Resident at the Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften:May 2013
Research topic at the Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften:»›Geist‹ and ›Geschichte‹: Theology and Wissenschaft in Nineteenth-Century Europe«
This project examines 19th C. Protestant and Catholic theological education in German-speaking Europe. Transformations in the structure of university curriculums, textbooks, and the idea of a scientific encyclopedia dramatically reoriented German academic theology, including: theology's reliance on contested sources of knowledge; its disciplinary coherence and methodology; and its relationship to other fields of higher education and religious observance in public society. In preparation for the new University of Berlin (founded in 1810), Friedrich Schleiermacher (1768–1834) published his pedagogical manifesto Kurze Darstellung des theologischen Studiums (1811; 2nd ed., 1830). The slim volume represented a turning point in the history of academic theology by incorporating the ethos of Wissenschaft directly into the nature and definition of theology itself and by elevating the status of history among theology’s subfields. The work provoked a number of strong and contested reactions. I investigate the roles that contemporary debates over university pedagogy, Bildung, Wissenschaft and the organization of knowledge played in the formation of his ideas. I highlight the important appropriation of Schleiermacher’s ideas by the popular and widely read Swiss church historian Karl Hagenbach (1801–1874), and how both contributed to the historicization of theology in the nineteenth century. Other encyclopedic schemes, such as those in 19th C. Catholicism, also helped shape the nature of theology as an academic discipline. (Zachary Purvis)
Research partner:Zachary Purvis follows an invitation of Claus Arnold, Professor of Church History at Goethe University, and the research training group of the German research foundation »Theology as a Science« (DFG-Graduiertenkolleg 1728).
Scholarly profile of Zachary Purvis Zachary Purvis is a DPhil Candidate at the University of Oxford (Regent's Park College) and a Fulbright Fellow in Switzerland (2012–2013).
The results of his research while a fellow have now been published in the monograph: Theology and the University in Nineteenth-Century Germany (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016).
At present Purvis is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at the University of Edinburgh.
Main areas of research:Modern European Religion and History; Nineteenth-Century Theology; History of Universities
- Theology and the University in Nineteenth-Century Germany, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016.
- »The New Ethicist and the Old Bookkeeper: Isaak Dorner, Johann Quenstedt, and Modern Appropriations of Classical Protestantism«, Zeitschrift für Neuere Theologiegeschichte/Jornal for the History of Modern Theology 19(2012), pp. 14-33.