Debating ‘Protestant Freedom’ in Nineteenth-Century Germany | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 72, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 2542-6583
  • E-ISSN: 2590-3268



This essay examines the interplay of politics, science and theology in the debates over ‘Protestant freedom’ that took place in mid-nineteenth century Germany. It begins by tracing how rival factions of conservative, liberal, and radical clergy sought to mobilize the tradition of ‘Protestant Freedom’ during the period of ferment preceding the Revolution of 1848. The essay then turns to the 1860s to explore how church liberals argued for the compatibility of natural science and Protestantism. The final section picks up debates among radicals, who, on the eve of German unification in 1870, were divided over the question of whether the conscience, as defined in the Lutheran tradition, was compatible with scientific naturalism.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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