a trifle dry—of the Swedish Reformation (four volumes to 1522, 1838–66). Sundberg, a student and teacher at Uppsala (1836–46), and at Lund successively professor of church history (1849–50), doctrine and moral theology (1852–56), and church history and symbols (1856–64), was similarly influential.

Both were lucky to have two brilliant pastoral theologians as colleagues: Ebbe Gustav Bring (1814–84), a professor of pastoral theology (1848–56) and cathedral dean at Lund (1856–61), bishop of Linköping thereafter; and Wilhelm Flensburg (1819–97), a theologian (1847–58) close to Philippi's Rostock theology, professor of doctrine and moral theology (after 1858), and Thomander's successor as bishop of Lund. Bring and Flensburg shared the German Neo‐Lutheran view of an active clergy office dispensing the means of grace, baptism and communion (Luther's order of salvation), a passive congregation, and a return to Reformation liturgies as called for by Kliefoth. Bring became the chief spokesman for the conservative clergy party in all the parliaments after 1853, and in the new ecclesiastical council a decade later.

Bring, Flensburg, and Sundberg, supported by the anonymous (p.478) pen of Reuterdahl as archbishop, used, like their Erlangen counter‐parts and Uppsala opponents, a new programmatic press, Swensk Kyrkotidning (1855–63). In a way their press was comparable as a public apologia, even in its Lutheran understanding of the Eucharist, to Anglican Oxford's Tracts for the Times, though Lund and Erlangen pastoral theology and Kliefoth's ecclesiology and ritualism contained in his recent Acht Bücher von der Kirche (Schwerin and Rostock, 1854), were used as the principal sources to counter Sweden's enlightened liturgical order of 1811, and mid‐century evangelicalism.28 Articles in the paper argued that the (Lutheran) Church, divinely instituted at Whitsun (nådeanstalt), was a corporate institutional body, and not merely the sum of individuals; that it based its teaching on the Augsburg Confession's seventh article, ‘the Church is the congregation of the saints in which the Gospel is correctly taught and the sacraments are correctly administered’, though ‘right faith’ (vere credentium) used in congregatio sanctorum et vere credentium (§ 8), it seems, was stressed at the expense of an active congregation: only an orderly ordination conferred the right to administer the means of grace in contrast to a subjective faith associated with Pietism and modern free‐churchmanship. Swensk Kyrkotidning was therefore highly critical of the synodal debate conducted in the 1853–4 and 1856–8 parliaments, and Thomander's synodal proposals (thirty clergy and laity each, equipped with a legislative initiative, but no rights of decision) sent in 1856 to all Sweden's cathedral chapters.

High‐church Lund's hierarchical and dogmatic stance, like Kliefoth's, masked in the long run its positive contribution to a better historical understanding of Lutheran ecclesiology by a new late nineteenth‐century episcopate and clergy who bore little resemblance to the political and humanist generation in office until c.1830. Wags criticized Swensk Kyrkotidning for not standing ‘on its own foot’ (in Swedish, fot), ‘but on Kliefoth’, and modern assessments have emphasized the unforgiving correctness of Lund high‐churchmanship: its propensity to use the coercive legislation of the old Caroline church, thereby providing Swedish dissent with its martyrs, and its general failure to realize that Sweden's social order had moved on since 1686.29

(p.479) But the modern constitutional tide could not be turned. Abolition of Sweden's Conventicle Act (1726) on 26 October 1858, and an enactment permitting dissenting Swedes to leave the established church, provided they joined another Christian denomination, on 23 October 1860, abolished historic religious uniformity. The new king, Charles XV (1859–72), was also determined to exercise full constitutional powers; even to govern alone as the ‘people's king’, though it was said that everything, including parliamentary reform, went against the will of a king weak on principles, as was his friend over the water at Amalienborg, King Frederick VII (1848–63). Crucial to synodal change was the appointment of Baron Louis de Geer (1818–96), a lawyer and king's man, as Swedish Chancellor in 1858. He used his reading of Mill, Guizot, and de Tocqueville to argue in parliament in the summer of 1861 that Sweden's four estates were as out of step as the British landowning aristocracy in the House of Lords: a middle‐class, propertied parliament supervised by an Upper House was the best way to protect Sweden's crown and church in a new constitutional age. De Geer's parliamentary reform, which excluded the House of Clergy, made a national synod reality. A draft reform bill put before parliament in January 1863 worried the House of Clergy (as in Denmark in 1849) greatly, notably two paragraphs: (§ 87.2), which allowed parliament ‘jointly’ with the king to issue, change, and abrogate church laws with the consent of a national synod, and (§ 26), which ruled that members of parliament could only be Swedish citizens who professed ‘Christian‐Protestant doctrine’.30 Archbishop Reuterdahl protested vehemently, with Sweden's dissenter legislation (1858–60) in mind, about a parliament without clergy representation governing Sweden's established church with parliamentarians (‘Protestant‐Christians’) who might be dissenters: church and state were inseparable. Sweden's ecclesiastical council followed swiftly on 16 November 1863.31 It was to meet under the archbishop as chairman, or in his absence under a bishop appointed by the king for one month, the date and place being fixed (p.480) by the king, every five years or more often, and its membership included sixty persons: thirty clergy—twelve bishops plus Stockholm's senior, four theology professors (two each from Uppsala and Lund), and thirteen elected clergymen, one from each diocese and one from Stockholm—and thirty laymen in numbers varying according to the importance of particular dioceses. The election of lay representatives was indirect: vestrymen (Kyrko‐Stamma) elected the electors; electors voted by ballot, the votes being collected by a returning officer appointed by the cathedral chapter; electoral districts were fixed by the king. Royal business took precedence over other business; the function of the synod was to report to the king. All decisions were made by a simple majority except in doctrinal and liturgical matters: Bible revision, new hymn‐books, service‐books, and catechisms were to be introduced first by the clergy, and no changes could be made without acceptance by two‐thirds of members present. A lay majority first prevailed in the council in 1949, when its composition was changed to fifty‐seven laymen and forty‐three clergy.

