- Theology Ecclesiology and Piety
The attractiveness of the Moravian Church in the 18th century was essentially due to innovations and their accentuation in theology and piety. The conference would like to focus on central topics such as Christocentrism and emotional belief in the Savior, understanding of scripture and writing practice, concept of religion and knowledge of God, but also topics such as piety and self-reflection (letters, diaries, reports), forms of service and feasts as well as the language in hymns, prayers and speeches.
Like no other Christian group of the 18th century, the Moravians sought contact and community with other denominations, churches and groups. The conference therefore asks about the underlying theological and ecclesiological concepts and influences (e.g. old Moravian “Brüderunität”, radical Pietism, Halle Pietism, Lutheran theology) as well as exchange and encounters with different currents and groups (Enlightenment, Halle, radical Pietism, Evangelicals, Methodists). It should also be examined how these factors led to the formation of an identity of the Moravian community, their own customs and traditions (historiography).
- Cultural change and the formation of distinct social and religious practices
With the innovations in theology and piety, new forms of community organization (choir system), new offices (e.g. elders), structures and practices (decision by lot) were connected. Particular attention should also be paid to Zinzendorf's theological gender concept and the real gender relationships in the congregations of the eighteenth century, the practice of writing memoirs, the culture of remembrance, the memory of the dead and archive practice as well as the Moravian settlements and their architecture. In addition, music, arts and crafts, education, medicine and economics are of interest.
- Mission, Diaspora, and the formation of a global network
The “global community” of the Moravian Church (G. Mettele) and their high mobility should be examined with regard to their foundations, the theological concepts for mission and diaspora work, and with regard to the concrete work. In addition to the "selective global presence" (H. Lehmann), the European focus in Scandinavia and the Baltic States, Switzerland, Hungary, the Orient and the Orthodox countries as well as the forms of communication and networks of the Moravians are of interest. In addition, topics such as cultural exchange, language and translations will be dealt with.
- History of Reception
The conference would like to broaden and deepen the knowledge of the reception of Moravian theology, piety and practice. In addition to the influence on well-known people in European history (JW v. Goethe, J. Wesley, F. Schleiermacher, William Blake, S. Kierkegaard and others), the influences on the national culture of particular countries (e.g. Estonia, Latvia) and on the religious revival movements of the 19th century.