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Feud with Johann Konrad Dippel, 1700–1702

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Chapter Summary

Conrad Bröske's dispute with Johann Konrad Dippel offers a window into the spectrum of views among German Philadelphians and into the culture of theological disputation during the hey day of German Orthodoxy and Pietism. Bröske's cautious and conservative mindset as court preacher in Offenbach comes into play. Bröske's actions as censor sparked the conflict with Dippel, but their polemical exchanges would range widely over personal, theological and political issues before they had run their course. The stage must be set by introducing Dippel and by briefly describing the eschatological expectations of the German Philadelphians leading up to 1700 and the events in March 1699 in Offenbach surrounding confiscation of a new publication by Dippel. Despite the bitterness of their feud, Bröske and Dippel shared remarkably similar backgrounds, education, convictions about the need for renewal in church and society, and hopes for the soon-coming millennial kingdom, the Church of Philadelphia.

Keywords: Conrad Bröske; court preacher; German Orthodoxy; German Philadelphians; Johann Konrad Dippel; Offenbach; Pietism; theological disputation



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