In his 2-volume Theological Propædeutic, Schaff outlines for his students the various sub-disciplines of theology and the methods of theology study. This Propædeutic is derived from Schaff’s classroom lectures, and refined by repeated deliveries and substantial student commentary. Schaff’s clear style makes these volumes accessible and readable for both Schaff’s students and for a wider audience.
Volume 1 of the Theological Propædeutic outlines the nature of religion and defines the task of theology and its relationship to the Bible. He devotes special attention to the rise of the historical-critical method and the prominence of textual criticism in the nineteenth century.
Volume 2 covers historical theology and importance of the study of history, including patristic literature, for which Schaff is well-known. The second half of this volume is devoted to systematic and practical theology, including apologetics, dogmatics, ethics, preaching, and missions.
With Logos, this important work by Philip Schaff is easier to read than ever before! The Scripture texts link to your Greek and Hebrew texts and English translations. And your digital library gives you the ease and flexibility to read Schaff alongside the primary texts of the key figures in church history, such as Thomas Aquinas, John Calvin, Jonathan Edwards, and the Church Fathers.
- Outline of the various departments of theology
- Definition of the task of theology and its relationship to the Bible
- Examination of systematic and practical theology
Praise for the Print Edition
In the development of the discipline of church history in the United States, few scholars played a more important role than the Swiss-born, German-educated immigrant Philip Schaff. His model of careful, accurate, comprehensive, and irenic scholarship . . . remains worthy of admiration and emulation.
—R. Graham, professor of American church history, North Park Theological Seminary
No scholar of his generation has interested me so much. He was broad, powerful, a man of great genius.
Philip Schaff wanted to be remembered as a Christian scholar, and he pursued this scholarship in the context of his grand and optimistic ecumenical vision . . . Schaff was, in his own words, an inveterate hoper.
- Title: Theological Propædeutic
- Author: Philip Schaff
- Publisher: Charles Scribner’s Sons
- Publication Date: 1893
- Volumes: 2
- Pages: 524
About Philip Schaff
Philip Schaff (1819–1893) was born in Chur, Switzerland. He was educated in Germany at Tübingen, Halle, and Berlin, where he studied under August Neander. In 1843, he moved to America and became a professor of church history and biblical literature at the German Reformed Theological Seminary in Mercersburg, Pennsylvania.
During that time, he edited a hymnal, worked on the liturgy in the German Reformed Church, and edited a translation of the Heidelberg Catechism. The English translation of his History of the Apostolic Church appeared in 1853. Schaff remained at Mercersburg until 1863, when the Civil War forced the seminary to close.
In 1870, Schaff became a professor at Union Theological Seminary. During his tenure there, he held the chair of theological encyclopedia and Christian symbolism, the chair of Hebrew and cognate languages, the chair of sacred literature, and the chair of church history. He also served on the committee that translated the American Standard Version.
Schaff also authored or edited the History of the Christian Church, Early Church Fathers, and the New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge. He is remembered as one of America’s foremost church historians of the nineteenth century.