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The publication series of the Frey-Grynaeisches Institut in Basel puts the emphasis on the link between academic theology and its environment in terms of humanities and cultural studies. Many points of departure for this approach are supplied by the humanistic legacy of the city of Basel and the history of the institute itself, which goes back over 250 years. “Litterae” covers a broad spectrum – from classical literary studies and philology through to the concrete “alphabetic letters” as they relate to a media history of Christianity. Here too, the history of letterpress printing and the libraries of Basel form a fascinating context for the theme.
The second half of the 18th century brought new currency to Martin Opitz’s dictum that poetry is “concealed theology” at its root. Johann Caspar Lavater’s drama “Abraham and Isaac” (1776) turns the biblical narrative into an exemplary illustration of his unshakeable conviction that man can affect God’s decisions through faith and prayer. In Friedrich Schiller’s “Semele” (1779) the question of God’s credible self-disclosure to humans proves to be a kind of concealed theology.
The University of Basel was founded in 1460 on the basis of a privilege from Pope Pius II. As a young man, this pope had spent several years in the town and felt a strong affinity with it throughout his life. This volume begins with an examination of this prominent humanist and describes the contexts of the founding of the university in a series of further articles. The other examined dimensions are the urban and university contexts, as well as the church and art.
This study explores a famous chapter of university, scholarly and family history, placing it in context for the first time. The Buxtorf family, which originated from Westphalia, held the Chair of Hebrew Language at the University of Basel from 1588 to 1732 – a total of 144 years – spanning a period of four generations. The Buxtorfs conveyed the methods and findings of Jewish scholarship to the Christian Bible scholars of the time. With their eloquent disputations, the Buxtorfs contributed to the development of reformed orthodoxy in a world undergoing spiritual and theological transformation.
In this book, renowned Islamic scholar Angelika Neuwirth presents key features of her course on “The Koran as a Text of Late Antiquity.” The work transcends polarizing analyses and well-intentioned but superficial attempts to show commonalities, presenting instead the unique elements of the Koran while showing how it emerges from a common cultural space. Her analysis is an exemplary combination of philological precision and cultural sensitivity.