If de Geer's new bicameral parliament of 1865/6 reduced the historic authority of Sweden's established Lutheran Church in Swedish politics, the new ecclesiastical council, which met under the high‐church chairmanship of Archbishop Reuterdahl for the first time in 1868, became an important new national clergy forum in a country where urban liberalism was still a very limited political force, and royalist ministers such as de Geer (who promptly appointed the Lundensian Sundberg, bishop of Karlstad, to be speaker in the new Lower House against the wishes of a protesting farming lobby), favoured establishment.

It was a time too when the Swedish and Finnish Lutheran churches finally went their separate ways. A new Finnish national Church Law with synodal provision using German and Swiss precedent, drafted by Frans Ludvig Schaumann (1811–77), a professor of practical theology at Helsinki University (1843–65), and thereafter bishop of Porvoo, was promulgated on 6 December 1869, and became law on 1 July 1870.32 Legislation was put in the hands of a General Synod (two‐fifths clergy; three‐fifths laity) under the Department for Church Affairs in the Finnish Senate. Finns were (p.481) allowed to leave the established church; school administration was hived off from the three cathedral chapters with the church retaining only a supervisory role in education (although head teachers had to be Lutherans). Finland's few Jews, however, were not granted civic equality until 12 January 1918. The new Church Law completed official separation of Finland's civil and religious parishes in 1865.

III. Protestant Self‐Government in German Lands

Synodal government of German Protestant churches developed at provincial rather than national level in the historically varied Protestant churchscape of ‘German lands’—a still more appropriate phrase for this fifty‐year period which saw the rise of the German nation‐state. Protestant churchmen schooled in local custom‐bound churches with strong historic identities found Bismarck's new national framework extremely difficult to get used to. Modern collections of constitutional documents on church and state give the erroneous impression of a more orderly constitutional process and organization than actually obtained.33

Once again variety obscured a sense of the whole. These provincial church constitutions, though, tell us as much about local circumstance as the sixteenth‐century church orders they replaced.

One can start with the German periphery linking Protestant German with Protestant Scandinavian: with the chequered development of German Lutheran self‐government in gentrified Livonia, Estonia, and Courland. It was a defensive existential response to a large‐scale Estonian and Latvian Moravian awakening and conversions to Russian Orthodoxy after disestablishment of this provincial Lutheran church by the Russian 1832 Church Law (Chs. 14, 15). Synodalism grew with a local German pastoral revival which was coloured by Erlangen and awakened Berlin pastoral theology taught at Dorpat after 1825. Annual deanery meetings (‘synods’) introduced by the 1832 law (§§ 438–58) helped as forums to instil a new sense of common pastoral purpose amongst parish clergy. They united in the first Livonian ‘synod’ (1834), and subsequently under the pastoral sponsorship of Dorpat's professors Philippi (1841–51) and Theodosius Harnack (1845–53) in a new transregional pastoral (p.482) mission to challenge Estonian and Latvian voluntarism. Goβner's St Petersburg (1820–4) and Berlin (after 1829) pastoral missions were extremely influential too. Adolf von Harnack, who grew up and studied in Dorpat (1851–72), records the indelible impression Goβner's (still a Catholic) St Petersburg Sunday school left on his father, and how Goβner's irenic spiritual influence rooted ‘in the old, ecumenical and ideal Catholicism’ shaped family piety, and in the long run helped his own assessment of the Roman Catholic church.34

Parish clergy increased visitation, and tried to improve ethnic participation in public worship by founding, with Estonian and Latvian choral tradition in mind, the first ethnic parish choirs in the southern part of Estonia (notably at Oberpahlen/Poltsamaa), parish Bible hours, and Bible and mission festivals. Pastoral mission was seen as the only possible way forward in a gentrified church. Lutheran ecclesiology became naturally dominant under Theodosius Harnack, who opened discussion—with an eye to the obvious Moravian and Russian Orthodox challenge—with a commentary on the basic Lutheran religious articles (1845): what the Lutheran church was based upon, its essence (Wesen), and what it professed.35 This could only be understood, Harnack argued, by a historical investigation of Lutheran origins and religious articles: history, ‘objectivity’, was the only way to defend the historic Lutheran church, rebuild the authority (Amt) of the clergyman, and preserve allegiance to the two Lutheran sacraments of baptism and the Eucharist at a time of awakened religious unrest. Harnack's view formed the substance of almost every Livonian synod concerned with a response to Moravian and Russian Orthodox advance in the two decades 1840–60: particularly those of 1849, 1852, 1853, and 1858/9 (Harnack chaired a 1851/2 committee of enquiry on the ‘Moravian Question’).36 Parish clergy began to think constitutionally: how, for example, to improve the liturgy in a committee appointed and chaired by Harnack shortly before his call to Erlangen (p.483) (1853–65)—also at the 1859 synod—and how to improve pastoral work in unreformed large parishes.

Synodal thinking gathered pace in the synods held after 1860 under two of Philippi's pupils, the pastoral theologians Alexander von Oettingen (1827–1905), appointed in 1856, a brilliant, histrionic figure (he knew Faust by heart)—whose authority caused him to be nicknamed ‘the Pope’ and his Dorpat home accordingly ‘the Vatican’, by parish clergy—his brother‐in‐law, Moritz von Engelhardt (1828–81), appointed in 1858, and Harnack who returned (1865–75) refreshed by his experience of Erlangen.

