Publication Date



Halle and Moravian Pietism: Conflicts, Strategies, Practices, Franckesche Stiftungen, Halle


In this paper I will lay out the framework for comparing emotional vocabularies, using two corpora of first-person narratives from the Moravian Church and the Methodist Church from the mid-18th century. The Moravian texts are from the Fetter Lane congregation in London and the majority of the manuscripts are to be found at Moravian Church House. These texts have been transcribed, encoded and published on the Moravian Lives website. The Methodist corpus is compiled from a project housed at the Rylands Library in Manchester, which contains letters of petition to Charles Wesley tranbscribed by volunteers and available online at (

As McGuire and I have shown in our previous study (Faull and McGuire 2022), applying computational analysis to text corpora can help to identify emotional communities in which common patterns and sentiment lexica can be found. This paper will begin to address these questions by:

a) identifying the emotional vocabularies or sentiment dictionaries of personal narratives of members of the Methodist and Moravian churches in Northern England in the eighteenth century;

b) exploring a methodology for measuring those sentiments and offer alternate methods for analysis and interpretation

c) asking whether such a comparative perspective could be applied to the personal papers of Halle Pietists. I make this claim based on Hindmarsh's argument that, Zinzendorf’s dispute with the Halle pietists on the necessity of the Busskampf as proof of conversion in 1740 is simultaneous with the contact with the Wesleys and Methodism. In Hindmarsh’s eyes, this meant that the Moravians and their followers were able to distinguish their own piety from that of the Methodists in the same way: Methodism was Hallensian Pietism redivivus (Hindmarsh 165)


Conference Paper


Comparative Humanities

Second Department

German Studies

Publisher Statement

In the last few decades, the focus of international and interdisciplinary research on Pietism in Halle and Herrnhut has increased considerably. Several studies have clearly shown that both stories are intrinsically interwoven – in both regional and intercontinental contexts. Different research approaches in both fields of Pietism have stimulated research questions in the other, but many questions remain open or have been only partially investigated and above all, despite initial approaches, a more comprehensive and in-depth comparative perspective, both interdisciplinary and international, is still needed.

For this reason, the conference welcomes current, overarching research approaches as well as questions and approaches from the particular histories of Halle and Moravian Pietism and asks how they critically relate to one another. The conference will explore:

  • How does the simultaneous existence and historical succession of the two forms of Pietism invite comparative inquiry?
  • How questions and approaches that are prevalent in one of the two fields can also be useful in for the other?
  • How and to what extent overarching approaches and topics can enrich and deepen existing questions from a comparative perspective?

We are also interested in the question of interactions between Halle and Herrnhut.

Conception and direction: Wolfgang Breul (Mainz), Thomas Ruhland, Christian Soboth and Holger Zaunstöck (Halle) in conjunction with Katherine Faull (Lewisburg) and Paul Peucker (Bethlehem)