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Title:An Assessment of the Educational Philosophy of Johann Michael Reu Using the Hermeneutic Paradigms of J. F. Herbart and of J. C. K. Von Hofmann and the Erlangen School
Author(s):Johnston, Paul Imbrie
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Tozer, Steven E.
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Religion, History of
Religion, Philosophy of
Education, Philosophy of
Abstract:Scholar of sixteenth century German catechesis Johann Michael Reu (1869-1943) was also one of America's foremost Lutheran educational philosophers of the twentieth century. Although Reu often claimed a special indebtedness to the philosophy and psychology of J. F. Herbart and to the theological constructs of J. C. K. von Hofmann, leader of the Erlangen school of German Protestant theological thought, no systematic attempt had been made to examine the extent of his dependence upon the hermeneutical presuppositions of either.
This study undertook: (1) to compare Reu's educational hermeneutic with that of Herbart for areas of ontology, epistemology, axiology, and anthropology; (2) to compare Reu's theological hermeneutic with those of Erlangen theologians Hofmann, F. H. R. von Frank, and Theodor von Zahn for areas of epistemology, anthropology, and ecclesiology; and (3) to discover which elements of Reu's epistemological and anthropological positions from his educational and his theological hermeneutic are consistently present in his thought. Source materials for the study were all major primary and secondary resources extant in English translation for Herbart and the Erlangen theologians, and original translated and untranslated Reu materials from the Kirchliche Zeitschrift and from the Wartburg Seminary Archives, Dubuque, Iowa.
The research found a marked congruence between Reu's hermeneutical assumptions and those of Herbart, with Reu manifesting a stronger realist position than Herbart in ontology and substantial similarity to Herbart in epistemology. Points of divergence were found in Reu's and Herbart's axiology and anthropology. The study also showed similarities between Reu and the Erlangen school's assumptions of Heilsgeschichte as interpretive framework for theological hermeneutics, although Reu manifests greater dependence on the concepts of verbal inspiration, normative authority of Scripture, and divine monergism. The concept as organizing principle of intellection and the notions of gradual development and organic wholeness were consistently found to characterize Reu's epistemology and anthropology across both educational and theological dimensions of his thought.
A comprehensive annotated topical index to Reu's contributions to the Kirchliche Zeitschrift from 1894-1943 is appended to the study, as are original translations of 34 of Reu's educational and theological monographs originally published in German.
Issue Date:1989
Description:1805 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1989.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI9010903
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-16
Date Deposited:1989

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