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The Halle Orphanage as Scientific CommunityObservation, Eclecticism, and Pietism in the Early Enlightenment$
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Kelly Joan Whitmer

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780226243771

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226243801.001.0001

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Negotiating the Irenical Turn

Negotiating the Irenical Turn

(p.37) Three Negotiating the Irenical Turn
The Halle Orphanage as Scientific Community

Kelly Joan Whitmer

University of Chicago Press

Chapter Two considers how and why the Halle Orphanage and its educational programming were implicated in the politics of confessional reconciliation that in many ways defined Brandenburg-Prussia after the Thirty Years War. Efforts to devise institutional strategies for eliminating confessional difference and, more generally, reconciling competing points of view led to a series of sustained efforts here to turn eclecticism into a kind of scientific methodology—a method that might involve Anschauung, or efforts to teach young people how to observe with the inner eye. Administrators also increasingly consulted the writings of the Czech educational reformer Johann Amos Comenius and endeavoured to apply his system of “mosaic physics.” The chapter concludes with a discussion of how these efforts impacted the curriculum of the Orphanage schools, including the debates surrounding the practice of eclecticism that had emerged in Halle on the eve of Christian Wolff’s expulsion.

Keywords:   confessional reconciliation, Mosaic physics, Johann Amos Comenius, Eclecticism, Anschauung, Christian Wolff

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