Political circumstance in the decade 1860–70 quickened the pace of synodalism; but in contrast to the pressure of parliamentary reform in Sweden, German unification by Prussia (1866–71), a strong German baronial reaction, in defence of their corporate order, to Russification (representatives of the Livonian Ritterschaft even refused to carry on a tradition of attending Riga's Russian Orthodox cathedral on the Czar's birthday and other state occasions), and prosecutions against ninety‐three of Livonia's 105 clergy for allegedly allowing Estonians and Latvians to reconvert from Russian Orthodoxy (1870), provided the impetus in this provincial church with a strong sense of customary roots. Harnack's popular Die freie Lutherische Volkskirche (1870; see above) was also a part of a new ‘Baltic German’ defensive publicity in unifying Germany which used the publishing houses Duncker & Humblot in Berlin and Hirzel in Leipzig; encouraged publicity visits such as that of publicist Julius Eckardt (1836–1908) in 1867; and looked naturally to Lutheran Bavaria, and to Harleβ as an obvious champion of Livonia's beleagured Lutheran church.37

Harnack confronted his readers with the modern fact that ‘confession’ (Bekenntnis) was no longer respected, and too exposed in rapidly changing times.38 The Lutheran church had a choice, Harnack argued: either to continue as an ecclesiola (Winkelkirche), or as an Erastian ‘national and democratic church’ (Massenkirche) subordinate to church legislation governed by political criteria. The Lutheran church could only survive in modern public life if it developed its inner spiritual self as a Lutheran ‘People's Church’ (Volkskirche) independent of the modern state but under an active clergy office (Amt), and divided into an inner, governing, circle of (p.484) active Lutheran communicants (Abendmahlskreis), and a wider circle of Lutherans in name (Taufkreis).

Harnack's was a bold formulation, but a shot in the dark amongst anxious clergy who noted fearfully in their synods Prussian annexations of Lutheran provincial churches in 1866, the growing separation of church and state by Prussian Kulturkampf legislation, Russification, and the onset of an Estonian and Latvian ethnic renaissance. Finland's autonomous Lutheran church had also gained a national synod in 1869 and they had not. What if they lost the patronage of the barons who were obviously shocked by the disruptive implications of Harnack's argument in the liberal Alexandrine 1860s in Estonian and Livonian parishes which included new Russian Orthodox minorities, even majorities? Estonian and Latvian parish representation became an obvious issue in large parishes as a result of a 17 per cent population increase following the lifting of the last restrictions on peasant freedom of movement. Livonian parishes, often containing several chapels of ease, averaged c.5,700 parishioners—fifteen parishes had risen to 10,000 or more. In Estonia, the average parish had risen to 7,800 (1866); for a while a commission of clergy and barons was able to establish a new parish annually.39 What did one do, given the 1832 Church Law which made property (§§ 486, 489), meaning only the parish baronage, the precondition of serving on parish councils (Kirchenkonvent), even when Estonians and Latvians were allowed to buy land (1849), or were freed (1866) from manorial supervision by local government reform (Landgemeindeordnung)? German parish clergy worried about ethnic participation in parish affairs: either Estonians and Latvians were seen as unready and unfit for the job, or their participation in clergy appointments would nurture a new national spirit of party (Wühlerei), or their voice in parish councils could destroy a baronial patronal interest in the local Lutheran church; whether German incumbents liked it or not, they were reliant on baronial patronage for the payment of stipends and maintenance.40 A majority began to argue that their local church was after all a Landeskirche, and not Harnack's gathered church (Personenkirche). Clergy drew back from the full implication of synodalism. The will to reform ebbed.

A change of sorts was enacted in 1870 by the Livonian Landtag. It agreed to a division of parish councils—basically a fudge paying scant (p.485) attention to an ethnic parochial voice—into two independent bodies (Konvente): one managing church and school affairs in which carefully selected peasant representatives possessed an advisory vote with local squires for the first time, and one managing parish affairs which excluded an Estonian or Latvian voice. Similar reform was attempted in the Estonian Landtag in 1881 and 1896, but failed to receive official approval. Little changed before it was forced to do so by Alexander III and his Russifying provincial governors, and by cases of ethnic parochial unrest after 1880.

Livonian and Estonian Lutheran clergy showed that self‐government of the Lutheran church stopped, however well‐intended their pastoral revival and mission, as soon as their German identity was threatened by Estonian and Latvian demands for a say in parish affairs. Their existence was dependent, whether they approved or not, on the manors in their parishes.

Von Hase's caveat uttered in 1852 applied also to the shape of synodal organization in the varied Protestant provincial churchscapes of the German Confederation and the German empire. But the period 1840–90 was one where new constitutional terms, however limited in practice by patronage and property qualifications, changed the religious substance of the extended family of German Reformation church orders: ‘church constitutions’ (Kirchenverfassungen) called ‘synodal’, balancing presbytery with consistory in the phrase ‘Vestry Board and Synodal Order’ (Kirchenvorstands‐ und Synodalordnung), and amidst growing municipalism, recognition of a constitutional ‘Parish Order’ (Kirchengemeindeordnung). It was a sign of the times that Richter left out the liturgies and concentrated on sixteenth‐century church orders as constitutional documents, which he edited in 1846.41

The progress of Protestant constitutionalism depended on balances between the religious (or not) and constitutional preferences of local rulers, local parliaments, and clergy in consistories and presbyteries. It was not always a division between a more constitutional southern Germany—though the grand duchy of Baden provided an important new Protestant framework (1821)—and a conservative north and east, or between expanding Prussian Erastian Union leadership and the rest of Protestant Germany, though this became obvious after 1866.

(p.486) Little states could provide precedents. Full religious toleration was granted in the grand duchy of Hesse on 2 August 1848, and this was supplemented by a register office the following day. A new Protestant synodal constitution mixing presbytery and consistory was promulgated on 14 November 1849, though the principle of state supervision (Staatsaufsicht) was established as in the Prussian 1850 constitution. On the other hand, synodal government took time to mature, and became more of a reality for the first time in the period of unification under the president of the Darmstadt senior consistory, Carl Ernst Rinck Freiherr von Starck (1796–1875). He eventually introduced, on 6 January 1874, a ‘constitution’ for the grand duchy's ‘Protestant church’. Much further north, in the grand duchy of Oldenburg (Oldenburg, the former prince‐bishopric of Lübeck governed by Lutheran Eutin, and the Birkenfeld principality with a Union church), a basic law (18 February 1849) incorporated all the religious liberties of the Frankfurt parliament, and a general synod met accepting this as a basis for a new ‘Protestant church’ which avoided any reference to ‘confession’. An elected Oberkirchenrat abolished the idea of summus episcopus. This was a little too much for Grand Dukes August (1783–1853) and Peter (1827–1900), who restored at least their episcopal authority and Reformation articles of religion: the first in a revised basic law (22 November 1852), and the second in a revised church constitution (§ 2, 11 April 1853). On the other hand, Oldenburg's revised basic law (1852) retained the 1848 liberties, and a Protestant church tax was fixed constitutionally for the first time in Germany (§ 81), some forty years before the same principle was introduced in the southern German states. Like several other little German states, Oldenburg supported the idea of a national Protestant synodal and confederal church, notably under its Oberkirchenrat Justus Friedrich Runde (1809–81), who played a prominent role in the new Church Days.42

