Ernst Troeltsch


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Troeltsch, Ernst

 

Born Feb. 17, 1865, in Haunstetten, near Augsburg; died Feb. 1, 1923, in Berlin. German Protestant theologian, philosopher, sociologist, and historian of religion.

Troeltsch taught at the universities of Bonn, Heidelberg, and Berlin. His religious and philosophical views grew out of liberal Protestantism. Following A. Ritschl, he attempted to elaborate a historical method of theology for analyzing the development of Christianity, especially Protestantism, as part of the total development of European culture. He asserted, as did I. Kant and F. Schleiermacher, the a priori nature of religious feelings and experiences. Influenced by M. Weber, Troeltsch stressed the importance of economics and institutions in the history of the Christian church. The Social Teachings of the Christian Churches (vols. 1–2,1912), which established Troeltsch as a founder of the sociology of religion, presented a typology of religious groups, such as the church, the sect, and the mystical community.

Toward the end of his life, Troeltsch published several works on the philosophy of history that were influenced by W. Dilthey’s “philosophy of life, ” the Baden school’s neo-Kantianism, and, to a lesser extent, the views of O. Spengler. In these works Troeltsch asserted the unique and nonrecurring nature of the historical process and the conception of culture as a continuous coming-into-being and individual totality. In ethics, Troeltsch considered the development of the individual human being as the supreme ethical principle of European culture, echoing the ideas of German classical humanism of the turn of the 19th century. This ethical position caused Troeltsch to move, in his final years, from neo-Kantianism to a personalist monadology (seePERSONALISM and MONAD).

WORKS

Gesammelle Schriften, vols. 1–4. Tübingen, 1912–25.

REFERENCES

Asmus, V. F. Marks i burzhuaznyi istorizm. Moscow-Leningrad, 1933.
Bodenstein, W. Neige des Historismus: E. Troeltschs Entwicklungsgang. [Gütersloh, 1959.] (Bibliography.)
Kasch, W. F. Die Sozialphilosophie von E. Troeltsch. Tübingen, 1963.
Lessing, E. Die Geschichtsphilosophie von E. Troeltschs. Hamburg, 1965.

A. P. OGURTSOV

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Echeverria's third chapter on ecclesiology sets up a trialogue between Dooyeweerd, Guardini, and Ernst Troeltsch concerning the adequacy of Troeltsch's well-known categorization of denominations into either the "Church-type" or the "Sect-type.
Above all, the work of late-nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century authors, such as Max Weber and Ernst Troeltsch, loomed large, providing Little and others with inspiration, vocabulary, and models for scholarly work.
Witte's comments about historical study as the search for God's eternal wisdom are equally, if not more, reminiscent of Ernst Troeltsch, however.
While the usefulness of that typology, derived from Ernst Troeltsch, is debated, Dipple deftly sketches its continued relevance and analyzes the views of Schwenckfeld and Sebastian Franck.
Daubanton followed Warneck in his criticism of the history-of-religions school (religionsgeschichtliche Schule), as advocated by Wilhelm Bousset, Hermann Gunkel, Ernst Troeltsch, and others.
Ricci, who ranges widely among scholars besides Vico and Heidegger, like the early twentieth-century intellectual historian Ernst Troeltsch, could have reached his goal with fewer digressions.
Drawing on his doctoral investigation of these two figures, probing behind them for the influence of Karl Barth and Ernst Troeltsch, and in random dialogue with such figures as Wolfhart Pannenberg, Jan Lochman and Hideo Ohki, he takes the reader on a tour of important hills and valleys of the 20th century theological and political landscape.
Unable to forgo all characterizations about apocalypses and their prophets, Weber restates implicitly a distinction Ernst Troeltsch made more than a half-century ago.
Die religionsphilosophische Bedeutung von Heraufkunft und Wesen der Neuzeit im Denken von Ernst Troeltsch (Regensburg: Pustet Verlag 1982), 197-201.
Only the first two, which are critiques of Victor Turner's theory of |liminality', and of the religious typologies of Max Weber and Ernst Troeltsch, strike the reader as more obviously |occasional pieces', limited by an imposed brief, than the others, which hang together by virtue of their interrelated themes and justify the reassembly of these essays in a single volume.
115) Brief notes outline the limitations of Ernst Troeltsch, Adolf von Harnack, and Wilhelm Dilthey's interpretations of Augustine, with the following statement typifying the compression in the text: "Dilthey says that what Augustine wished to accomplish was accomplished first by Kant and by Schleiermacher.
Historical method figures prominently in the discussion that draws on Ernst Troeltsch, a process for Sider that emphasizes Yoder's "non-reductive historicism," building on an intersection of eschatology and history (rather than the typologies in ethics from Troeltsch's more frequently cited legacy).