Jürgen Moltmann collection, 1970-2011

Emory University

Pitts Theology Library

1531 Dickey Drive, Suite 560

Atlanta, GA 30322


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Descriptive Summary

Creator: Moltmann, Jürgen.
Title: Jürgen Moltmann collection, 1970-2011
Call Number:Manuscript Collection No. 425
Extent: .5 cubic feet (1 box)
Abstract:Contains letters sent to theologian Jürgen Moltmann from students, scholars, and professors; and one sermon delivered at Emory University.
Language:Materials in English, German, French and Dutch

Administrative Information

Restrictions on Access

Unrestricted access.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

All requests subject to limitations noted in departmental policies on reproduction.

Separated Material

Books that accompanied letters have been separated and catalogued individually.


Gift of Jürgen Moltmann


[after identification of item(s)], Jürgen Moltmann collection, MSS 425, Archives and Manuscript Dept., Pitts Theology Library, Emory University.


Processed by Brandon Wason, October 2016.

Collection Description

Biographical Note

Jürgen Moltmann was born at Hamburg, Germany, on April 8, 1926. Moltmann grew up in an educated, but secular home. His father was an expert in German, Latin, and history, but Moltmann, wanting to study something different, decided to focus on mathematics, physics, and chemistry. World War II abruptly paused Moltmann's studies. In February of 1943, his school class was conscripted and made air force "auxiliaries." Stationed in Hamburg, Moltmann was present during Operation Gomorrah (July 1943), the Allied Forces' bombing of Hamburg. During Operation Gomorrah, Moltmann survived a close call when a bomb landed on his platform; his classmate, however, died. That night, Moltmann cried out to God for the first time and began seeking after God. He was drafted into the war in 1944 and subsequently surrendered to a British soldier. Moltmann spent the years of 1945 to 1948 in POW camps in Zedelgem (Belgium), Kilmarnock (Scotland), and later in Norton Camp (Cuckney, Nottinghamshire). In Kilmarnock, an army chaplain gave Moltmann a Bible and Moltmann became acquainted with Jesus, "the brother in suffering and the companion on the road to the land of freedom" (Broad Place, 30). In Norton Camp, Moltmann was exposed to theology and theological education.

When Moltmann returned to Germany, he studied theology with Otto Weber at Göttingen and received his doctorate in 1952. He met Elisabeth Wendel, who was also studying theology at Göttingen, and they later married in March of 1952. He was a pastor in Bremen-Wasserhorst from 1952-1957, then, in 1958, began a career as a theology professor. In 1958, Moltmann was appointed to lecture at the Church Seminary (Kirchliche Hochschule) in Wuppertal, then in 1963 he joined the theological faculty at Bonn University, and finally he was appointed to Professor of Systematic Theology at the University of Tübingen (1967-1994). From 1983 to 1993, he was the Robert W. Woodruff Distinguished Visiting Professor of Systematic Theology at Candler School of Theology, Emory University.

Moltmann's book, Theologie der Hoffnung (1964; English: Theology of Hope, 1967), was a timely and groundbreaking work of theology that had a large impact on people within and outside the guild of professional theologians. It was one of the most influential works of theology from the second half of the twentieth century. Some of Moltmann's other works include: The Gospel of Liberation (1973); The Crucified God: The Cross of Christ As the Foundation and Criticism of Christian Theology (1973); Man: Christian Anthropology in the Conflicts of the Present (1974); and The Church in the Power of the Spirit: A Contribution to Messianic Ecclesiology (1975). Moltmann gave the prestigious Gifford Lectures in 1984-1985, which were subsequently published in God in Creation (1985). He also received the Louisville Grawemeyer Award in Religion (2000) for The Coming of God: Christian Eschatology (1996). His autobiography, A Broad Place: An Autobiography was published in 2008.

Biographical Source: Jürgen Moltmann, A Broad Place (Minneapolis, 2008).

Scope and Content Note

This collection has two series: letters sent to Jürgen Moltmann and an unpublished sermon by Moltmann. There are two categories of letters: (1) fifty bound letters from North American colleauges of Moltmann sending greetings on the ocassion of his 50th birthday (April 1976); (2) letters from students and scholars sent to Moltmann accompanying publications that interact with Moltmann's works (1970-2004). The collection contains one response by Elisabeth and Jürgen Moltmann to Liz Carmichael, which includes an edorsement of her book, Friendship: Interpreting Christian Love (2004). The second series contains a sermon ("Sun of Righteousness, Arise!") delivered at the Emory University's Reformation Day in 2011. The sermon is in German with an English translation by Margaret Kohl containing Moltmann's handwritten edits.

Arrangement Note

Organized into two series: (1) Letters sent to Moltmann, and (2) Sermon.

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Container List

Box Folder Content
1 1 North American Greetings to Jürgen Moltmann on His Fiftieth Birthday, 1976 Apr
1 2 Letters accompanying publications, 1970-1979
1 3 Letters accompanying publications, 1980-1989
1 4 Letters accompanying publications, 1990-1999
1 5 Letters accompanying publications, 2001-2004
1 6 "Sun of Righteousness, Arise!," 2011 Nov 28