Tasks and focus of the Institute of Church History

“Church History” covers the history of Christianity, its institutions, teachings and characters in their historical contexts from antiquity to the present time. The subject can offer theological education in a comprehensive sense. It serves to deepen Christian identity against the background of its history. As a theological discipline, church history considers it its particular task to teach students to form their theological judgement by studying history.

Participation from the very beginning

Church history was taught since the beginnings of Kiel University. The discipline received a chair of its own in the Faculty of Theology, another one was established in 1958 in view of the growing demand. Currently the chair is held by one professor for church and religious history of the first millenium. 

Interdisciplinary exchange

Traditionally there are close and good connections to colleagues particularly of the Faculty of Philosophy, to centres in the university (Centre for Eastern European Studies) and to the Association for Schleswig Holstein Church History. The church history of Schleswig-Holstein is taught by part-time lecturers.

Students take part in research works

The current research work of the Institute, in which students can participate in seminars, places its emphasis in the field of the early church on the development of caritas, diaconia and welfare in late antiquity as well as pilgrimage; in the field of modern church history the emphasis is placed on the theology of the reformation, particularly that of Luther and Melanchthon, issues of the history of piety and denominations as well as the church history of Germany in the 20th century.