Heidelberg's intellectual milieu of the early twentieth century can be characterised as a ‘laboratory of the modern age’. Here scholars intensively discussed the crisis of the modern age and in numerous historical and systematic studies attempted to determine the ‘cultural significance’ of religion for modernity. This article takes a look at exemplary aspects of the debates on religion of the jurist Georg Jellinek, the sociologist Max Weber and the Protestant theologian Ernst Troeltsch. Jellinek investigated the significance of religious ideas for the genesis of modern human rights, Weber analysed the ascetic-Protestant, i.e. Puritan roots of the modern capitalism and Troeltsch examined the differences between the social ethos of German Lutheranism and that of the Calvinist world of thought. The primary concern of all was the relevance of religion to present times. For this reason it is necessary that the theories set forth by Jellinek, Weber and Troeltsch also be read with regard to their possible ‘cultural significance’ for the present day.
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DOI 10.1515/znth.9.1.42
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