History of the Research Center

The necessity for an historical-critical edition of the letters of Philipp Jakob Spener became evident in the course of Pietism research.

As a supplement to existing printed works, such an edition is an indispensable resource for research into the historical development of Pietism.

Two undertakings above all were necessary for such an edition of letters:

  • Supplementing the already printed letters with those still in manuscript.
  • An historical-critical treatment of the letters, as well as an historical commentary, which in many cases requires the identification of the addressees and an exact dating of the letters.

Johannes Wallmann, at the time Professor for Modern Church History at the Ruhr University Bochum and a proven authority on Orthodoxy and Pietism, presented a detailed justification of, and concept for this project. He then was commissioned by the Historical Commission for Research in Pietism to realize it. 

The edition of the ca. 3500 known letters by Spener was planned to appear in individual modules, which were oriented in each case on Spener’s locations of activity: Frankfurt/MainDresdenBerlin.

Added to these are

Earlier Editions of Spener’s Letters