Fröbel, God and the World
Friedrich Fröbel was the son of a priest and raised in the Evangelical belief. For Fröbel, God’s hand could be seen in nature and in the human entity. From his understanding of Christian responsibility, Fröbel took on his share in the solving of society’s problems.
Fröbel described the development of man as “Lebenseinigung” or the unification of existence – the harmonious wrangling of nature, humanity and God. Divinity could be found in every person and it was the responsibility of each individual to consciously express the divinity within.
Fröbel developed a special connection with Martin Luther, referring to him as a great “hero of belief”. As Fröbel disliked memorials made from stone or iron, he created a “living memorial” for the 300th anniversary of Luther’s Reformation, bringing two of Luther’s descendants to his school in Keilhau for further education.
Georg Luther went on to study theology while Ernst Luther, a builder, remained true to his teacher throughout his life, later completing Fröbel’s first gravestone to a design by Wilhelm Middendorff, which featured three of the symbols that came to be associated with Fröbel – the sphere, cylinder and cube.
The themed year for 2016 is dedicated to Fröbel as a devout man, philanthropist and as an example for a peaceful co-existence. His concept of “Lebenseinigung” is as much a theme as peace and violence, and the divinity within us and the world.