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.