Enlightened Preaching

Balthasar Münter’s Authorship 1772-1793


Balthasar Münter (1735-1793) is known primarily for being the spiritual advisor for Johann Friedrich Struensee in 1772. Münter is, however, generally interesting as a contributor to the theological development in Denmark-Norway in the eighteenth century, not least because he left a great number of theological texts to posterity. These texts are written in a public and political environment offering shifting conditions for the church. This present book analyses Münter's texts and sheds light on the extent to which he changes his preaching and teaching in accordance with the varying contextual conditions the church was given this period. The result is a textually oriented research work highlighting important theological texts which have not previously been the subject of scholarly investigation.

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Merethe Roos, Ph.D. (2010) in Theology, MF Norwegian School of Theology, is Associate Professor and Head of research and master studies at Østfold University College, Norway.
„Die Arbeit leistet einen methodisch immer noch innovativen Zugang zur Interpretation aufgeklärter Predigt.“ Markus Wriedt, Frankfurt (Main), in: Theologische Literaturzeitung, Volume 143.9 (2018).

Why Balthasar Münter?
Textual sources and theoretical perspectives
1: Balthasar Münter – his life and work in Copenhagen
Who was Balthasar Münter?
Münter's writings
Saint-Petri Church
2: Münter during the Høegh-Guldberg Government, 1772-84. Texts and contexts
The context of church policy: Høegh-Guldberg's understanding of the Bible as a normative text
The theological context
The context of eighteenth century church service
Sermon ideals in Denmark-Norway
Balthasar Münter's texts.
Geistliche Lieder 1772-74.
Predigten über die gewöhnliche Sonntagsevangelien, 1778-84
Anleitung zur Erkenntnis und Ausübung des christlichen Glaubens
3: Analysis: Balthasar Münter and contemporary theological and cultural movements, 1772-84
Münter's goal: Devotion
Münter's neological inheritance
The legacy of Copenhagen's circle of poets: the function of hymns in the church service
Münter versus Bastholm: The sermon as rhetoric
Summary: Balthasar Münter's preaching from 1772-84
4: Münter during the Bernstorff government, 1785-93: Texts and contexts
The political and societal frame: A new government - a new society
The frame of church policy: Changes in the relationship between the state and the church
The social context: German elite culture in Copenhagen – the salons of the German aristocracy and their esoteric interests
Balthasar Münter's texts
Oeffentliche Vorträge, 1785-93
5: Analysis: Balthasar Münter and contemporary theological and cultural movements, 1785-93
Comparative perspectives on Münter's development: 1772-84 and 1785-93
Münter during the Bernstorff era: Four aspects of theology, social life and literature
6: Enlightened preaching - Balthasar Münter 1772-93
Münter's intention in writing
Contributing to the Enlightenment
Appendix 1: Pericopes in Predigten über die gewöhnlichen Sonntagsevangelien in Verbindung mit anderen Schriften
Appendix 2: Pericopes in Oeffentliche Vorträge über die Reden und Begebenheiten Jesu


Why Balthasar Münter?
The German theologian and pastor Balthasar Münter (1735-93) is known primarily for being the spiritual advisor of Johann Friedrich Struensee (1735-72) at the time when Struensee was sentenced to death for his illegitimate leadership of Denmark-Norway in 1772. Struensee came to power in 1770 and rapidly introduced radical reforms and liberal attitudes that were
All those interested in eighteenth century, enlightenment theology, cultural history, textually oriented studies of historical texts, as well as the relation between Scandinavia and Germany in the Enlightenment.
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