Elsewhere, progress was more gradual, with a major burst of provincial self‐governing activity after 1860. This was largely a response to liberal political and economic legislation which only a modern new German nation‐state, inert in religious affairs, could enact, such as: local government reform separating the civil and religious spheres of parishes, state school and university education; (p.487) removal of religious disabilities, such as repeal of various debt and usury laws; recognition of the right to reside where one liked free of the old customary and religious sanctions; freedom to exercise a trade (Gewerbefreiheit); emancipation of the Jews in Prussia (1869; thereafter in the other states); and, with the 1875 register office, civil marriage. It was possible for the first time for persons of different faiths, or no faith at all, to marry outside the Christian church. In the words of the act which established the register office, civil marriage solved a problem which had grown with modern times in a customary religious order: ‘the majority of Germany's provinces lacked a form of marriage between persons, one of whom remained within the Church, and the other, without. Mixed marriage, as long as marriage in church remained obligatory, was an inexhaustible source of confessional strife’.43

Prussia, between her revised constitution (31 January 1850) and the establishment of a vestry board and synodal order (10 September 1873) for her six eastern, mainly Lutheran core provinces (Province of Prussia until divided west‐east again in 1878, Brandenburg, Pomerania, Posen, Silesia, and her Saxon province) and a general synod on 30 January 1876 (the substance of Prussian constitutional church government until 1918), exemplified the almost insoluble church politics of striking a reasonable balance—using an enormous amount of legal paperwork—between a modest degree of Protestant self‐government, and constitutional inclusion in an Erastian state which alternated liberal and conservative church policy.

The appointment of the right man as Minister for Church Affairs became extremely important after 1850 in a state which still retained its character as a Protestant provincial archipelago. Unification amplified this situation. Prussia, the dominant Protestant state in Bismarck's new federal nation‐state, faced an even larger collection of church parties ranging between the Neo‐Lutheran ‘Old Believers’ (Altgläubigen), the broad church (Vermittler), and the frankly liberal. The personality and churchmanship of the Minister for Church Affairs became crucial; not least because King William I, a conservative‐minded monarch like his two predecessors, used his minister both to represent the state, and to act as the go‐between for Berlin's Oberkirchenrat and the new Prussian provincial consistories of Kiel, Hanover, Kassel, Wiesbaden, and Frankfurt. Heinrich von (p.488) Mühler (1862–72), a conservative close to the Kreuzzeitung, was too insensitive; Adalbert Falk (1872–9) was obviously too liberal, and caused more religious ‘clamour’ by enacting legislation inspired by Bismarck than the king would have liked; his milder conservative successors, Robert von Puttkamer (1879–81), and Gustav von Göβler (1881–91) were more to the king's liking.44 The same issue coloured appointments to the presidency of Berlin's Oberkirchenrat: Emil Herrmann (1872–8), a noted canonist appointed by Falk, who saw through Prussian synodal church government, was obviously considered much too liberal. Falk was forced to replace him with the conservative Ottomar Hermes (1878–91). Appointments to university Protestant theological faculties became even more sensitive than under Altenstein, particularly in Catholic faculties in the climate of the Syllabus of Errors.

The path taken towards Protestant self‐governing bodies had much to do with a new Lutheran free church, pointedly called Altlutheraner, in Silesia and recognized by an 1847 religious patent, which worried king and ministers in Berlin greatly. A constitutive document (13 February 1849) establishing a separate department of Berlin's Ministry for Church Affairs devoted solely to Protestant church matters, the forerunner of Prussia's more bureaucratic Protestant senior consistory (Evangelischer Oberkirchenrat, 29 June 1850), with this in mind acknowledged for the first time the Lutheran church as in essence an evangelical church based on the sermon and the administration of the sacraments of baptism and communion mentioned in articles 7, 9, and 10 of the Augsburg Confession.45 It was a belated official acknowledgement of the historical division between six eastern Lutheran and two western Reformed provinces within the overall framework of the official Union, for which some future constitutional balance had to be sought. Identity became a problem for the Reformed church too. Rhine‐Westphalian provincial synods tried to end the mix of consistory and synod established in 1835, but a worried king kept things more or less as they were in a revised constitution of 13 June 1853, and both provincial synods agreed with royal approval (25 (p.489) November 1855) that Lutherans and Reformed were united in an administrative sense only, and not by confession. Confession secured a religious identity which had grown with time since the Reformation, though both acknowledged a common pulpit and Eucharist.

The 1850 constitution's provision of religious liberty (§ 12: no obligation to an established church, recognition of religious association) and the 1850 senior consistory therefore constantly faced this Lutheran hinterland; also in the assurance (§ 14) that the ‘Roman Catholic church’ and Protestant church governed themselves, because Protestants still possessed no church government organs. The ‘Christian state’, throne and altar, was also reaffirmed as Stahl wished (§ 14), as it was in three regulations governing Prussian primary schooling (1–3 October 1854) issued by Anton Stiehl (1812–78), director of Prussian elementary education (1850–72).46 These upheld clergy supervision as a means to enforce obedience to church and state, and the Reformation religious articles including Luther's Little Catechism, and the Reformed Heidelberg Catechism. Allegiance to king and country was primary. If the Protestant church did become independent, did clergy as civil servants (Staatsbeamte, § 108), like professors of theology, schoolteachers, military chaplains, hospital and prison chaplains, have to take an oath to the Prussian constitution? Rudolf von Uechtritz (1803–63), the new director of the 1849 department, thought times had changed: that an oath to the constitution by clergy as ‘servants of the state’ was obsolete. A long, involved struggle of words followed; notably by Prussian Catholic bishops and clergy who wanted a rider safeguarding the rights of the Catholic church.47 This was mocked by Kulturkampf legislation two decades later.

