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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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Enlightenment, History, and New Ideals

Enlightenment, History, and New Ideals

(p.65) 4 Enlightenment, History, and New Ideals
Theology and the University in Nineteenth-Century Germany

Zachary Purvis

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that theology’s transformation at the turn from the eighteenth to the nineteenth century was dominated not only by the history of ideas—‘Enlightenment’, ‘historical criticism’, ‘secularization’—but also by developments in institutions of knowledge. It considers the importance of Johann August Nösselt (1734–1807) and Gottlieb Jakob Planck (1751–1833) in the context of broader Enlightenment trends in religion and university life. They present a significant window into the intellectual and cultural realities of the era. An extended comparison is made between the evolution of the theological curriculum and the emerging discipline of history as a science in its own right. The chapter concludes with a substantial, rigorous investigation into the powerful new conception of scholarship and academic vocation—the ‘ideology of science’ (Wissenschaftsideologie)—that began to take hold of Protestant theology and the German university in the post-1789 world, flanking the entangled paths toward theological ‘modernity’.

Keywords:   Enlightenment, Wissenschaft, secularization, modernity, J. A. Nösselt, G. J. Planck, history

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