The research project is based on the church-historical fact that the theological diversity of Protestantism of the Augsburg Confession was clearly expressed for the first time after Luther's death and under the influence of Melanchthon in the inner-Protestant disputes that broke out after the Augsburg Interim and the Leipzig Diet Draft of 1548. Here, questions were discussed which were of decisive character for the further development of confession and doctrine up to the present day and which set the course for the beginning confessionalization also in the social, political, and ecclesiopolitical field. However, their consistent and adequate indexing, i.e. going beyond that and beyond what continues to have an effect from contemporary polemics into today's handbooks and textbooks, has so far failed due to the complexity and inaccessibility of the sources. The source edition will therefore provide central texts on the adiaphoristic, antinomian, majoristic, synergistic, and osiandric disputes, on the disputes about the anthropological relevance of original sin, and on the understanding of the Lord's Supper and Christology. Thus, such source texts are made accessible, which for the most part have neither been sifted nor evaluated so far. However, they lay the foundation for a proper understanding of the clarification processes and unification efforts in Protestantism, which began both on the princely side and on the theological level.
As a first step, the holdings of the approximately 1300 relevant controversial writings were recorded bibliographically and made accessible in the present database with commentaries and biographical sketches on the theologians and politicians involved. The database is continuously supplemented and updated. At present, the central texts of the respective controversies are being edited in an annotated print edition (if necessary, in excerpts).
Under the title ›Die Debatte um die Wittenberger Abendmahlslehre und Christologie (1570-1574)‹, volume 8 was published by Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht in May 2008 as the first part of the edition series.
In 2010, the same publisher published the first volume of the edition series under the title ›Reaktionen auf das Augsburger Interim. The Interimist Controversy 1548/49‹. From now on, the remaining edition volumes will be published at regular intervals of two years.