Pietism and Education in the Life and Work of Fritz Jahr


  • Amir Muzur University of Rijeka
  • Iva Rinčić University of Rijeka




Bio-ethics, pietism, the Pietistic principles of education


A little bit more than twenty years ago, the attention of bioethics community was attracted by the discovery of the work of Fritz Jahr (1895-1953), a theologian and teacher from Halle (Germany), who had conceived both the term and the discipline of bioethics (Bio-Ethik, 1926) by broadening Kant’s categorical imperative onto animals and plants. Today, dozens of papers deal with Jahr’s bioethics ideas, but his work related to other topics remains almost unknown. In the present paper, we address Jahr’s article from 1930, devoted to education ("Gesinnungsdiktatur oder Gedenkfreiheit? Gedanken über eine liberale Gestaltung des Gesinnungsunterrichts" [Dictatorship of worldview or freedom of thought? Considerations on the liberal structuring of teaching of attitudes]). In the article, published in Die neue Erziehung, Jahr advocates a set of ten quite progressive and free-minded principles, including objectivity, pluriperspectivism (verschiedene Gesinnungseinstellungen), tollerant dialogue, autonomy, rationalism, liberalism, and democratization of education system and of the development of worldview at school. We devote particular attention to the comparison of Jahr’s ideas to the doctrine of Pietism and August Hermann Francke, who established the Foundation in which Jahr spent a significant part of his life, first as a student, and later as a teacher.

Author Biographies

Amir Muzur, University of Rijeka

MD, MA, PhD, Full Professor and Head, Department of Social Sciences and Medical Humanities, Faculty of Medicine

Iva Rinčić, University of Rijeka

BA, MA, PhD, Associate Professor Department of Social Sciences and Medical Humanities/Department of Public Health; Faculty of Medicine/Faculty of Health Studies


Dittrich-Jacobi J. (1976) Pietismus und Pädagogik im Konstituzionsprozess der bürgerlichen Gesellschaft: historisch-systematische Untersuchung der Pädagogik August Hermann Franckes (1663-1727). Doctoral thesis, University of Bielefeld Faculty of Pedagogy, Philosophy and Psychology, 273.

Hren D., Marušić M. (2011) Regression of moral reasoning during medical education: combined design study to evaluate the effect of clinical study years, PlosOne, 6 (3), 1-9.

Hein U. (1996) Der Pietismus und seine Bedeutung für die Pädagogik unter besonderer Berücksichtigung August Hermann Franckes. Master's thesis, Faculty of Philosophy of the 'Christian Albrecht' University in Kiel, 57.

Francke Foundation Archive in Halle. Schüleralbum von Ostern 1885 bis Ostern 1914: Realgymnasium der Franckeschen Stiftungen zu Halle a.d. Saale. III IS B I 7.

Menck P. (2001) Die Erziehung der Jugend zur Ehre Gottes und zum Nutzen des Nächsten: die Pädagogik August Hermann Franckes. Tübingen: Verlag der Franckeschen Stuftungen im Max-Niemeyer-Verlag, 20-32.

Jahr Fr. (1930) Gesinnungsdiktatur oder Gedankenfreiheit? Gedanken über eine liberale Gestaltung des Gesinnungsunterrichts, Die neue Erziehung, 12, 200-202.

Widén B. (1967) Bekehrung und Erziehung bei August Hermann Francke, Acta Academiae Aboensis, ser. A – Humaniora, 33(3), 7.


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How to Cite

Muzur, A., & Rinčić, I. (2019). Pietism and Education in the Life and Work of Fritz Jahr. Filosofiya Osvity. Philosophy of Education, 24(1), 224–230. https://doi.org/10.31874/2309-1606-2019-24-1-224-230






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