Tübingen, University of
TÜBINGEN, UNIVERSITY OF
An autonomous institution of higher learning under the jurisdiction of the ministry of education and financially supported by the state of Baden-Württemberg.
History. Founded in 1477 by Count Eberhard im Bart of Württemberg, Tübingen belongs to a series of German universities that owed their existence at the close of the Middle Ages to the growing independence of regional princes and the increasing needs of education. Following the bull of Sixtus IV authorizing the foundation of the new University, Eberhard transferred a chapter of Canons Regular with eight canonries to Tübingen and transformed its prebends into professorships. Their number was increased through the incorporation of several additional prebends. The university thus acquired 15 chairs: three in theology, five in law (three of these in Canon Law), two in medicine, and five in arts. Its constitution was modeled on that of the University of Basel, Switzerland, and as at Basel followed the two main tendencies in late medieval scholasticism, namely, the Via antiqua and the Via moderna, which were equally represented.
The most significant theologians of the first period were Joannes Heynlin de Lapide (Johann Stein), Conrad Summenhart, and especially Gabriel biel, whose famous commentary on the Sentences (Collectorium ) had its origin in his Tübingen lectures. Among the numerous early students were J. eck, J. Fabri, and J. von staupitz, who in 1502 organized the University of Wittenberg on the model of Tübingen. Although humanism had influenced the compilation of a well-known world chronicle by J. nauclerus, chancellor of the University, it could not be successfully established at Tübingen. J. reuchlin was a member of the university faculty for a short time before his death. In a circle of students whom he had previously gathered around him was P. melanchthon, who in 1518 also went to Wittenberg. When the Reformation was introduced into Württemberg in 1534, the now Protestant theological faculty obtained the leading position at Tübingen and retained its position into the 19th century. The whole university was stamped with Lutheran orthodoxy. While it produced scholars of the caliber of the astronomer J. kepler, it resisted pietism and remained almost wholly closed against the influences of the enlightenment that were pointing to the future. No significant change of attitude took place before the early 19th century.
Later Development. In 1806 Württemberg, which now included areas of heavy Catholic population, had become a kingdom. Accordingly, in 1817 two new faculties were created: Political Science, and Catholic Theology with five chairs. Here the so-called "Catholic School of Tübingen" was quickly formed, with J. A. Möhler (d.1838) as its most outstanding representative. The combination of historical and speculative theology, which it developed under the influence of idealism and romanticism, was of the greatest importance in the history of theological study and exercised an influence on other German universities. Among Möhler's distinguished successors at Tübingen were J. E. kuhn (d.1887), and the church historians K. J. hefele (d. 1893 as bishop of Rottenburg), F. X. funk (d. 1907), and K. bihlmeyer (d. 1942). Outstanding in the Evangelical Theological Faculty was F. C. baur (d. 1860), who, influenced by Hegel's philosophy, unaugurated the historico-critical theology that, along with a certain Biblicism, has characterized this Faculty through the 20th century. The most significant of Baur's successors were A. schlatter (d. 1938) and K. Heim (d. 1958).
In view of its institutions and number of students, the University of Tübingen holds a high place among the universities of Germany. This is also true of its theological faculties. In the evangelical theological faculty, the historico-critical tendency is dominant. The Zeitschrift für Theologie und Kirche is published mainly by its professors. The Theologische Wörterbuch zum Neuen Testament had its beginning at Tübingen, which is also contributing to both the new edition of the Biblia Hebraica and the critical edition of the Opera omnia of Luther. Since the early 1960s, New Testament research at Tübingen has also exercised a marked influence on Protestant theology in the United States.
The Catholic theological faculty has remained true to its 19th-century inheritance. It still publishes the Theologische Quartalschrift, founded in 1819.
Bibliography: Studienführer der Universität Tübingen (Tübingen 1963). j. haller, Die Anfänge der Universität (Tübingen, 1477–1537, 2 v. (Stuttgart 1927–29). e. stolz, et al., "Beiträge zur Geschichte der Universität, besonders der katholisch-theologischen Fakultät in Tübingen," Theologische Quartalschrift 108 (1927) 1–220. j. r. geiselmann, Lebendiger Glaube aus geheiligter Überlieferung: Der Grundgedanke der Theologie Johann A. Möhlers und der katholischen Tübinger Schule (Mainz 1942). e. vermeil, Jean Adam Möhler et l'École catholique de Tubingue, 1815–40 (Paris 1913). c. von weizsÄcker, Lehrer und Unterricht an der evangelisch-theologischen Facultät der Universität Tübingen von der Reformation bis zur Gegenwart (Tübingen 1877).