Many in late seventeenth-century Germany were unhappy with the austerity of Lutheran orthodoxy of this age, feeling it was out of touch with the popular mood. Its cold theologi- cal logic failed to connect up with a population which had been traumatized by the destructiveness of the Thirty Years War. A number of movements arose, con- cerned with reconnecting the Christian faith with the laity. The most important of these revivalist movements is known as “Pietism,” which emerged in the immediate aftermath of the Thirty Years War in Germany. Faced with widespread disenchantment with the spiritually arid forms of Protestantism in this region, Philip Jakob Spener published his Pia Desideria (“Pious Wishes,” 1675). In this work, Spener lamented the state of the German Lutheran Church in the aftermath of the Thirty Years War and set out his proposals for the revitalization of the church of his day.
Spener argued that German Lutheranism’s obsession with rigid theological orthodoxy had to give way to a new concern for the devotional life, deepening a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Chief among his proposals was a new emphasis upon per- sonal Bible study as a means of deepening a personal, living faith in God. Bible study groups would be ecclesiolae in ecclesiae (Latin: “little churches within the church”), serving as springboards and catalysts for renewal. These proposals were treated with derision by academic theologians; nevertheless, they were to prove influential in German church circles, reflecting a growing disillusionment and impatience with the sterility of Lutheran orthodoxy in the face of the shocking social conditions endured during the war.
Don't use plagiarized sources. Get Your Custom Essay on