It took over a quarter of a century amidst much heated public debate in countless numbers of constitutional pamphlets and books written by supporters of the Union, Reformed, and Lutheran churches, to work out a suitable parish order for the six eastern Lutheran provinces and a commensurable synodal order for the Protestant church in Prussia which balanced Union, Lutheran, and Reformed, and favoured parishioners rather than theologians. Its implementation was unfortunately masked by the Kulturkampf.

Prussia's Vestry Board and Synodal Order (1873) extended the (p.490) Rhine‐Westphalian synodal model enhanced by the strong presence of the parish clergyman in parish government to the six eastern Lutheran provinces. This was accepted as a state law on 25 May 1874; the same day a general synod was called which discussed extensively a draft synodal order (by Herrmann) until enactment on 30 January 1876.

Prussia's Generalsynodal‐Ordnung contained the three basic constitutional elements of Prussian church government until 1918: self‐government by presbytery and synod, administration by consistory, and the continuance of the king as supreme bishop. It was an assembly of 150 members chosen by provincial synods: Province of Prussia, twenty‐four; Brandenburg, twenty‐seven; Pomerania, eighteen; Posen, nine; Silesia, twenty‐one; Prussian Saxony, twenty‐four; Westphalia, twelve; Rhineland, fifteen; six from the Protestant theological faculties of Königsberg, Berlin, Greifswald, Breslau, Halle, and Bonn; Prussia's chief superintendents; and thirty members appointed by the king for a six‐year period. A city synod for Berlin was foreseen (§ 4) which obtained official recognition on 17–18 May 1895. Like those of Oldenburg and Baden, the document establishing this General Synod spoke of the need to promote Protestant German national unity (§ 19). Approved as a state law on 3 June 1876, it became Prussia's ‘Die evangelische Kirchenverfassung in den acht älteren Provinzen der Monarchie’.

Prussia's Protestant Church Constitution was an important step forward at parish level. It reflected for the first time a modern state's need to supervise the anomalous historic parish and economic structure of the Reformation Church which had been pointed out by the Code and senior Prussian clergy to no avail three‐quarters of a century earlier: these listed in order, building and maintenance, collection of church dues, state direction of registration (parish registers), and new parishes (§ 23); the purchase and sale of church property, sale of objects which had historical or artistic value, loans, new fees and changes of fees, new buildings, the siting of graveyards and their use once they became redundant, church collections outside the parish church, and use of church property for other than official purposes (§ 24). There was a very real concern, given poor Prussian experience, about the proper administration of church property: that parishioners and parishes managed their affairs in an orderly fashion. The state and consistories therefore retained a right to look into parish accounts and use law enforcement if illegalities (p.491) appeared (Zwangssistierung, § 27). All of this was clarified further in two decrees (9 September 1876, and 5 September 1877) which defined administrative competence between the state and its senior consistory.

But this development was not peculiarly Prussian. Other larger states faced the same problem of governing the anomaly associated with historic churches, and they legislated in much the same way at much the same time. Saxony, similar to Erastian Prussia until the period of unification in government by Dresden's Minister in Evangelicis, a Landeskonsistorium whose president and members were appointed by the Catholic king with this minister's countersignature, and jurists—Kings Frederick August II (1797–1854) and Johann (1801–73) also played an active role—changed, like Prussia, towards synodal self‐government for the first time in 1868 when a Vestry Board and Synodal Order was enacted on 30 March.

This enhanced, like Prussia's similar order, the authority of the parish clergyman in parish affairs, and provided for a general synod every five years. It was refined thereafter by Saxony's Minister for Church Affairs (1871–91), the canonist, Karl Friedrich von Gerber (1823–91). He legislated for a much broader degree of Lutheran self‐government by Dresden's Landeskonsistorium (the district subconsistories of Dresden, Leipzig, and Zwickau were abolished) in Saxony's Church Law (15–16 April 1873) in constitutional and liturgical matters, schooling, and clergy training (§ 5.1–8) than 1835 had ever acknowledged.

Saxony's new Church Law reflected too the Saxon state's great concern about the orderly government and economic management of historic parishes; especially at a time of rapid Saxon economic advance and urbanization. Dresden's senior consistory became authoritative in the management of benefices and parishes (§ 5.19); supervised church land, foundations, and capital (§ 5.21); threatened legal sanctions if improprieties occurred in the administration of church property (§ 5.22); managed finer parish detail as the use of graveyards (§ 5.23) and endowments for religious purposes like support of clergy and church servants and their families (§ 5.24); also, in a parish world where patronal anomaly still prevailed, it ensured that the parish church did not suffer from collisions between the interests of the parish congregation, the municipality, the parish council, and the patron (§ 5.26).

The degree of a Protestant church's independence, and legislation (p.492) for better parish government and economic management of historic churches became a major issue and source of much public strife even for the modern southern German states associated with constitutional progress such as Baden, Württemberg, and Bavaria.

Baden, in the context of her advanced Protestant Church Constitution (1821), and a continuous struggle with her revived Catholic church after 1850, anticipated, a decade later in 1860 with modern, inert, state legislation which produced bitter religious strife, what Prussia experienced in the 1870s. A series of five state laws agreed with her liberal parliament (9 October 1860), the Erastian offspring of an extremely touchy religious climate—a Concordat concluded in 1859 was opposed by a liberal parliament on 30 March 1860, and revoked by the grand duke on 7 April—provided a new ecclesiastical framework for the Badenese Protestant and Catholic churches as ‘public corporations in law’ (§ 1). The principle of self‐governing Protestant and Catholic churches, but joint church and state administration of church property was provided for (§ § 7, 10). A civil register office in ‘exceptional circumstances’ predated Badenese obligatory civil marriage enacted on 21 December 1869. With Frankfurt's similar arrangement of 19 November 1850, this established a precedent for the 1875 German register office. Two further laws tried in a mixed denominational environment to establish orderly procedures for a religious upbringing of children, and imposed imprisonment and fines on clergy who misused their office to publicly criticize the state, its authorities, and legislation (addition to Baden's 1849 Criminal Law, § 686a—g).

