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Letters of the Dresden Period

​Saxon Academy of Sciences and Humanities in Leipzig
​Research Centre
Spenerbriefe Edition
​in the Francke Foundations
Franckeplatz 1 | Haus 24
06110 Halle

Tel: +49 345 55 23073 / 75

Dresden Period

From July, 1686, to June, 1691, Philipp Jakob Spener was Chief Court Preacher for the Saxon electors in Dresden. As a member of the Supreme Consistory, he also exercised spiritual supervision of the Saxon clergy and was one of those responsible for the examination of the candidates entering service in the Saxon church.

In spring, 1687, Spener participated in a meeting of the "Collegium Philobiblicum" in Leipzig, where he made the acquaintance of the young Master August Hermann Francke. Thus, the first contact between the two most important representatives of churchly Pietism was realized.
In February, 1689, Spener fell out of favor with the Elector Johann Georg III. of Saxony when the contents of a confidential pastoral letter to the sovereign were leaked to the public.

In summer, 1689, lectures by young theologians and conventicles sparked „Pietist unrest“ in Leipzig. Here, the term „Pietist“ was used publicly for the first time. Spener was viewed as the mentor and doyen of the young movement, and saw himself obliged to work against such excesses.
The negotiations that led to his call to Berlin as Provost lasted more than two years.

Spener’s correspondence during his activity in Dresden increased considerably because he held the highest religious office in Lutheran Germany. Also, he conducted correspondence with many clergymen in Saxony, and, because if the publicity associated with the controversies accompanying the beginning of the Pietist movement,his explanatory and moderating views were in demand.



Briefe aus der Dresdner Zeit 1686-1691, Bd. 1: 1686-1687

Briefe aus der Dresdner Zeit 1686-1691, Bd. 2: 1688

Briefe aus der Dresdner Zeit 1686-1691, Bd. 3: 1689

Briefe aus der Dresdner Zeit 1686-1691. Bd. 4: 1690-1691

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