PIETISM. A religious movement in Germany in the seventeenth century. Its founder was P. J. Spener (1635-1705); its centre in course of time was Halle. The Pietists attached importance rather to a religion of the heart than to a religion of dead formalism and orthodoxy. In 1670 Spener held in his own house at Frankfort gatherings at which the Bible was read and explained. In course of time (about 1675) this institution came to be known as Collegia Pietatis, and the school of Spener Pietists. In 1675 Spener puhlished a work which attracted widespread attention : " Pia Desideria, or Earnest Wishes for the Good Improvement of the True Evangelical Church, with some Christian Proposals for that end." In 16S6 Spener went to Dresden as Chief Court Preacher. Here amongst his pupils were A. H. Francke (1663-1727) of the University of Leipzig, P. Anton, and C. Schade. Francke established Pietism in Leipzig by instituting the Collegium Philobiblicum. At Francke's gatherings amongst other matters Luther's translation of the Bible was criticised. At this and at the simple life and dress of the Pietists the Theological Faculty of Leipzig, which was conservative, took offence. The Pietists had to leave the University of Leipzig. In 1691 Spener removed from Dresden to Berlin, as Provost of the Church of St. Nicholas. In 1692 Francke was
appointed Professor at Halle, which now became the centre and home of Pietism. The famous Francke Insti tutions (Franckesche S'tiftungen; Schools, Home for Orphans, Dispensary, Printing-house, etc.), which are so extensive as to form a town within a town, are a living witness to the practical Christianity of Pietism. Pietism as a theological movement, however, was opposed in various parts of Germany. The orthodox Lutheran party probably regarded it, as K. F. A. Kahn's (1814 1988) regarded it, as ministering indirectly to Rationalism. Two reforms in particular were demanded by the Pietists. " First, that the theological schools should be re formed by the aboliton of all systematic theology, philosophy, and metaphysics, and that morals and not doctrine should form the staple of all preaching; secondly, that only those persons should be admitted into the Lutheran ministry whose lives were examples of living piety " (J. H. Blunt). After the death of Francke in 1727 Pietism degenerated into a kind of fanaticism. See A. S. Farrar, Crit. Hist. of Free Thought, 1862; B. Puenjer; J. H. Blunt; Brockhaus; Chambers' Encycl.