Cultural Impact of the Reformation: Section III.11: Abstracts

Arnulf von Scheliha (Münster, Germany)

Der politische Protestantismus zwischen Populismus und parlamentarischer Demokratie

Zu den kulturellen Wirkungen der Reformation gehört die lange Lerngeschichte, in der sich der Protestantismus die Demokratie angeeignet hat. Das landesherrliche Kirchenregiment, Treue zur Monarchie, Revolution, Verführungen zum Populismus und die Herrschaft des Rechts waren wichtige Stationen auf diesem Weg, der in diesem Vortrag skizziert wird.


Yuri Ivonin (Smolensk, Russia)

From Reformation to Confessionalization. England and Dukes of Saxony in 1555-1560

There is some reason to consider the problem of England’s relations with continental Protestant powers from the viewpoint of conception of Confessionalization. In the Dresden State Archive, there are very voluminous reports of Ernestine’s ambassadors from London. Elizabethan England became a hope of Protestants in Europe, but no close collaboration followed. Nevertheless, the continental Protestants continued to consider England as one of the important links of the chain of ›Protestant solidarity‹ not only in the finishing age of the Reformation.


David Hall (Powder Springs, USA)

Calvin, Calvinism, and the Trajectory of Republicanism. A Reception History

In contrast to Luther’s largely personalistic thrust, Calvinism created more political penumbra than most theological traditions. Calvinism (if not Calvin) quickly fueled a burgeoning stream of open societies with a decidedly anti-hierarchical trajectory. This reception history of Calvin’s political ideas traces the trajectory of Calvinism, focusing on its acceleration and mediation through his disciples in the fertile 1550-1600 period. A survey of texts indicates that a robust political tradition arose from Calvin’s disciples (Ponet, Goodman, Knox, Viret, Beza, Hotman).

Calvin’s work spread coextensively with the birth of many western republics. Its cultural impact should not be minimized; it provided one of the few sources that adherents identified to support such political evolution.


Andreas Suchanek (Wittenberg, Germany)

The Idea of an Ethical Compass

We are living in a time of high demand for ethical orientation. The project of the Ethical Compass is an attempt to offer such orientation which uses the picture of a real compass as a symbol for the way it functions: Using reality as its starting point, but going on – as an ethical compass – to suggest a specific attitude how to cope with reality.


Pietro Stori (Rom, Italy)

Hegel on Reformation and the State

According to Hegel, Luther and Protestantism played a crucial role in modernity. Not only from a religious point of view, but also from a political one; namely Protestantism was the historical driving force that made a decisive contribution to the state’s development. As the state, for Hegel, is »the spirit standing in the world«, he claimed the Christian and Protestant religion as the foundation of the modern state. Hegel’s position is obviously contrary to Luther’s and this presentation will analyse the differences between those two understandings concerning the relationship between religion and state.


Laura Achtelstetter (Nürnberg-Erlangen, Germany)

Protestantism and the Prussian Old Conservatism

Instead of representing a coherent Christian theology, the asserted religious convictions of the Prussian Old Conservatives before 1848 should be described as a conglomerate of ideas based on individual religiousness. Eventually, religious claim and political thinking fall apart. Those ideas opposed the enlightened and liberal efforts in the Protestant church and the Prussian state. By means of the Old Conservative thinking of an authoritarian state, it will be shown how those political ideas are based on reception and interpretation of Martin Luther’s political-theological positions and the Reformatory events, whereupon the Christian convictions were politically exploited in a way.


Arne Lademann (Halle/Saale-Wittenberg, Germany)

Theological-Historical Demarcations and a New Social-Ethical Begin. Emanuel Hirsch’s Early Partisanship for Luther’s Doctrine of Justification

Emanuel Hirsch (1888-1972) strengthened his interpretation of the figure and the theology of Martin Luther not only with studies on the Reformer of Wittenberg. He also aimed to present the core of Luther’s belief in God as fitting to modernity. This meant revamping the doctrine of justification of the sinner by faith alone.

This contribution will focus on the approaches of the early 1920s that motivated Hirsch’s line of thought. Concretely, they are based on an interest in intellectual and theological-historical demarcations, but also on an attempt to cope with the societal crisis of Hirsch’s time, which is not unproblematic.


Simon Kerwagen (Bamberg, Germany)

Theology of Revolution? Interpretation of History, Society and the Reformation in the Context of 1968

This contribution analyses to what extent the debates on a theology of revolution in the context of 1968 are based on different interpretations of history, society and the Reformation. While Shaull and Tödt practice a social and cultural critique by dint of a theological term of revolution, Thielicke criticises the student rebellion on the basis of a theological term of society and culture. In the context of a sceptical theology of history, Thielicke and Rendtorff question, on one side the theology of revolution, which sees modernity critically. On the other side, Tödt and Wolf demand a transformation of the modern forms of society in the name of a theology of history, trusting in the revolution.


Alf Christophersen (Wittenberg, Germany)

The Power of Protestantism in the Structure of Political Ethics of World Religions

Every world religion stimulates politics in its own way, beyond the narrower fields of its deep belief. Thus, debates are predictable, since in the social struggles about ways of life normative claims which are far from compatible with each other clash. Interior clarity is a premise for the ability to communicate and for an appropriate self-presentation. Hence, within Protestantism, there are consequently such debates, too. If it is assumed that contemporary problems confronting the world society need clear positions from the religions oriented to consensus in basic ethical questions, then it is necessary to extensively deepen traditional interreligious and interconfessional dialogues.


Verena Schneider (Halle/Saale-Wittenberg, Germany)

Impact of Protestantism on Attitudes and Value Orientation. A Comparison of Developments in the US and Germany

The impact of Protestantism on contemporary attitudes and value orientation in the US and in Germany is the topic of Verena Schneider’s thesis. Starting points of her analysis are the new image of jobs, the increasing relevance of work, and the openness to the value of individualisation and to the individualised relationship to God. The research is based on international survey data exploited with different statistical methods. Controlling other variables like age, gender or education, the effects of Protestantism on attitudes towards work, economic system and institutions will be scrutinised. Furthermore, effects which are due to different regions in both states, will be considered.

Kulturelle Wirkungen der Reformation

7 to 11 August 2017

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