Theology Professor in Breslau

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Ernst Lohmeyer, a professor in Breslau, started cultivating close contacts with a circle of “neo-Kantian” intellectuals in the mid-1920s. Along with Lohmeyer, members of this “circle” linked with Stefan George included the historian Richard Koebner, the Indologist Otto Strauss, the jurist and cultural philosopher Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy and, most notably, the philosopher of language and physician Richard Hönigswald with whom Lohmeyer remained bound by a special friendship all of his life.

In Breslau, Lohmeyer became one of the leading New Testament scholars of his day and his biblical and theological commentaries on the “Book of Revelation” (1926), the “Epistle of Paul to the Philippians” (1928) and the “Gospel According to Mark” (1937) received widespread attention.

The “National Socialist Students’ Association” had become established at a majority of Germany’s universities in the winter semester of 1930-31. In that same period, Lohmeyer assumed the post of university president in Breslau.

Lohmeyer dealt with the topic of Faith and History in Religions of the Near East in his inaugural address on November 3, 1930. This was only ostensibly an apolitical topic. In a key passage of his address, Lohmeyer spoke of the Israelite-Jewish religion’s Messianism as a basic model for not only Christian theology but also the philosophy of history in general.

Pointing out the crucial significance of the mediating character of God’s Word for Jewish as well as early Christian theology, he put the belief in the German people’s and the German state’s relevance for the theology of revelation into perspective, which was widespread especially in large circles of German Protestantism.

In his final sermon of the summer semester preached in July of 1931 – the year of Hindenburg’s Emergency Decrees – Lohmeyer, expounding on the First Epistle of John, spoke of the darkness of our days, especially politically.

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  • Sendker, public domain