The latter law established a very important legal precedent in German church–state relations. It was a recognition that in a new environment of church disestablishment, the state might need a means of controlling clergy who used their public office for ‘political’ purposes. This predated the so‐called ‘pulpit paragraph’ amendments added to the imperial criminal code (§ 130a) in 1871 and 1876, which were abolished for the first time in 1953.48

State education was foreseen too (§ 6 of the framework law), which led to a subsequently very contentious state Primary School (p.493) Law (8 March 1868). Also divisive was the introduction of a Kulturexamen on 6 September 1867 for Protestant and Catholic ordinands. This obliged them to sit an examination in Latin, Greek, German literature, German history, and civil and canon law before a state examination board.

Baden's Protestant church received a new constitution (5 September 1861) under the grand duke as supreme bishop. It abolished Baden's 1821 Protestant church constitution, and followed the presbytery and synodal framework of the Rhine‐Westphalian church order (1835) and Oldenburg's church constitution (1853). A senior consistory resident at Karlsruhe governed Baden's Protestant church, but given the weight of liberal legal opinion, the presence of the constitutional state was possibly more of a presence than elsewhere; for example, in the ruling harking back to the Prussian Code, that a clergyman should set a Christian example in his parish (einem musterhaften christlichen Lebenswandel, § 91). There was a liberal sense too of a medium‐sized Protestant state's duty to promote the larger ‘organic’ Protestant whole in the Church Days (§ 2), and close co‐operation between senior consistory and state on church finance, especially property (edict, 28 February 1862), which followed similar arrangements for the Catholic church (20 November 1861). This legislation, with the addition of a law introducing church tax (26 July 1888)—Protestant and Catholic churches were after all corporations in public law after 1860—remained in place until 1919.49

Württemberg followed a more placid path towards Lutheran self‐government under King Charles (1823–91) after 1864. This built on some piecemeal synodal measures enacted in the 1850s including a vestry board (25 January 1851) provision of deanery synods. A royal decree (20 December 1867) eventually proposed a general synod (Landessynode) promising wide legislative powers to a convocation of fifty elected clergy and laity divided equally (§ 2.1), and a further decree issued the same day defined in the interests of throne and altar the rights of Stuttgart's Ministry for Church and School Affairs. But it took three general synods (1869, 1875, 1878) to eventually produce a draft vestry board and synodal order, only to be turned down by a suspicious Lower House of parliament who feared the challenge of Protestantism in a land known for its Pietism. Theodor von (p.494) Geβler (1824–86), Minister for Church Affairs (1870–85), had to let matters fall amidst much recrimination in 1884. His successor (1885–1900), Otto von Sarwey (1825–1900), eventually compromised by building on the legislation of the 1850s to introduce a state law regulating parish government and parish property (14 June 1887). This finally separated the civil and church parish, and abolished Württemberg's old Kirchengut in favour of parish councils as the administrators of church property and finance. Since parish councils were now recognized corporations in public law, their right to collect church tax was granted (§ 65). This provided the logical final step in the establishment of a general synod (Landessynodalordnung, 11 September 1888).

In Catholic Bavaria, Lutherans gained a general synod eventually at the same time as Württemberg, after much hard bargaining with Catholic kings and ministers who fought with their Catholic church in much the same way as their counterparts in Baden and Prussia. Under Harleβ, president of Munich's Lutheran senior consistory (1852–79), Franconian Lutherans struggled hard to achieve independent government of the kind which governed the palatinate Union church seated at Speyer after 4 June 1849, and self‐governing Franconian Reformed parishes (by a Moderamen, 26 February 1853), and legislation refining representation on diocesan and general synods palatinate (17 June 1876). Lutheran Ansbach and Bayreuth tried to expand self‐governing elements gained before 1848 in proposals of 1873 and 1877, but Munich's senior consistory under Harleβ's successors, Johann Matthias Meyer (1814–82) after 1879, and Adolf von Stählin (1823–97) after 1883, prevaricated: both consistories in practice co‐operated in church business after 1849. A compromise was reached with a Generalsynodalausschuβ (25 June 1887).

Elsewhere, providence, in the form of Prussian annexations following victory in the civil war of 1866, delivered local churches into Prussia's developing Protestant self‐governing framework of churches. The Lutheran colouring of several of these lands—Hanover in particular, but also Frankfurt, the northern part of Electoral Hesse, and parts of Nassau—in turn speeded up the implementation of a new Prussian constitutional framework for Lutheran, Reformed, and the official Union church.50

Lutheran Hanover was well along the road to self‐government (p.495) by 1866. Her more plural denominational complexion as a new kingdom after 1815, a vexing constitutional debate with stubborn kings, and a strong Neo‐Lutheran revival—in particular a row with Neo‐Lutheran clergy over what authorized Hanoverian catechism to use—pushed the Hanoverian Minister for Church Affairs, Karl Lichtenberg (1816–83), to call a preparatory synod (6 October 1863) which eventually produced a vestry board and synodal order consisting of district synods and provision for a future general synod, which was signed by the king after revision by parliament on 9 October 1864. George V (1819–78) established a self‐governing Landeskonsistorium at Hanover on 17 April 1866, some six months before annexation on 10 September. There matters rested; the Prussian king became summus episcopus and the Prussian Minister for Church Affairs replaced his Hanoverian counterpart on 8 December 1868. The Hanoverian general synod finally met on 3 November 1869; its first president, Gerhard Uhlhorn (1826–1901)—after 1878 abbot of Loccum, and a pioneer of the history of charity in Protestant Germany—defended Hanover's self‐governing Lutheran Landeskirche staunchly thereafter against both Prussia and Neo‐Lutherans.

