The Impact of Pietism and Frederic the Great on German 18th Century Enlightenment Cover Image

Uticaj pijetizma i Fridriha Velikog na nemačko prosvetiteljstvo
The Impact of Pietism and Frederic the Great on German 18th Century Enlightenment

Author(s): Aleksandar Molnar
Subject(s): History
Published by: Sociološko udruženje Srbije i Crne Gore
Keywords: Enlightenment; Germany; politics; religion; Christianity; enlightened absolutism

Summary/Abstract: In the article the author is dealing with two issues he perceives as main specific features of the German 18th century Enlightenment: the impact of pietism and the role of Prussian king Frederic the Great. On the one hand, as a very influential intellectual power in Germany, especially in Prussia, pietism was reluctant to let freedom of consciousness go too far. Instead, it tried to come to terms with the Enlightenment movement and save what was believed to be the original “core” of Christianity. On the other hand, Frederic played a crucial role in the development of German Enlightenment as a free-thinker, as well as an enlightened despot, who encouraged his subjects to think freely in religious matters, but never contemplated the possibility to help them overcome their political immaturity. Instead, he preferred order and discipline in persuading his “people” to accept state machinery which should be served quietly and obediently. The long-term consequences of such development were the rise of nationalism and the theory of the reason of state.

  • Issue Year: 53/2011
  • Issue No: 4
  • Page Range: 475-488
  • Page Count: 14
  • Language: Serbian