The Duchy of Württemberg was a center of German Pietism in the early eighteenth century. Nevertheless, the establishment of “Moravianism” in Württemberg remained largely controversial. Although Württemberg theologians were strongly attracted to Count Zinzendorf and the settlement of Herrnhut, their connections to Halle were closer. One of the reasons that the Herrnhuters found it difficult to gain a foothold here was the influential Pietist theologian Johann Albrecht Bengel, who had become increasingly opposed to Zinzendorf. This article seeks to exemplify and thus improve the understanding of the divergences among German Protestants concerning Moravianism in the first half of the eighteenth century. It is based on an examination of the Württemberg pastor Georg Konrad Rieger, a colleague of Bengel, and his history of the ancient Unitas Fratrum, written between 1734 and 1740. In this book Rieger advocated a Zinzendorfian understanding of Christianity: that the Christian community is indispensable. Like Zinzendorf, Rieger was convinced that there had always been groups of true believers in a succession without any hiatus.

You do not currently have access to this content.