Although the Aufruf and its responses have over the years been the subject of extensive historical analysis, its centenary in 2014 presents a notable opportunity to revisit certain neglected aspects of its cultural setting, impact and reception.
More specifically we wish to examine the remarkable number and ideological diversity of theologians represented among the signatories, and to probe the extent to which their involvement was shaped or influenced by theological ideas or developments:
- Was the Manifesto’s nationalistic posture the product of 19th-century liberal theology?
- What were the sources and meaning of the underlying presupposition about ‘culture’?
- How formative was the role played by traditional Lutheran two-kingdom politics?
- Was Catholic (and even Jewish) participation a function of the politics of emancipation or of deeper convictions?
With an eye on subsequent developments, we also solicit papers addressing questions of reception, including:
- The signatories’ divergent reflections in hindsight (noted by the New York Times as early as 1919),
- The supposed connection with Karl Barth’s post-war attack on liberalism, and
- The manifesto’s effect on the post-war renewal of international collaboration in scholarship (as well as e.g. in ecumenism or in missionary efforts in former German colonies).
Publication of the best peer-reviewed papers is anticipated in 2015 in a dedicated issue of the Zeitschrift für Neuere Theologiegeschichte/Journal for the History of Modern Theology.