In Schleswig‐Holstein, Berlin thought it obviously prudent, given so much strife about established church identities, to recognize the province's Lutheran church, and its consistory at Kiel as an independent organ, on 24 September 1867. This was prefaced by a law which ended the historic spiritual jurisdiction of consistories still operative in most parts of Holstein. On 16 August 1869, a parish vestry order completed this change; it was revised in the Prussian sense as a vestry board and synodal order on 4 November 1876. This legislation meant that Berlin really established a Landeskirche for Schleswig‐Holstein with a common church order for the first time. The first president of Kiel's consistory (1868–91) was the judge, Friedrich Mommsen (1818–92).

The new Prussian province of Hessen‐Nassau (including the former electorate of Hesse, duchy of Nassau, and Free City of Frankfurt) gained a general consistory (22 September 1867) at Wiesbaden. But church politics became bitter as an overworked von Mühler found to his cost in two former states and a free city with extremely complex religious structures and a strong sense of local history. Frankfurt's Reformed congregation almost took up arms over the proposed Wiesbaden common consistory in 1868; (p.496) Frankfurt's consistorial government was allowed to continue. In Nassau, a parish vestry and synodal order was enacted in 1869 and expanded, like Schleswig‐Holstein's, in 1877. Trouble erupted in northern Hesse, owing to the weight of a vocal Neo‐Lutheran church party loyal to the deposed elector under August Vilmar, whose brother, Wilhelm (1804–84), became the leader of a new Hessian Lutheran free church, similar in this sense to Silesian Old Lutherans, called the Renitenz after his unfrocking by Prussian authorities in 1869. Dissent continued with much anti‐Prussian publicity, often in collusion with like‐minded Neo‐Lutheran loyalist Guelph circles in Hanover, and with some imprisonments until 1918.51

In a broader sense though, these annexed states really shared (after extension on 3 June 1876) in the new framework of the Prussian Protestant church established in September 1873, and in January and June 1876. The Hanoverian Lutheran church benefited from the June 1876 constitutional arrangements concerning the proper administration of parish finance and church property (a law of 6 May 1885 incorporated §§ 23, 24, 27; see above). Also Hanover's Reformed congregations which had not seen self‐governing legislation before 1866 (Ostfriesland, Bentheim, Lingen, Papenburg, Bremen, Plesse) gained a Vestry Board and Synodal Order on 12 April 1882. The same self‐governing process happened in Schleswig‐Holstein in 1876 (see above; Lauenburg, a tricky constitutional territory gained by Prussia in 1864, became a superintendency in 1877), and in Nassau on 4 July 1877. In the troublesome former electorate of Hesse, the Marburg, Kassel, and Hanau consistorial areas covering Reformed, Lutheran, and Union churches—united on 13 June 1868 and governed by Kassel after 24 April 1873—gained a common Vestry Board and Synodal Order on 16 December 1885.

With this development in mind, one may speak about a more modern Protestant form of constitutional and financial government by consistory, presbytery, and synod of German Reformation churches and parishes (excepting both Mecklenburgs, Saxony‐Coburg‐Gotha, and Schaumburg‐Lippe) united in 1871 as thirty‐nine Landeskirchen in twenty‐six states, as coming into effect in the last decade of the nineteenth century for the first time.52


(1) Emil Friedberg (ed.), Die geltenden Verfassungsgesetze der evangelisch deutschen Landeskirchen (Freiburg, 1885), and 4 supplementary vols. (1892–1904). Friedberg (1837–1910), a law professor at Leipzig after 1869, masterminded Bismarck's Kulturkampf legislation, and pioneered the modern legal history of marriage: see bibliography. Huber and Huber, Staat und Kirche, ii (1848–90), 1,036 pages (the longest amongst three in their documentary collection c.1800–1918) is largely based on Friedberg.

(2) ‘Nach Kanossa gehen wir nicht—weder körperlich noch geistig!’, 14 May 1872 speech, Bismarck, Gesammelte Werke, xi. 270.

(3) Heffter, Deutsche Selbstverwaltung, 546 passim.

(4) Huber and Huber, i. 621.

(5) Freisen, Der katholische und protestantische Pfarrzwang, 3, 49–60.

(6) Hase, Die evangelische protestantische Kirche des deutschen Reiches: Eine kirchenrechtliche Denkschrift, 2nd edn. (Leipzig, 1852), 76. Hase was noted for his own, popular Life of Jesus (1829, 5th edn., 1865; English trans. 1860).

(7) Brilioth, Svensk Kyrkokunskap, 368.

(8) Huber and Huber, i. no. 267.

(9) A. L. Richter (ed.), Verhandlungen der evangelischen General‐Synode, 143; an alleged strict observance of religious articles in the Church of England and Church of Scotland, ibid. 141.

(10) Huber and Huber, i. 618–21. An important synodal transmitter was the Swabian Gotthard Victor Lechler (1811–88). He visited England in 1840 and published the German standard works on English Deism (1841), presbytery and synod (1854). From 1858 until his death, he was a superintendent and church historian at Leipzig.

(11) Huber and Huber, ii. no. 9.

(12) RE, s.v. ‘Konferenz, evangelisch‐kirchliche’; ‘Die Reformbewegung für kirchliche Verfassung in Thüringen, besonders in Sachsen‐Weimar in den Jahren 1846–1851’, Thüringer Kirchenblatt, 1849 (after 1 July), 1850, 1851, cited Glaue, Thüringen, 70–3.

(13) J. Schioldann‐Nielsen, The Life of D. G. Monrad 1811–1887, Manic‐Depressive Disorder and Political Leadership (Odense, 1988).

(14) Danes called Monrad's 1863 cabinet ‘The Million’: implying Monrad and a collection of zeros. Monrad on his New Zealand experience: ‘It raised my spirits to live in this sublime untamed nature, and to use a spade in ground which had lain untouched since creation’, Schioldann‐Nielsen, 146.

(15) Glædemark, Kirkeforfatningsspørgsmålet, 179.

(16) ‘Den evangelisk‐lutherske Kirke er den danske Folkekirke og understøttes som saadan af Staten’, § 3, ibid. 1, 243.

(17) ‘Folkekirkens Forfatning ordnes ved Lov’ § 80; Pontoppidan Thyssen, Den danske folkekirkes struktur, 41; Glædemark, 247, 260, 506.

