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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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Renewing Protestantism? Schleiermacher and University Theology

Renewing Protestantism? Schleiermacher and University Theology

(p.139) 7 Renewing Protestantism? Schleiermacher and University Theology
Theology and the University in Nineteenth-Century Germany

Zachary Purvis

Oxford University Press

This chapter scrutinizes Friedrich Schleiermacher’s Kurze Darstellung des theologischen Studiums (Brief Outline of the Study of Theology, 1811; 2nd edn, 1830). With the University of Berlin’s establishment in 1810, Schleiermacher produced this watershed volume for the study of theology; it represented his programmatic statement on religion and pedagogical manifesto on academic theology’s future in the highly transitional, post-Enlightenment, post-revolutionary world. More than any other text, Schleiermacher’s idiosyncratic theological encyclopedia proved monumental in setting the trajectory for the theological enterprise in the modern university—attempting to renew Protestantism, pursue Wissenschaft, and claim the spirit of modernity, proposing a novel union of ecclesial and scientific interests. The chapter investigates its institutional locus, salient features of its publication history, and the historically focused programme of theology it advanced. The legacy of Schleiermacher’s programme, and ‘cultural Protestantism’ (Kulturprotestantismus), across Europe is explored. In short, with the Kurze Darstellung, Schleiermacher launched the project of modern theology.

Keywords:   Friedrich Schleiermacher, Brief Outline, philosophical theology, historical theology, practical theology, theology as science, Wissenschaft, theological encyclopedia, modern theology, Kulturprotestantismus

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