Ernst Troeltsch

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

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).


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


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.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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(5)See Ernst Troeltsch, Protestantisches Christentum und Kirche in der Neuzeit ed.
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).
(1) For example, see Ernst Troeltsch, The Absoluteness of Christianity and the History of Religions, introduction by James Luther Adams, trans.
You would not be wrong if you were to discern in this model two sources: The first is the sociological formulations of Ernst Troeltsch, (9) which are here reinterpreted precisely not as competitive alternatives but on the basis of history, as parallel and interpenetrating, mutually enriching norms.
Absorbing much from Alfred's sociology of culture and civilization, Mannheim undertook to learn as much as possible of Max Weber's work--in this period he had plans to write a book on the leading Wilhelmine figures: Ernst Troeltsch, Max Scheler, and Max Weber.
In similar terms to the theorists of the 'linguistic turn', writers on history in the Weimar Republic rejected the assumption that scholarly writing can fully or accurately recreate the past, emphasizing instead the subjective role of the historical author: 'Alle Historie ist Auslese and Umformung eines ungeheuren Materials, das seinerseits aus einer unendlich breit and tief stromenden Masse bewegten Lebens hervorragt oder herausgezogen werden kann', wrote Ernst Troeltsch ('Die Krisis des Historismus', Die neue Rundschau, 23 (1922), 572-90 (p.
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.
Myers limits his study to late Wilhelmine and Weimar Germany (1870-1933), a complex, dynamic milieu alive with articulate debates on what the German Protestant historian Ernst Troeltsch called the "Crisis of Historicism." Myers' 1995 publication, Reinventing the Jewish Past: European Jewish Intellectuals and the Zionist Return to History, was dedicated to the founders of the Institute of Jewish Studies at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, a group of German Jews who after leaving Germany applied their historicist training and expertise to "the nurture of a new Zionist collective memory rooted in the soul of the ancestral Jewish homeland" (p.
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.