As the main reform movement in Protestantism after the Reformation, Pietism had a considerable impact on care for the destitute and the needy, on education and on medical institutions at the turn of the eighteenth century. Especially in the form influenced by Philipp Jakob Spener (1635-1705) and August Hermann Francke (1663-1727), Pietism developed into a social reform movement, which within a few years spread over the entire then known world.

The Interdisciplinary Centre for Pietism Research (IZP) is dedicated to the study of the cultural, social and scholarly reform ideas of Pietism, especially the Pietism which developed in Halle, as well as its structures, organisational forms and world-wide connections. Another focus of study is the accomplishments of personalities shaped by Pietism in the fields of church life, care for the poor, missionary work, biblical studies, medicine and pharmacy, education and academic tuition as well as the book trade and the publishing industry. Religious ideas are discussed in terms of their influence as forces of social configuration. Of interdisciplinary interest, too, are the multiple effects of Pietism on literature and music, the fine arts and architecture.

The Federal State Research Programme "Enlightenment – Religion – Knowledge"

From October 2006 on, the Interdisciplinary Centre for Pietism Research (IZP) has been  involved in the Federal State research programme with the focus "Enlightenment – Religion – Knowledge: Transformations of the Religious and the Rational in Modernity." The Federal State of Saxony-Anhalt funds this programme with its special research fields and junior research groups. In a monthly colloquium, speakers from Germany and abroad present current research as well as the results of their studies. The study group "Prussia and Pietism" is institutionally attached to the IZP. Internationally renowned scholars meet regularly for seminars and conferences, usually two to three times a year. The IZP has meanwhile planned, organised and carried out four large international conferences, in which several hundred scholars from 19 countries participated.