Tag Archives: class

Course: The Challenge of the Moravians

There is a special opportunity for Heidelberg University students this summer semester. In cooperation with the theology faculty and the Heidelberg Center for American Studies, the Jonathan Edwards Center Germany has arranged a special course on the Moravians.

“The Challenge of the Moravians in the Old and New World” will be co-taught by Dr. Craig Atwood, of Moravian Theological Seminary, and Jennifer Adams-Massmann, a doctoral student at Heidelberg. The course will be held at the HCA on May 6-7, 20-21, and 27-28.

Adams-Massmann sends along this description of the course:

“The Unitas Fratrum (English: Moravian Church or German: die Herrnhuter) was one of the most dynamic and controversial religious groups in Europe and British North America. Founded in the mid-15th century in what is now the Czech Republic, the Moravians were the first “peace church” and tried to live according to the teachings of the New Testament. Intense persecution in the 17th century almost destroyed the church, before it was reborn in the early 1700s under the leadership of German Count Nikolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf and by 1760 the movement had established relicommunities worldwide through missions, from Greenland to India, to the American colonies. In Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, the Moravians created a busy multilingual and multiethnic commune which rejected the patriarchal family structure and where women served in leadership alongside men. This alternative way of life generated controversy as did Zinzendorf’s provocative theology and piety, which included erotic spirituality, adoration of God “the Mother,” and mystical devotion to the wounds of Christ. This course will explore the fascinating history of the Unitas Fratrum from its radical founding through the end of the 18th century, paying particular attention to Zinzendorf and the Bethlehem community in America. We will also consider their controversial missions in the American colonies to Native peoples, slaves and European immigrants and how they understood and practiced gender difference. Using a mix of primary and secondary sources, we will thus consider the appeal and threat presented by the radical, idealistic Moravians in early modern Europe and especially in America.”

Anyone interested in taking the course may email Adams-Massmann at: jennifer.adams-massmann@wts.uni-heidelberg.de

Class: The New England Tradition in American Reformed Theology

Prof. Jan Stievermann, director of the Jonathan Edwards Center Germany, is going to be co-teaching a seminar with an eminent Jonathan Edwards scholar, Prof. Douglas A. Sweeney, of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. The class will be called The New England Tradition in American Reformed Theology. It will take place over four intensive days at the Ökumenisches Institut at Heidelberg University, May 29 and 30, and June 6 and 7, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The course description:

This compact seminar offers an outstanding opportunity for all students interested in the history of Reformed theology more generally and the specific development of Protestantism in the New World. Our focus will be on New England Calvinism, one of the most interesting and powerful traditions to emerge in early America, which also had a lasting influence on both liberal and evangelical Protestantism in the U.S. today. While providing a broad survey of the New England tradition between c. 1650 and 1850, the course will also allow students to discuss in depth the writings of key theologians with our distinguished guest scholar, Prof. Douglas A. Sweeney.

Over the course of this seminar we will cover the development of the New England tradition from Puritanism and early evangelicalism (represented most prominently by Edwards), to the major divisions of the early nineteenth century between popular revivalism (Charles Finney), Edwardsean Calvinism, and liberal Protestantism (Horace Bushnell). In following these historical developments we will look at the central theological debates within this tradition that concerned, among other things, the doctrines of predestination and original sin, the role of human agency in redemption, the nature of conversion, and the significance of affections in religion.

To register, e-mail Stievermann at jstievermann@hca.uni-heidelberg.de.