Reconstructing Protestant Identity ? A Variety of Further Reformations
09 / 2011 - 07 / 2012
Why is the 18th century so tame, theologically speaking, after the spectacular fireworks in the period before 1700? Weberian instinct assumes a decline in religious fervour, disenchantment and the onset of secularisation under the influence of the Enlightenment. Historians perceive, on the contrary, a flowering of pietism. I will follow the lead of Ernst Troeltsch rather than Weber, to explore new approaches to the religious history of this period. Troeltsch saw a shift, around 1700, from the Old Protestantism of the confessional era essentially a continuation of medieval religion towards a New Protestantism . Troeltsch described this transformation as a modernisation process. I want to find out what changed, why, and how, by looking both at institutional developments and theological reflection.