Between Humanism, the Reformation and Lutheranism: Philipp Melanchthon in the German Historiograhy of the Sixteenth – the second half of the Nineteenth centuries
Introduction. The paper looks at evolution of Philipp Melanchthon’s image in the German historiography of the Sixteenth century – the first half of the Nineteenth centuries. It highlights main historiographical schools, currents, and outlines tendencies in evaluation of Melanchthon’s activities, which depended heavily on authors’ confessional or political biases.
Purpose. This paper aims at defining priority-driven issues in the research on Melanchthon’s humanistic and reformation activities in the Sixteenth – at the end of the Nineteenth centuries.
Results. The question of Melanchthon’s theological beliefs and their conformity to the Lutheran dogmatic raised as early as the second half of the Sixteenth century. First Melanchthon’s biographers J. Camerarius and P. Krell, his close friends and followers, tried to justify Melanchthon and display the orthodoxy of his beliefs. Systematic research of Melanchthon’s activities started at the end of the Eighteenth century. J. Tischer, J. Volbeding, L. Heid, G. Schuman outlined main research issues: Melanchthon’s role in the Reformation and Humanism, in Lutheran diplomacy and theology. J. Tischer highlighted Melanchthon’s ability to find compromises in the heated discussions. J. Volbeding as a Romantic scholar outlined Melanchthon’s love to the Fatherland rejecting predominant vision of the Humanism as a cosmopolite current. L. Heid compared ethics and upbringing of Marin Luther and Melanchthon. G. Schuman characterized Melanchthon as a “classically educated man” and a theologian who shaped Lutheranism.
At the beginning of the 30s of the 19th century appeared a new current in the German historiography – a political one, heavily influenced by Romanticism. Leopold von Ranke is supposed to be its founder. In several works, he focused on Melanchthon’s activities as a humanist and a reformer. For the first time Melanchthon was considered to be a Reformation “superstar”. Ranke also remarked Melanchthon’s efforts to draw the Lutheran teaching closer to the Catholic terms. F. Schlosser and W. Zimmerman also paid attention to political and humanistic aspects of Melanchthon’s activities.
Conclusion. Scholars from different fields and schools of historiography contributed significantly to our knowledge of the German Reformation. Nevertheless, their impact to research on Philipp Melanchthon’s reformation and humanistic activities has remained modest. Melanchthon’s ecumenical efforts and his role in proving and championing the new theological dogmas in split German Sixteenth century society have received only fragmented attention. We are sure that the next generation of scholars will fruitfully elaborate on these issues.
Mahlmann, T. (2005). Melanchthon als Vorläufer des Wittenberger Kryptocalvinismus. Melanchthon und der Calvinismus. – Stuttgart: Frommann-holzboog e. K. Verl. (in De.)
Biesenthal J. (1841). Biblisches, Kirchenhistorisches und Archäologisches Handwörterbuch für Prediger, Schulleher, Seminaristen und gebildete Bibelleser. – Berlin: C.F. Amelang. (in De.)
Kühlmann W. (2006). Vom Humanismus zur Spätaufklärung: Ästhetische und kulturgeschichtliche Dimensionen der frühneuzeitlichen Lyrik und Verspublizistik in Deutschland. Tübingen: M. Niemeyer. (in De.)
Camerarius J. (2010). Das Leben Philipp Melanchthons. Leipzig: Evangelische Verlagsanstalt. (in De.)
Shevchenko N. (2010). Book gifts as a vehicle of communication at the court of Duke of Prussiaю. Cultural relations in Europe at the Age of Renaissance. 157-173. Moscow. (in Russ.)
Tisсhеr J. (1795). Philipp Mеlanchthons Leben. Leipzig. (in De.)
Stelmakh S. (1997). Ukrainian historiography in the 19th – at the beginning of the 20th century. Kуiv. (in Ukr.)
Mertl K. (1995). Monumenta Germaniae Historica: a look from within. The Middle Ages. 95-111. (in Russ.)
Vainshtein O. (1940). Romantic historiography in Germany (1800-1848). Marxist Historian. № 4-5 (080-081). 64-77. Moscow. (in Russ.)
Volbeding J. (1829). Die Uebergabe des Augsburgischen Glaubensbekenntnisses am 25 Juni 1530 und das Leben Philipp Melanchthons. Leipzig: Wilhelm Lauffer. (in De.)
Heyd L. (1839). Melanchthon und Tübingen. 1512-18. Ein Beitrag zu der Gelehrten- und Reformations-Geschichte des sechszehnten Jahrhunderts. Tübingen: Fues. (in De.)
Schumann G. (1837). Melanchthon redivivus, oder der ideale Geist des Christenthums. Leipzig: F. Leich. (in De.)
Gutnova E. (1974). Historiography of the Middle Ages (the middle of the 19th – 1917). Moscow: High school. (in Russ.)
Ranke L. (1852). Deutsche Geschichte im Zeitalter der Reformation: in 4 Bd. Berlin: Dunckеr und Humbolt. (in De.)
Kosminskyi E. (1963). Historiography of the Middle Ages. Moscow: Moscow University Press. (in Russ.)
Ranke L. (1842). Roman Popes, their Church and the State in the 16th – 17th centuries. St-Petersburg. (in Russ.)
Schaff F. (2009). History of the Christian Church in 8 volumes. Vol. 7. Contemporary Christianity. The Reformartion in Germany. St-Petersburg: the Bible for everyone. (in Russ.)
Schlosser F. (1861). World history: in 18 volumes. Vol. 4. St-Petersburg. (in Russ.)
Zimmerman V. (1937). History of the Peasant War in Germany (based on chronicles and eyewitness accounts): in 2 volumes. Vol.1. Moscow: Social economic Press. (in Russ.)
Zimmerman V. (1937). History of the Peasant War in Germany (based on chronicles and eyewitness accounts): in 2 volumes. Vol.2. Moscow: Social economic Press. (in Russ.)
- There are currently no refbacks.