Ernst Troeltsch

Ernst Troeltsch ( born February 17, 1865 in Haunstetten; † February 1, 1923 in Berlin) was a German theologian, philosopher and liberal politician.


Troeltsch studied in Augsburg, Erlangen, Berlin and Göttingen. In the same place he was working as a lecturer in 1891. In Erlangen, he joined in the winter semester 1884/85 the Uttenruthia in SB. 1892 Troeltsch was then professor of systematic theology at Bonn and Heidelberg in 1894. This was followed by the appointment in 1912 as a corresponding member of the Prussian Academy of Sciences. Since 1915 he worked as professor of philosophy in Berlin.

In World War Troeltsch was among the supporters of the ideas of 1914. Troeltsch in 1917 was instrumental in the founding of the People's League for Freedom and Fatherland, which should act as a counterweight to the extremist German Fatherland Party. From 1919 to 1921 he was a member of the Constituent Assembly, and at the same time the Prussian State Under Secretary in the Prussian Ministry of Culture for the DDP. Troeltsch was buried in the cemetery in Berlin disability.


Troeltsch is considered the systematic History of Religions school. Significant in this respect his work on the absoluteness of Christianity ( The absoluteness of Christianity and the History of Religion, 1902, is his most important work, by which he is still known today ), the relationship between historicism and theology as well as of church and state. His concern was for the future of vital dominated by Christianity culture of Europe and the modern, from which he meant that they were dependent on each other. He was concerned about the preservation of the substance of Christianity, but he wanted to reconcile with the intellectual form of modernity.

Troeltsch represented the consistent methodological separation of exegesis and systematics, which he founded with different standards of rationality of both sub-regions. It calls for a religious-historical theology, recognizing the consequences of historical methods.

The scientific conservation of works of Troeltsch is dedicated to the Ernst Troeltsch Society.


  • The significance of Protestantism for the emergence of the modern world. Schutter Forest / Baden 1997, ISBN 3-928640-28-3.
  • Atheism, theology and Christianity. Three essays. Schutter Forest / Baden 2000, ISBN 3-928640-57-7.
  • Luther and the modern world. Schutter Forest / Baden 2000, ISBN 3-928640-63-1.
  • Protestant Christianity and the Church in modern times. Teubner, Berlin, 1906.
  • My Books. In: The German philosophy of the present. Vol 2 (1921 ), pp. 161-173.
  • Reason and Revelation in Johann Gerhard and Melanchthon. Huth, Göttingen 1891.
  • Christian Albrecht, Friedrich Wilhelm Graf, Volker Drehsen, Gangolf Hübinger, defiance Rendtorff (ed.): Critical Edition of Ernst Troeltsch. DeGruyter, Berlin 1998/2000, ISBN 3-11-015423-4 (17 vols ).
  • Friedemann Voigt (eds.): Ernst Troeltsch reading book. Selected texts. ( UTB; Vol. 2452 ). Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 2003, ISBN 3-8252-2452- X.
  • Collected Writings. Scientia Verlag Aalen 1977. ( Nachdr d ed Tübingen 1922)