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Zinzendorf, Nikolaus Ludwig, Count von (1700–1760)

  1. Craig D. Atwood

Published Online: 25 NOV 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9780470670606.wbecc1447

The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization

How to Cite

Atwood, C. D. 2011. Zinzendorf, Nikolaus Ludwig, Count von (1700–1760). The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 25 NOV 2011


Nikolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf was one of the most provocative figures of modern Christianity. He was influential in the areas of global missions, ecumenism, community formation, hymnody, hermeneutics, and education. The son of aristocratic parents closely connected to the Pietist leader Philip Jakob Spener, Zinzendorf was sent to the Halle Pedagogium at age 10. There he was mentored by another Pietist leader, August Hermann Francke. When he turned 16, Zinzendorf attended the University of Wittenberg. His formal studies focused on the law and state service, but he also pursued theological study and church history privately. He was devoted to the writings of the young Luther. Zinzendorf spent his Wanderjahr making contact with the Mennonite and Jewish communities in the Netherlands, and established a close relationship with the Catholic primate of France, Archbishop Noailles. This ecumenical experience shaped his attitude toward the universal church for the rest of his career. When he came of age in 1721, he purchased the estate of Berthelsdorf in Upper Lusatia (Saxony) from his grandmother, and entered into the service of the King of Saxony.


  • Zinzendorf, Nikolaus Ludwig, count von (1700–1760);
  • ecumenical experience, shaping attitudes;
  • religious revival, associated with a holy communion service;
  • Zinzendorf’s international community, the Brüdergemeine