(18) Ibid. 420–1.

(19) Ibid. 513.

(20) Lindahl, Högkyrkligt, Lågkyrkligt, Frikyykligt, 33–9.

(21) N. Rodén, ‘Skotska frikyrkans inflytande på svenskt fromhetsliv vid mitten av 1800–talet’ i. ‘T.o.m. 1854’, (1956), 139–71, id., ii. 1855–7, (1958), 111–42; Österlin, Thomanders kyrkogärning, 344–5.

(22) Ahrén, Kyrkomöte och Synodalförfattning, 31.

(23) Molland, Norges kirkehistorie i det 19. Århundre, i. 170–85.

(24) Österlin, 114–15; influence of Richter's view that doctrinal and liturgical matters were a matter for the church alone, and Clausen's reading of Schleiermacher: Ahrén, 33 passim.

(25) Knös, Kurze Darstellung . . . der schwedischen Kirchenverfassung, 58. Knös wrote this short digest to complement Schubert's on the prompting of Harleβ. Richter's influence on Knös, Ahrén, 43.

(26) J. Ternström, Om Lekmannaverksamheten (Christianstad, 1858); Om kallelsen till Predikoembetet (Lund, 1868); Ahrén, 69 passim. Similar evangelical criticism of the clergy office: P. A. Akerlund, Wet du hwad Prest är (Uppsala, 1857).

(27) ‘Vår tid är en tid af rörlighet, af oro, af sträfvande till forändring’ (H. Reuterdahl), Svenska kyrkans och skolans ifrågavarande angelägenheter (1853), 1, cited Helander, Den liturgiska utvecklingen i Sverige 1811–1894, 35.

(28) Bring, ‘Om Kyrkan’, Swensk Kyrkotidning, 1855, 1 passim; G. Billing, Biskopen M. M. Ebbe Gustaf Bring, några minnesblad (Lund, 1886), 59.

(29) Newman, Svensk högkyrklighet, lågkyrklighet och frikyrklighet, 246–52; R. Bring, ‘En kultursyntesens teologi: Några drag ur lundensiskt teologist tänkande 1862–1912’, STK (1963), 137–44.

(30) ‘Riksdagen äge ock gemensamt med konungen stifta, förändra eller upphäva kyrkolag; dock at därvid erfordras samtycka jämväl av allmänt kyrkomöte’ (§ 87.2); ‘som bekänna sig till kristen‐protestantisk lära’ (§ 26); Ahrén, 227 passim.

(31) ‘Memorandum on the Constitution of the Ecclesiastical Council of Sweden’, SPCK (ed.), Report of the Joint Commission of Canterbury ‘On the Position of the Laity’ (London, 1902), 89–90.

(32) Schaumann, a canonist, published Handbok i Finlands kyrkorätt (1853), i, and edited Tidskrift för Finska Kyrkan (1857–60) with an eye to German ecclesiology learnt on a visit in 1851; commentary: Rosenqvist, Schaumann, i.

(33) Notably, Huber and Huber, ii.

(34) ‘Das ist später meiner Beurteilung des Katholizismus zugute gekommen—des Katholizismus, wie er sein Könnte!’, Zahn‐Harnack, Adolf von Harnack, 2.

(35) ‘Was die evangelische Kirche wirklich ist und sein will, worauf sie gründet, worin ihr Wesen besteht, was sie bekennt’, T. Harnack (ed.), Grundbekenntnisse, xiv: Oberpahlen—Johann Friedrich La Trobe (1769–1845), churchwarden in the 1830s, Andreas Martin Wilberg (1821–1903), cantor and schoolmaster (1840–5), and Emil Hörschelmann (1810–54), vicar (1838–53), Arro, Geschichte der estnischen Musik.

(36) Garve, Konfession und Nationalität, 70.

(37) Eckardt, Lebenserinnerungen, i. 181–2; Kahle, Begegnung, 107, 152 passim.

(38) H. Wittram, Die Kirche bei Theodosius Harnack, 160 passim; Garve, 126 passim.

(39) Garve 135.

(40) Ibid. 140–1.

(41) Hope, ‘View from the Province’, JEH 41 (1990), 618–19.

(42) Huber and Huber, ii. nos. 18, 159.

(43) T. Ramm, Familienrecht: Recht der Ehe (Munich, 1984), i. 68, cited Hope, ‘View from the Province’, 620.

(44) Mühler: ‘In einzelnen Fällen behandelte er delicate Dinge mit plumper Faust und erlitt tragikomische Blamagen’, Grenzboten, no. 8, 16 Feb. 1872, cited ‘Mühler, Heinrich von’, ADB, 474. Falk (1827–1900) was the enlightened reformer of Prussia's primary schools and improver of schoolteachers' pay (1872); on his death, Hamm's citizenry erected a monument in gratitude.

(45) Huber and Huber, ii. no. 135.

(46) Ibid. nos. 11, 150–3.

(47) Ibid. nos. 136–41. See ibid. also for the following constitutional arrangements.

(48) My father (1911–71), a pastor in the Confessing church, was imprisoned in June 1937 by the Gestapo for preaching two sermons on 14 February and Whitsun 1937, which contained, amongst other offences, ‘gehässige oder hetzerische Äusserungen über leitende Persönlichkeiten des Staates und der NSDAP . . . die geeignet sind, das Vertrauen des Volkes zur politischen Führung zu untergraben’ (§ 130a, etc.), Haftbefehl: Der Prädikant der Theologie Constantin Hopf, Schneidemühl, 15 June 1937 (Hopf–Haeberlin papers).

(49) Church tax in Württemberg (1887, see above), and Baden (1888), Huber and Huber, ii. nos. 470, 473; Giese, Deutsches Kirchensteuerrecht, 122, 163 passim.

(50) Besier, Preuβische Kirchenpolitik, 340–424.

(51) K. Wicke, Die hessische Renitenz, ihre Geschichte und ihr Sinn (Kassel, 1930).

(52) Listed conveniently by Huber, Verfassungsgeschichte, iv. 841–2; Rieker, Die rechtliche Stellung, 461–4.