Institute of Church History and Patrology

Church history is concerned with the historical development of the Christian denomination. As a historical discipline it is primarily subject to the methods and laws of historical scholarship. From a historical and critical approach it addresses relevant questions and draws on the main sources of past issues the Church faced. The results are presented in contextualised interpretations. At the same time Church history also constitutes a branch of theology, which is why it includes the historical and traditional dimension of God’s revelation. Thus it traces the path of God’s people from the beginning to the present day.

Patrology on the other hand is concerned with the Church Fathers. However, it should neither be reduced to their literary work nor their theology and dogmatism. On the contrary, patrology studies the full range of ancient Christian literature with the appropriate methodological approach, while not being a pure literary history. Rather, it examines the relevant literature and prepares it for other theological disciplines. It thus lays the foundation for all theological research.