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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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Theology and Wissenschaft in the ‘Quiet War’

Theology and Wissenschaft in the ‘Quiet War’

(p.86) 5 Theology and Wissenschaft in the ‘Quiet War’
Theology and the University in Nineteenth-Century Germany

Zachary Purvis

Oxford University Press

In the early 1800s, Friedrich Schelling (1775–1854) and Friedrich Schleiermacher (1768–1834) found themselves embroiled in an acrimonious exchange stemming from Schelling’s famous lectures on the method of academic study and Schleiermacher’s reaction. With suggestive imagery given the tumult of the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars, they understood the affair as a momentous ‘quiet war’, turning on questions over the methodological coherence of academic disciplines, the status of philosophical speculation and historical criticism in theology, and how both fit together in contested Romantic and idealist models of higher education. This chapter examines the ‘quiet war’ alongside accounts of the university faculties by Immanuel Kant, Friedrich Schiller, and Johann Gottlieb Fichte. The result was a powerful synthesis that transformed fundamentally the German university model and German Protestant and Catholic university theology. Disagreements between Schelling and Schleiermacher masked deeper commonalities, which together reconfigured the essence and direction of modern academic theology.

Keywords:   F. W. J. Schelling, Immanuel Kant, Friedrich Schiller, J. G. Fichte, Friedrich Schleiermacher, Halle, Romanticism, idealism, Napoleon, French Revolution

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