Halle Pietism and Reformation

August Hermann Francke in the Tradition of Martin Luther

wanderausstellung francke und Luther  Martin Luther’s Reformation was an essential part of the development process of the Modern Age. His doctrine of justification with the principles "sola gratia, sola fide, sola scriptura" (by God’s grace alone, by faith alone, by the Bible alone) led to the break with the Catholic Church, placed the individual at the centre of theology for the first time and made the Bible the sole intermediary of the message of salvation. Luther’s translation of the Bible into German then became a power which changed the relationship between religion and society and thereby fundamentally influenced the everyday world. Parishioners were deliberately included in church services for the first time; the sermon and congregational singing took centre stage. Faith and its practice thus became a personal matter. In the long run, this awakening of a religious individualisation was amongst the most defining effects of the Reformation, whose central demands also extended to the introduction of state-supported primary schools and the responsibility of congregations for social welfare. However, the development of the Lutheran church system was always strongly dependent on the secular authorities.

Brochure Halle Pietism and Reformation(PDF, 945 kB)


A museum in Tranquebar dedicated to the history of the intercultural dialogue between India and Europe is becoming a reality

Ziegenbalghaus_Startseitengalerie  At the initiative of the Francke Foundations, several partners including the Tamil Evangelical Lutheran Church (TELC) in India and the missionary societies of Leipzig and Hermannsburg, joined forces in order to renovate the former residence of Bartholomäus Ziegenbalg (1682–1719) as preserved in Tranquebar, South India. A museum focussing on the history of the intercultural dialogue between India and Europe, initiated by emissaries from Halle three centuries ago, will be established here.
Jasmin Eppert was sent to Tranquebar on the occasion of the Francke Celebration in March 2016 in order to coordinate the museum project in close cooperation with Indian partners during the following three years. Learn more about the development of the project and the progress of the construction work in Tranquebar.


The Reformation: Storehouse of Knowledge

Exhibition to begin the Reformation Jubilee
31 October 2016 - 26 March 2017


The heart of the City of Halle houses one of the earliest Protestant church libraries in Germany, the Marienbibliothek at the Marktkirche, established in 1552. It was founded in response to a call from Martin Luther aimed at the cities and towns in order to create Protestant schools and libraries, thus facilitating education on all levels of society. To the present day, this Reformation issue of concern is reflected in the goals of the library, which possesses extensive holdings of both Reformation writings and later publications on all scientific fields.

In 1698, carrying the reformatory educational ideals forward, August Hermann Francke founded the Orphanage Library, which also possesses rich holdings dating from the sixteenth century and preserves evidence of the global dissemination of Lutheranism by means of Pietism.

The important function of libraries as storehouses of knowledge and memory will be demonstrated with the help of items housed at these two major Halle libraries. On the occasion of the Reformation anniversary, the focus will be on the heritage of Protestantism. Visitors will come across the presentation of various pieces from of the collection, leading along early Reformation printed works and the unique private library of the noble family of Selmenitz towards the Pietist reception of Reformation writings, foreign language Bibles serving missionary work up to the library comprising a refuge for memory objects such as Luther's drinking cup or Melanchthon’s shoe. The eventful history of a statue portraying Luther exhibited in the Marienbibliothek until the twentieth century, and designed after the reformer’s death mask preserved here, will also be highlighted in the exhibition.


PRAISE THE LORD. CD with Luther's songs on the way into the world

praise the Lord_CD Martin Luther’s idea was to inspire people with catchy songs. Church music and liturgy should not only inspire to listen, but also to join in singing. The Halle theologian and Pietist August Hermann Francke as well as his successor as director, Johann Anastasius Freylinghausen, adopted the Reformation’s successful model. Accordingly, the Orphanage founded by Francke was also a centre of music in Halle. Neither operas nor oratorios but spirited songs were sung here and disseminated by means of hymnals in unprecedented quantities. The Orphanage’s international network played an important role in promulgating the songs to Britain and later to Americirca In 1786 the Halle envoy, Henry Melchior Muhlenberg, published the first hymnbook in North America.

praise the Lord_CD_Film  PraisetheLord 2013 Konzert_1  PraisetheLord 2013 Konzert_3  PraisetheLord 2013 Konzert_4  PraisetheLord 2013 Konzert_2 

Praise the Lord. Luthers Lieder auf dem Weg in die Welt / PRAISE THE LORD. CD with Luther's songs on the way into the world
ISBN 400-9-35083-339-5; EUR 19.90


Traveling exhibition: Halle Pietism and Reformation. August Hermann Francke in the Tradition of Martin Luther

One of Martin Luther’s key demands sparked August Hermann Francke to establish the first Bible Institute, the Canstein Bible Institute, at the Halle Orphanage in 1710. Millions of complete Bibles and New Testaments were printed here in the highest quality and distributed in inexpensive editions. Applying the standing type for the first time in Germany facilitated this strategy.

Whether private reading culture, the cradle of the institutional social welfare, the first school garden in Germany, the dawn of secondary education or the international perception of Halle's reforms which influenced the European aristocracy – the exhibition illustrates the numerous social and cultural historical effects of Halle Pietism in the wake of the Reformation. Barthomäus Ziegenbalg (1682-1719) and Henry Melchior Muhlenberg (1711-1787) represent the many Halle emissaries who introduced Lutheranism to the remotest regions of the world. At present the Tamil Evangelical Lutheran Church (TELC) in the South-Indian town of Tranquebar (now Tharangambadi) and the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) consider themselves successors of the work of August Hermann Francke.

WA Luther_Francke Berlin  PHOTO10  PHOTOS 1  MulenbergAllentown  P1010847 

With a traveling exhibition(PDF, 1,3 MB) in German and English this cultural and sociopolitical influence of August Hermann Francke’s work and its traditions drawn form the Reformation are followed up to the present day. Its rationale is that Francke’s reforms aimed at providing educational equality and social participation are as relevant today as they were 300 years ago.

The exhibition can be borrowed free of charge. Please contact:

Friederike LippoldCultural Programme and Public Relations Friederike Lippold (Cultural Programme and Public Relations) Friederike LippoldCultural Programme and Public Relations phone+49 345 2127 431fax+49 345 2127 418


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