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Fig.: Michael Otto

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Early Modern and Modern History of Christianity

Welcome to the website of the Chair of Early Modern and Modern History of Christianity!



The Chair of Early Modern and Modern History of Christianity studies the history of Christianity since the Early Modern period. The focus lies on the history of European Christianity in the context of global entanglements within Christianity and with non-Christian religions. We examine the historical connection between theological teaching and religious practices in pluralistic societies. The History of Christianity has its unique place in the faculty of theology and works in exchange with its neighboring disciplines, in particular the history department, but also social and cultural studies.

Considering the increasing global entanglements and the shifting of the focus of Christianity to the global South, we ask how the history of Christianity can be written and taught in such a way that it both becomes relevant to Christians in Germany and that people outside Germany can link to it. That is why post-colonial approaches as well as the perspectives of people outside Germany (or rather: Europe) are to be taken into consideration as well. This has to be done within Western theology and historiography, but it also has to recognise approaches and perspectives from non-European countries. In exchange with scholars from other European and non-European countries we build a network that examines contemporary forms of historiography of Christianity.

With these questions, the Chair connects to the history of Berlin. Berlin's history offers excellent examples of the importance of entanglements in the history of Christianity: the history of the reception and integration of the French Huguenots in German Lutheran Berlin in the Early Modern era is one example. It illustrates the impact of the experience of international encounters and of the integration of foreigners on local religion, culture, economy and society.  An equally impressive example can be found in the Berlin missions of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries that very early established contacts.