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Theology and the University in Nineteenth-Century Germany$
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Zachary Purvis

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198783381

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198783381.001.0001

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Organizing Knowledge

Organizing Knowledge

(p.14) 2 Organizing Knowledge
Theology and the University in Nineteenth-Century Germany

Zachary Purvis

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues for and emphasizes the importance of understanding modern university theology as rooted, at least partly, in humanistic traditions that reached back to the early modern and Renaissance periods, and, in places, to Aristotle and the ancient world. The chapter treats the complex roots of theological encyclopedia in humanist ideas on scholarly method, early modern Protestant guidebooks to the study of theology (including loci communes or theological commonplaces), and related bibliographic surveys known as historia literaria, undertaken as a response to the early modern explosion of knowledge. In particular, the concepts of ‘theology’ and ‘encyclopedia’ are elucidated as means of organizing knowledge. Development of these concepts is discussed from the periods of Reformation and orthodoxy—particularly via Philip Melanchthon (1497–1560) and Andreas Hyperius (1511–64)—through eighteenth-century German pietism and finally J. G. Herder (1744–1803). These are contrasted with other ventures like the French Encyclopédie.

Keywords:   Philip Melanchthon, Andreas Hyperius, scholasticism, loci communes, organization of knowledge, J. G. Herder, encyclopedia, theology

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