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Antike Universalgeschichte und Säkularisierung im Melanchthonkreis

Georg Majors Edition des Justinus (1526/37) und die Chronica Carionis (1532)

Carsten Nahrendorf

This article argues that the literary reception of Classical historians through Philipp Melanchthon and his students made a decisive contribution to the pluralization and secularization of early Lutheran scholarly culture. It focuses on Georg Major’s hitherto unexplored edition of Justin’s Epitoma, which was printed in Hagenau in 1526, with a second, extended edition appearing in Magdeburg in 1537. Major’s first edition of 1526 is here scrutinized in the broader context of the emergence of Protestant universal history and the forming of Melanchthon’s understanding of the Four Kingdoms of Daniel, which is traditionally seen by scholars as the starting point of the distinction between secular and sacred history. The second edition (1537) includes a general instruction for the study of histories. Based as it is on Cicero’s historical-methodological principles of consilia, acta, and eventus, laid out in De Oratore, this handbook for Protestant Latin-school pupils is rooted in the historical thought of Italian humanists.

Rainer Hillenbrand

Angelus Silesius describes the mystical deification of the human soul as its inclusion in the Trinity. He uses traditional comparisons and metaphors, as formed on biblical basis by the Fathers to illustrate the inner Trinitarian relations, but also geometric and naturalistic analogies to lead the soul in three ways into God. These are always figurative appellations which, paradoxically, according to negative theology, can also be negated for the very essence of God, which remains unnameable. In this mystical unity, which in the teaching of the church can only happen by grace, but not in a pantheistic fashion by nature, man preserves the creaturely difference to the Creator. Even in the earliest epigrams, Scheffler’s Catholic point of view is that God cannot resist this union of love, and that therefore only man, with his free will, is responsible for its success. The model of the saints and the ethical demand for the keeping of the commandments and the doing of the good works, which confirm the authenticity of this mysticism as well as their conformity with the ecclesiastical tradition, also fit in with this result.

“Einen Newen Reformatorem

Die Reformationsschauspiele von Martin Rinckart und die Reformpoetik von Martin Opitz

Dirk Rose

The essay focuses on the drama-pieces planned by Martin Rinckart to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Reformation in 1617. They are concentrated around Martin Luther as a “hero” for the protestant confession, like in Der Eißlebische Christliche Ritter where Luther figures as a warrior of true belief. Special attention is paid first to the relation between text and music with regard to the performances of the pieces; and second to the question why Rinckart has obviously realized only three of the seven planned pieces about the reformation and Luther. For answering, the essay argues that the reform in poetics and poetry initiated by Martin Opitz has challenged the poetical concept of Rinckart’s pieces in such a way that he was unable to continue them. Ironically, his most famous religious poem Nun danket alle Gott has been rescued out of the wreckage of his ambitious plan of a Luther-Heptalogy.


Marco Ivaldo


In my contribution i would like to consider a thesis of Reinhard Lauth, according to which Fichte’s Doctrine of Science must be properly characterized as theory of the Bilden (formation), as “Bildenslehre”. In his late Berlin lectures Fichte understands Wissen (knowledge), in its actuality, as “Bild” (image). Knowledge is image and identifies itself as an image. The image as such shows a reflective and relational structure. The image presents an essential self-reflexivity and does not exist in isolation, but is a relationship to something else which Fichte designates as being, life, light, one, God. The basic idea of Fichte is that we have access to reality (to being) only through the image and in it, within a transcendental unity of being and thinking that must be conceived not as a fact (Tatsache), but as an act (Tathandlung). The term and concept Bilden (formation) expresses well the dynamic and active nature characteristic of the image. i try to explain this on the basis of certain passages of the Doctrine of Science of 1804 (second exposition).

Bilder-wahrnehmen und Bild-sein.

Altgriechische „Vorläufer“ der Idee des Bildseins


Mario Jorge de Carvalho

Images are usually understood as something perceived: as something presented to us and different from us. But since Antiquity the concept has also been given a different meaning: it has been used to describe our own being, and indeed so much so that it also stands for our essential nature: we are ourselves an image (we are ourselves but an image); and being an image (being but an image) is what is what really defines us. The experience of being oneself an image (as opposed to just perceiving something else as an image) – or, as one might also say, this basic understanding of oneself as being just an image – plays an important role inter alia in Pre-Platonic thought, in the corpus platonicum, in the Christian idea of the imago Dei (of the notitia Dei as capacitas Dei) and, not least, in Fichte’s late philosophy.

This paper focuses on two ancient Greek forerunners of some aspects of Fichte’s understanding of image, namely pre-platonic and platonic views on our own being-just-an-image.


João Geraldo Martins da


In the present paper, i propose, first, to present some aspects of what we may call a type of "phenomenology" of the image contained in the Berlin lectures on transcendental logic – notably, in the second of these courses in Berlin. Second, i would like to return to the problem of the relationship between logic and philosophy, starting from these indications with regard to the "image", and, if possible, outline some parallel with certain theses on the same subject from the Jena years. Finally, in what i consider a novelty concerning these lessons, i would like to conclude my exposition by raising the question of the foundational character of Fichte’s project.


Martin Bunte


This paper examines the underdetermined relation between the absolute and absolute knowledge. Fichte not only claimed that he provided the correct reading of Kant’s critical philosophy but also that his Wissenschaftslehre constructively addressed and resolved its systematic problems. By discussing Kant’s notion of a “transcendental substrate” and its relation to the “thing-in-itself” it will be shown that this claim has to be taken seriously even from a Kantian standpoint. Moreover, it will be shown that Fichte's critical assessment of Kant's philosophy at the beginning of his second private lecture on the Wissenschaftslehre given in Berlin in 1804 and his philosophical reflection of the highest principle of all knowing and its relation to the absolute can be understood as a solution to problems that historically originated with Kant and were left unsettled by him.


Ives Radrizzani


The accusation of Nihilism, which Jacobi expressed in his Letter to Fichte, marks a caesura in Fichte’s production. Reputed to be the paradigmatical representantive of a philosophical tradition letting any reality dissolve in a simple game of shadows, Fichte sees himself constrained to clarify the status of the image in his system. This paper aims to examine the strategy to which he has recourse in the Destination of Man, in order to find an answer to the attack.