Victor Schultze Institute

(An old-established institute, not an institute in the sense of § 92.1 of the Landeshochschulgesetz (State Higher Education Law, LHG))

This collection, named after Victor Schultze, was sanctioned and founded by a ministerial decree on 1st December 1884. It was originally suggested by Professor Victor Schultze who was born in Fürstenberg in Waldeck/Hessen on 13th December 1851 and had been working as a lecturer in Greifswald since 1883. He first became an auxiliary professor in 1884 and was subsequently appointed full professor in 1888. At the Faculty of Theology his work focused on the history of the Church and, in this context, Christian archaeology. He mainly dedicated his research to archaeology and history of art. Victor Schultze became professor emeritus in 1926 and died in Greifswald on 6th January 1937. The Institute is steeped in tradition. It was founded in 1946 after the Second World War and to the present day still carries Victor Schultze’s name. The Chair of Christian Archaeology was abolished in 2005 due to budget restrictions imposed by the State Government and the Rectorate; lectures in Christian Archaeology were stopped in the summer semester of 2010.

In decades to come, the collection will serve as a reminder that this heritage must not be forgotten. Although the collection is from the 19th Century and so stems from a different academic tradition, it still serves as a good starting point for a modern connection and co-collaboration between theology, archaeology and art. The collection is a real asset for the Faculty of Theology and not simply an embellishment. The exhibits reflect a period in history in which Christianity has its roots and from where its traditions stem.
This is illustrated by the many replicas and originals which include about 100 late antique coins, some lamps and ampoules as well as about two dozen gothic sculptures. Many of the sculptures depict important monuments from late antique Christian art as well as from Romanesque and Byzantine art and thus reach back to the roots of Christian art. The exhibits belonging to the Eastern Church tradition also offer an ecumenical perspective. As a result of previous lectures, all the items have been photographed and listed in a catalogue. The material has been prepared in such a way that it can be used as part of a future internet presentation.

It would be of value if more academic research could be done into the collection. The collection should continue to enrich lectures in the Faculty of Theology and could also be used, for example, in history of art contexts.

Prof. Dr. Michael Altripp