The rooms you are standing in now housed the Orphanage-Pharmacy for over 150 years. Today, you will find the Pietism Cabinet here: an exhibition entitled »The Power of the Word«, which presents the cultural and historical impact of Halle Pietism. The WORD was at the centre of the movement. The exhibition is centred around the use of the word in its various forms of expression: the spoken, written, printed, poetic, sung and translated word.
The exhibition opens with two large scaled woodcuts by the workshop of Cranach in around 1560, showing Martin Luther and Philipp Melanchthon.
The large display case shows letters, diaries and autobiographies from different eras. The three literary genres were of particular cultural and historical importance for Pietism.
August Hermann Francke laid the basis for an extensive publishing business early on. He had his sovereign, the Elector of Brandenburg, authorise the establishment of a printing press and bookshop. Books, journals, foreign language prints and new editions on all topics that were important to the Pietists were published there.
In 1710, Francke founded a second printing house in the institutions of the Canstein Bible Institute. In doing so, he realised a core demand of the Reformation for mass dissemination of the Bible. Here, the Bible and the New Testament were produced annually in large editions in a handy format at a favourable price.
This section of the exhibition looks at Pietism quite profound influence on literature and poetry. Very much in the Lutheran tradition, Pietism also cultivated the use of language in these areas as well. Pietism most important contribution to German literature came in the form of hymns and poetry informed by a devout Christian sentiment and ardent faith.
Listen to the German scholar Heinz Schlaffer on German literature of the 18th century.
The installation in the centre of the room comprises long wooden beams piled one on top of another with their ends pointing in diffent directions. It symbolises the canon of values first systematically taught to entire generations of pupils at Francke's schools and which still has an impact on our society today.
Room 2 of the exhibition
Directly building on Reformation ideas Halle Pietism saw the upbringing and education of young boys and girls across all social classes
as the key to achieving a fundamental improvement in society. For Francke, educating his charges to live a truly Christian way of life went hand in hand with teaching broad general knowledge and special subjects. In this way he wanted pupils to leave his schools as properly educated and skilled workersas well as responsible members of society.
This room also focuses on the spoken word. August Hermann Francke also saw the sermon as particularly suited to personally addressing the congregation and exhorting them to follow a Christian life. But he also realized that ministers required a special training to help them develop a simple, comprehensible and richly figurative language. The sermon was supposed to reach the hearts and minds of the congregation, encouraging each person to reflect on what had been said and, in the final analysis, positively influence their personal conduct of life. From 1715 Francke was the pastor of St. Ulrich's Church in Halle and the beautiful Renaissance pulpit he used for his sermons in that church is now on show here as an outstanding exhibit in this exhibition.
Room 3 of the exhibition
In this context, the leading figures in the Reformation called for music as an imported part of Christian upbringing and education. In Pietism the church hymn became an expression of the personal experience of faith. The culture of singing in hymns that developed in Franckes Foundations was both uplifting and moving. Not only did singing have a place in religious services and school lessons but it was also part of communial recreation in the form of regular singing practises open to everyone.
200 Jahre lang blieb das Luthertum auf Europa beschränkt. Erst der Pietismus mit seiner universalen Ausrichtung sorgte für eine organisierte Verbreitung des Luthertums auf andere Kontinente. Das Hallesche Waisenhaus wurde schon früh zu einem erstaunlich wohlorganisierten Kommunikationszentrum und Umschlagplatz für Nachrichten aus aller Welt, außerdem wurden hier zahlreiche ausländische Schüler und Studenten ausgebildet. Das pietistische Interesse am Umgang mit dem Wort erstreckte sich auch auf Fremdsprachen und philologische Studien. Auf dieser Grundlage wurden hier Übersetzungen der Bibel und pietistischer Erbauungs-Literatur in verschiedenen Sprachen angefertigt und gedruckt.
Wie geht es weiter?
Folgen Sie dem Rundgang durch die Tür mit dem Signet des Waisenhauses und besuchen Sie im ersten Obergeschoss den Freylinghausen-Saal.
Ein Fahrstuhl befindet sich hinter den Garderobenschränken am Ende des Ganges.