History of the Faculty of Theology Part II

The first Dean: Peter Musaeus

Petrus Musäus (1620-1674), Professor der Theologie, erster Dekan der Theologischen Fakultät und Prorektor der Universität im Jahr 1665During the foundation period in the 17th century, the faculty of theology was characterised by a moderate, Melanchthonically oriented Lutheran orthodoxy. Peter Musaeus (1620-1674), appointed from Helmstedt, was the first Dean of the faculty and simultaneously the first Vice Rector of the university (the title of Rector was reserved for the sovereign until 1808). Another influential figure was Christian Kortholt (1623-1694), appointed from Rostock, whose pupil August Hermann Francke gave important inspiration to the branch of Pietism prevalent in Halle.

The demise of the university

The Great Northern War (1700-1721), through which the Gottorf Duchy lost its possessions in Schleswig to Denmark, brought a sharp decline to the university. Only by the personal union of the Duchy of Gottorf with the Russian Empire in 1762 and through the exchange of the Gottorf property to the Danish crown in 1773, to which the Duchies of Schleswig and Holstein were subject now, did the university receive new impetus for growth.

Reorganisation in the spirit of the Enlightenment

Johann Andreas Cramer (1723-1788; active since 1774) was strongly involved in the reorganisation of the faculty and the university in the spirit of the enlightenment. Jakob Christoph Rudolf Eckermann (1754-1837; active since 1782) represented a moderate theological rationalism in that sense. The supranaturalist Friedrich Kleuker (1749-1827) was appointed in 1798 as a counterweight to rationalism. Outside the faculty, parish vicar Claus Harms (1778-1855) effectively fought ecclesiastical rationalism and gave a major impetus to the Lutheran revivalist movement.

August Twesten shifts the focus to mediation theology 

Schleiermacher´s pupil August Twesten (1789-1876; active 1814-1835) established mediation theology in Kiel and gave it the dominant position it held throughout the 19th century. This theological school included Anton Friedrich Ludwig Pelt (1799-1861; active 1835-1852, dismissed for taking part in the Schleswig-Holstein uprising), Isaak August Dorner (1809-1884; active 1839-1843), Albert Liebner (1803-1871; active 1844-1851), Bernhard Weiß (1827-1918; active 1863-1877), Erich Haupt (1841-1910; active 1878-1883), Richard Adalbert Lipsius (1830-1892; active 1865-1871), Friedrich Nitzsch (1832-1898; active since 1872).

After Schleswig-Holstein became a Prussian province in 1867, the number of full professorships was raised to five as early as 1868. While the students of theology accounted for about half the overall number of students until 1800 and still one quarter in 1875, their proportion was down to 5% in the summer of 1900 (1900: 59 students of theology; 1914: 118).