Early Educational Reform in North Germany and Its Effects on Post-Reformation German Intellectuals

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This study analyzes Martin Luther’s view of the state, supported by his theology and his view of human nature, as it was incorporated in the educational system of early modern Germany. This view of the state and the individual’s relationship to the state remained an internal part of the German educational system in the north and continued to have a demonstrable impact on later German intellectuals: Leopold von Ranke, Johann Gottfried Herder, Georg W. F. Hegel, and Wilhelm Dilthey.


“The value of the text lies primarily in its synoptic overview of the influence of Lutheran ideology on the state on four very important nineteenth-century figures. Although many monographs mention the influence of Lutheranism on these various thinkers, this work is valuable for its concise and focused exploration of the impact of Lutheran ideas of the notion of the state and on education. The author’s discussion of the work of Martin Luther is very lucid and clear, it also clearly documents Luther’s view of education and the state, and the interpretive literature on Luther’s impact on the German educational system.” – Deborah Vess

Table of Contents

Table of contents:
1. Introduction
2. The Historiography of Luther and German Educational Reform
3. Education for Peace and Order: Luther, the State, and School Reform
4. Johann Gottfried Herder: Fatherland or Culture
5. Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel: The Ideal of the State
6. Leopold von Ranke: The State as History
7. Wilhelm Dilthey: Understand Individuals as Part of the Whole
8. Conclusion
Bibliography; Index