Description: Martin Luther supported the development of the early German educational system on the basis of both religious and social ideals. His impact endured in the emphasis on obedience and duty to the state evident in the north German educational system throughout the early modern period and the nineteenth century. Luther taught that the state was a gift from God and that service to the state was a personal vocation. This thesis explores the extent to which a select group of nineteenth century German philosophers and historians reflect Luther's teachings. Chapters II and III provide historiography on this topic, survey Luther's view of the state and education, and demonstrate the adherence of nineteenth century German intellectuals to these goals. Chapters IV through VII examine the works respectively of Johann Gottfried Herder, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Leopold von Ranke, and Wilhelm Dilthey, with focus on the interest each had in the reformer's work for its religious, and social content. The common themes found in these authors' works were: the analysis of the membership of the individual in the group, the stress on the uniqueness of individual persons and cultures, the belief that familial authority, as established in the Fourth Commandment, provided the basis for state authority, the view that the state was a necessary and benevolent institution, and, finally, the rejection of revolution as a means of instigating social change. This work explains the relationship between Luther's view of the state and its interpretation by later German scholars, providing specific examples of the way in which Herder, Hegel, Ranke, and Dilthey incorporated in their writings the reformer's theory of the state. It also argues for the continued importance of Luther to later German intellectuals in the area of social and political theory.
Date: December 1994
Creator: Peterson, Rebecca C. (Rebecca Carol)