Paul Tillich, A History Of Christian Thought

Protestant Orthodoxy. Pietism.

We finished yesterday the theology of the Reformers. The next section is a lecture which would ordinarily last one semester, four hours a week, on the development of modern Protestant theology. But what we can do with these last two hours is to give a kind of survey on the rhythm in which Protestant theology has developed in the last 350 years. This development is important not only in itself, from the historical point of view, but also because elements of everything which has been created within this development are in your minds, souls and bodies, and you cannot get rid of it without knowing it Therefore I believe, negatively and positively it is of extreme importance to have a history of Protestant theology or at least, if this is impossible, to show the tides – because this whole development is like a tide going up and down; but each wave and each low tide is different from the other.

Now the immediate wave which followed the Reformation period is the period we usually call Orthodoxy. Now Orthodoxy is a great and serious thing, much greater and much more serious than what you call Fundamentalism, in this country, which is a product of a reaction in the 19th century, and which is a primitivized form of classical Orthodoxy. Classical Orthodoxy was great theology. We can say it was Protestant Scholasticism, with all the refinements and methods which the word “Scholastic” includes. Therefore, when I speak of “Orthodoxy,” I mean the way in which the Reformation established itself as an ecclesiastical form of life and thought, after the dynamic movement of the Reformation had come to an end. It is the systematization and consolidation of the ideas of the Reformation, partly in contrast to what I said before about the Counter-Reformation.