EXC 2060 B3-10 - The outlines of a political-functional theory of religion in Justus Möser’s work

in Process
Funding Source
DFG - Cluster of Excellence
Project Number
EXC 2060/1
  • Description

    The Osnabrück lawyer, writer and statesman Justus Möser (1720-1794) is one of the most interesting, complex and witty personalities of his time. The religious-theoretical approach he brought to light in numerous writings, but also in his political actions, is highly original. This is due in particular to its consistently pragmatic and functional divergence. By attaching irreplaceable strategic significance to the institutionalized churches he has succeeded in catching up with the ecclesiological deficit of the theology of Enlightenment in an original manner.
    The related doctoral project has to face a threefold task: First of all, Möser's theory of religion is to be raised from his scattered remarks in an objective, historically disciplined order and examined for its inner consistency. Then, the relevance of Möser's theory of religion for his political work is to be critically scrutinized. Finally, the insights gained in the process must be contextualized in a comprehensive and differentiated manner within the framework of the debates and regulations on religious theory and practice at the time with regard to possible influences and interactions.
    Both access and availability of the relevant sources is excellent: Möser's writings and letters are available in complete editions, and the State Archives of Lower Saxony in Osnabrück has a wealth of archival material at its disposal that has not yet been considered for analysis and evaluation.
    Thus, this project will make an essential contribution to the tension inherent in the Enlightenment between religion and politics.
  • Persons

  • Dissertations

    Verena Susanne Mildner


    Doctoral Thesis

    West German Protestantism and the Middle East Conflict. An Investigation of Political and Theological Patterns of Interpretation.

    Professor Dr. Albrecht Beutel
    Doctoral Subject
    Evangelische Theologie
    Targeted Doctoral Degree
    Dr. theol.
    Awarded by
    Department 01 – Protestant Theology
    The Middle East conflict continues to be a source of controversial discussions in West German Protestantism up till the present day. A close relation between theological and political pronouncements can be discerned in many utterances. The aim of the research project is to analyze these interrelationships with special focus on Judaism and State Israel. The research project focuses on the years between the Six-Day War (1967) and the First Intifada (1987-1993). This period was marked by numerous violent conflicts in the Middle East. In the context of the process of politicization and pluralization processes of the West German society and the theological discussions about the Judaico-Christian relationship, the Middle East conflict became an intensively discussed and controversial topic within West German Protestantism especially in the 1970s and 1980s. This wide spectrum of opinions is explored here for the first time.