This classic work, first published in 1675, inaugurated the movement in Germany called Pietism. In it, a young pastor, born and raised during the devastating Thirty Years War, voiced a plea for reform of the church which made the author and his proposals famous. A lifelong friend of the philosopher Leibnitz, Spener was an important influence in the life of the next leader of German Pietism, August Herman Francke. He was also a sponsor at the baptism of Nicholas Zinzendorf, founder of the Moravian Church, whose members played a crucial role in the life of John Wesley.
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It is hard to believe that the English-reading world has had to wait 289 years to have an English translation of the most important document of German Pietism! . . . Consisting of three parts, a brief review of ‘corrupt conditions’ prevailing in the evangelical church; a presentation of the possibility of church renewal; and six specific proposals for the renewal of the church . . . Pia Desideria is relevant to contemporary yearnings and efforts, not because its program should be borrowed in toto, but because it witnesses to the recurring need for and possibility of God’s renewal of his people.
—Review and Expositor
Philip Jacob Spener (1635–1705), the “Father of Pietism,” was a German theologian. He was the pastor in the Lutheran Church at Frankfurt and authored numerous works, including Allgemeine Gottesgelehrtheit.