Troeltsch, Ernst

Ernst Troeltsch (1865–1923) was a major founder of the sociology of religion. Trained as a Protestant theologian, Troeltsch was a professor of systematic theology at the University of Heidelberg and then a professor of philosophy at the University of Berlin. His scholarly concerns were never purely theological or philosophical but were always about culture and values. These specific concerns are reflected clearly in two of his major works: The Social Teachings of Christian Churches and Groups and Historicism and its Problems [Der Historismus und seine Probleme]. In the first, Troeltsch traces the different stages of social teachings from the earliest years of Christianity to the 18th century, and he divides religious organizations into three types: churches, which are organizational and hierarchical; sects, which are close-knit, ...

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