The Spener Research Centre, located in the offices of the Interdisciplinary Centre for Pietism Studies, has the task of editing and publishing the correspondence of Philipp Jakob Spener (1635-1705). In the coming years the project leader, Prof. Dr. Udo Sträter, four scholars and a varying number of student employees will make the extremely rich corpus of the Spener correspondence (approx. 3.500 letters) available for research into the early modern period with particular regard to general and church history. The proximity to the Francke Foundations’ Archive and Historic Library, in which the Spener letters are preserved as manuscripts and where contemporary printed works required for the commentary on the letters are easily available, greatly facilitates the editorial work.
Spener is not only commonly known as "the Father of Pietism" but he must also be seen as August Hermann Francke’s spiritual father. The correspondence between Spener and Francke was published several years ago in the context of this editorial project (Tübingen 2006); it presents a deeper insight into numerous aspects of the emergence of the Francke Foundations. Volume 3 of the "Briefe aus der Dresdner Zeit," published in 2013, contains Spener’s letters dating from 1689, the same year in which the so-called "Pietist disturbances" broke out in Leipzig as the result of the activitiues of Francke and other young theologians. Currently, the letters referring to Francke’s call to Erfurt and his work there between 1690 and 1691 are being processed.