Prof. Dr. Harry Oelke
The theological discipline of church history focuses on the history of Christianity and its churches.
Research and teaching at the Chair of Church History II focuses on the period from medieval to modern times. Under Prof. Dr. Harry Oelke since 2002, the Chair pursues two specialist areas in its research and teaching. The first is the Age of the Reformation and the emerging religious denominations, with special emphasis given to aspects including early modern printed and artistic media and issues concerning early Protestant social welfare. The second, Contemporary Church History, focuses on the themes of the churches and National Socialism, Christian resistance during National Socialism, culture of remembrance within the church after 1945 and the connections between Protestantism and German society from 1945-1990. The importance of the field of Contemporary Church History is enhanced by its connection to the Evangelische Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Kirchliche Zeitgeschichte (German Protestant Commission for Contemporary Church History, chaired by Prof. Oelke) and opens opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration.
Teaching, together with the Chair of Church History I, covers the entire span of church history from its Biblical beginnings to the present day, in the form of survey lectures and special events.
The Chair of Church History II was part of the Faculty of Protestant Theology from its foundation in 1968. The Chair occupies a key status within the overall scope of teaching and research at the Faculty because of its orientation to the Age of the Reformation, a vital element of Protestant identity. Under the three previous holders of the Chair, Prof. Dr. Reinhard Schwarz (1968-2000), Prof. Dr. Thomas Kaufmann (1996-2000) and most recently Prof. Oelke, the Chair has developed a strong profile as a center of research into the Age of the Reformation and the modern era while retaining facets of individual interests.
Faculty of Protestant Theology