Document Type


Date of Degree

Fall 2011

Access Restrictions

Access restricted until 01/31/2021

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In

Religious Studies

First Advisor

Keen, Ralph

First Committee Member

Mentzer, Raymond A

Second Committee Member

Ehrstine, Glenn

Third Committee Member

Penny, H Glenn

Fourth Committee Member

Turner, Richard Brent


August Hermann Francke (1663-1727), the disciple of Philipp Jakob Spener and famous Halle Pietist, embraced a comprehensive worldview that combined theology, politics, and social life. The work of his Stiftungen (Foundations), which he established in Glaucha near Halle/Saale, permeated all levels of society with Pietist ideas--from wealthy nobility to poor orphans. With pastors trained by him venturing to England and the American colonies, the work of Francke's ministry would come to have a transatlantic influence.

This study focuses on Francke's theology of the sacraments and his attempts to articulate his form of Pietism through the rituals of baptism and the Lord's Supper. These two sacraments played a central role in the religious activity of the Lutheran church, and we suggest that Francke's own sermons and writings on baptism and the Eucharist provide a rich source for understanding how his form of churchly Pietism informed and deviated from traditional Lutheran teachings. Thus this dissertation addresses two important areas of Pietism studies: 1) it provides a source-based introduction to Francke's theology of the sacraments and 2) it examines the ways in which Francke conflicted with Lutheran Orthodoxy.

After a historical contextualization of Francke's rise to the status of a dangerous theologian in the eyes of the leaders of Lutheran Orthodoxy, this study considers how Francke addressed what he believed to be the important features of the sacraments. We evaluate the themes of the Taufbund (baptismal covenant) and worthiness at the Supper that consistently appear in his discussions of the sacraments. Furthermore we examine the influence such figures as Johann Arndt, Theophil Großgebauer, Lewis Bayly, and Miguel de Molinos had on Francke's thought. We argue that these religious figures, among others, played an important role in the appearance of Reformed and mystical ideas in the Glaucha pastor's theology. We consider the way he approached sacramental oaths, rebirth, exorcism, confession, and the Christian life in relation to baptism and the Eucharist. Therefore, this study provides a detailed look at the shape and content of August Hermann Francke's Pietist theology.


Francke, Halle, Lutheranism, Pietism, Sacraments, Theology


vii, 253 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 240-253).


Copyright © 2011 Peter James Yoder

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