Logo – Life after Luther
25 October 2013 to 2 March 2014 Exhibition HallDHM Schriftzug
Poster – Life after Luther

Life after Luther
A Cultural History of the Evangelical Parsonage


25 October 2013 to 2 March 2014


Concept: Bodo-Michael Baumunk, Dr. Shirley Brückner


Project coordination: Prof. Dr. Rosmarie Beier-de Haan


A wellspring of universal education and bourgeois life, a model for Christian conduct, an origin of literature, philosophy and science – as a way of life the Evangelical parsonage has for centuries served as a projection surface for social and familial ideals. The exhibition “Life after Luther. A cultural history of the Evangelical parsonage” follows the development of this society-shaping institution from the Reformation on up to the present day.


Portraits from five centuries, objects of everyday use, personal souvenirs and a variety of clerical vestments, including robes of the very first women pastors, illustrate the transformations in Protestant parsonages over the years. Precious illustrated books from the 17th and 18th centuries give an impression of the educational horizon of a typical parsonage library. Photos, sound and film documents on the “Kirchenkampf”, the struggle of the churches during the Nazi period, as well as on the repression, adaptation and church opposition in the GDR shed light on the way the Protestant churches reacted to totalitarian challenges in the 20th century. The important role of the parsonage in the “Peaceful Revolution” of 1989/90 and the political engagement of West German churches in the peace movement of the 1980s will also be examined.


Supplementing the exhibition, an extensive monitor installation on the ground floor of the exhibition hall takes reference to the present and the future of the tradition-steeped institution of the Evangelical parsonage. It poses questions about the field of activities in the present-day occupation of pastor and on the precarious situation of the parishes, the changes in living forms in the parsonage itself and the current character of the pastor’s family as a model for society. In addition, the installation focuses on persons in the public spotlight who share the background of having come from a pastoral family. Are the children of a parsonage something special? The parsonage – a springboard into politics?

Porträt des Pfarrers und Gelehrten Gustaf Fredrik Hjortberg mit seiner Familie, Jonas Dürchs, um 1770 © Swedish church in Vallda o Släp, Foto: Boel Ferm Pastor Otto Clemens van Bijleveld als evangelischer Hirte, Jan Duif, 1646 © Evangelisch-Lutherse Gemeente Gouda, Niederlande, Foto: Ruben de Heer Studierstube des Pfarrhauses Zoppoten, 1930er Jahre © Landeskirchenarchiv Eisenach Orangeroter Talar das damaligen Vikars Friedrich Gehring für die Predigt zum 2. Dienstexamen in Stuttgart, 1971 © Backnang, Pfarrer i. R. Friedrich Gehring, Foto: Deutsches Historisches Museum, Berlin. Die provokante Farbe des Talars unterstrich eine Predigt im Geist der Studentenbewegung von 1968. Karl Themel, evangelischer Pfarrer der Luisenstädtischen Gemeinde und „Sippenforscher“, bei der Einsegnung von „Hitler-Jungen“, 1935, Berlin, © ullstein bild - Süddeutsche Zeitung Photo