ENCYCLICAL LETTERS: Circular letters, which in the ancient Church were often sent by a church or council to the churches of a certain district. The name is now applied to letters of the pope, relating to the entire Church, sent to all his subordinate bishops.


Conception and Purpose (§ 1).
Theological Science in the Primitive Church (§ 2).
In the Byzantine and Middle Ages (§ 3).
In Humanism and the Reformation (§ 4).
Pietism and Rationalism Influential (§ 5).
Schleiermacher and his Influence (§ 6).
Modern Problems (§ 7).
Development Outside Germany (§ 8).
In the Roman Catholic Church (§ 9).

1. Conception and Purpose

Theological Encyclopedia is the branch of learning which sets forth the order and contents of theological science. The word encyclopedia, in its technical sense, is derived from the philosophic realm of Alexandrine study, and back of that from Greek antiquity. Since the time of Aristotle enkyklios paideza meant the circle of education which, according to Quintilian (Institutiones, L, x. 101), included grammar, rhetoric, music, geometry, and astronomy. The idea which philosophy took up was appropriated by theology. The compounded expression as a single word occurs first in a discourse by the Jesuit Tarquin Gallucci (b. 1574) entitled De encyclopędia comparanda, (J. Lami, De eruditione apostotorum, Florence, 1738, p. 215) and next in J. H. Alstedt's Curses philosophici encyclopędia (Herborn, 1820), in which Aletedt refers to the Encyclopędia of Matthias Martin (1649) as his source. The meaning of "Encyclopedia" in these cases is an orderly exposition of knowledge. The works just named were the forerunners of the great encyclopedic collections which have set forth either the material of science as a whole or that of individual sciences. So that the word encyclopedia has become fully naturalized. It was first applied to theology by S. Mursinna in Primœ lineœ encyclopędiœ theologicœ (Halle, 1784-94). The idea of a formal encyclopedia of sciences was first put forward by Hegel (Encyklopädie der philosophischen Wissenschaften, Heidelberg, 1827, § 16), who limited it to the setting forth of the beginnings and the fundamental conceptions of special sciences. So theological encyclopedia sets forth the fundamental conceptioue and methods of theological science. In doing this it takes cognizance of the genius of the Christian religion, of the causes which have built up a theology, of the historical and systematic relationship of the parts to the whole, and, above all, of the relationship of the science to life and of theology as the science of religion to the Church which is held together by this religion. Inasmuch as this science is always in a state of flux-new materials always being added, new questions arising-the best that can be done is to describe it historically and in relation to the present.

2. Theological Science in the Primitive Church.

The history of theological encyclopedia is not to be separated from the history of teaching and of the science. Christian theology grew out of the proclamation of the Gospel according to the command of Jesus (Matt. xxviii. 19-20). The com munities of believers, instead of attempting to satisfy their religious needs with cultic organizations or wasting their energies in social per formancea, sought through instruction an assured sad unified con viction of the grounds of their faith as members of the body of Jesus Christ. And just as in the religion of the Old Testament priesthood and prophecy strove together, and in Greco Roman culture religion and philosophy, so in Christianity revelation and philosophy were the two factors out of which a developing theology drew its materials. There was an inherent tendency to a unification of all the elements which could serve the nourishment of the soul and the support of Christian activities. Catecheties, systematic in troduction into the Christian rites, were the motives for the collection of the reports about the work of Jesus and his relation to salvation (Luke i. 4; I Cor. xiv. 19; Gal. vi. 6; Heb. vi. 1-2). Thus with the development of the organization of the Church grew up a literature of instruction. While direct testimony to the existence of such a body of material in the early Church is not immediately attainable, it can not be doubted that in such centers of Christianity as Alexandria, Antioch, and Constantinople during the second century such technical material existed. Indirect testimony to this is found in the technical terms existing in patristic works which have their roots and their analogies in the terminology of rhetoric, philology, and philosophy. Instruction in the form of question and answer is suggested by the Instituta regularia divinœ legis of Juniliue at Antioch, the Sacra parallela of John of Damascus, the Questiones Amphilochiœ of Photius, and the Hupomntatikon


biblion of Josephus (MPG, cvi. 14-177). For other varieties of instruction the homilies, corresponding to the Diatribes of the Cynic-Stoic schools, and echolia and commentaries are evidence. These are the roots of the system of instruction in dogmatic and practical theology. There soon followed the encyclopedic productions of Chrysostom (Peri hierosynes), of Ambrosias (De of~'eciis ministrorum), and of Augustine (De doctTina christiana, De catechizandis rudibus, Encheiridion ad Laurentium).

During the Byzantine period and the Middle Ages the pedagogic methods of patristic times passed over into the Western Church where the influx of new peoples made necessary the use of these means of instruction. In Byzantine literature heathenism and Christianity remained in a relation of easy sociability of which the Myrobiblion of Photius (d. 891) is an example. Philosophical activity was concerned with Catenae


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