Bringing the head into the heart: Transforming education at Halle (Fall/Winter 2015)
As true today as it was in the late 17th Century—theological study can easily devolve into mere information or abstraction, forgetful of practice. Amidst a culture of nominal Christianity, the German Pietists longed for Christians to truly practice faith, but found that the structures of Lutheran universities reinforced the status quo. Philipp Jakob Spener (1635-1705) envisioned the possibility for universities to become like “workshops of the Holy Spirit,” distinct from the rest of culture, and ever mindful of practical application. The Institutes and University at Halle eventually answered this call. Under the direction of August Hermann Francke (1663-1727), Halle’s innovations in pedagogy nurtured dedicated clergy, missionaries and teachers.