News


On Saturday, December 2, at 3:25 PM, ten additional “Stolpersteine” (Stumbling Stones) will be embedded in the sidewalk in front of “Haus Nazareth” as a continuing memorial to the Jewish residents of the Haus murdered in the Holocaust. If you can make it to Berlin, please join us! The kaddish will probably be said and men are asked to please wear a hat or “Kippah” [Yarmulkah] as a sign of respect.

Dr. Clark Peddicord’s talks are now online: “Overview on the history of ‘Christian’ Europe” (in German as an mp3 here)  and “Perspectives on contemporary society” (in German as an mp3 here). They were part of a weekend seminar on “Nun sag, wie hast du’s mit der Religion”, Konrad-Adenauer Foundation, September 29-Oktober 1, 2017 in Tübingen.


Philosophia is a community of Christians from several nations who are committed to helping open new and creative paths to living faith for people from all cultures.

Our Story


Vision

There is a huge hole at the heart of our post-Christian and increasingly individualistic Western society: a breakdown of community between people and with God. Most people’s daily experience in family, work and church is far from the hopes that the word “community” raises. Many are beginning to doubt whether human relationships can work at all: everyone has many “contacts” but there is a real poverty of genuine relationships. Many also doubt whether true “community” is possible; they substitute their clique for it and keep a cool distance to others. Yet, there is a deep hunger for open and honest relationships – but for many, it’s hard to imagine how that could possibly work in day-to-day life.

A transforming social dynamic began in the first Christian fellowships: people came together there and lived in community in spite of very different life situations; they practiced spiritual equality and fellowship. The first churches were places of refuge in the midst of a very hard and often cruel daily life. They were not only marked by their new and dynamic ideas but also by the deep reality of their common life. People found in them acceptance, peace and security – a spiritual home.

We want to help create places from which the bright light of hope radiates into the darkness of the world.
(Friedrich von Bodelschwingh)

 

We want to

… meet each other as people with histories – listen to one another’s stories, ask questions, and learn from one another. We want to put our stories together like pieces of a beautiful mosaic.

… gain hope – to overcome the barriers of our loneliness; to watch a new world being born.

… to imagine a new future – can our histories and stories – when put together – change the course of history?

Why the name?

“Philosophia” is the ancient Greek word for “love of wisdom”. (That was the original meaning of the English word “philosophy”).
Aristotle, the great teacher of the ancient world, said that “all philosophy begins with a sense of wonder”. That can also be a place where faith begins. We dream of a fellowship of friends who share a common wonder at the person of Jesus, their Master and Teacher, a company of the committed whose imagination and hearts have been captured by his story and what he did for all humanity.

We dream of pursuing an alternative way of doing “church”, of a fellowship whose roots are deep in early Messianic Judaism and vintage Christianity, a band of believers who want to grow as a community of faith, to listen carefully to each other and be open to multiple points of view while anchored firmly to the foundation.

We dream of a band of pilgrims who are together on a spiritual quest, making their way to the “heavenly city” and taking many they meet along the way with them.

We want to imagine a new future – we dream of being a workshop for the future! Could our stories – brought together – change the course of history?

We want to “take thoughts captive” for Christ and challenge the thinking or our time from a circle of faith.

Milestones

27. May 2004
Founding of Philosophia International in Boise, Idaho, U.S.A.

4. December 2005
Founding of Philosophia Europa e. V. in Berlin, the “younger sister”of Philosophia International.

28. December 2005
Signing of the contract for the purchase of “Haus Nazareth” in Berlin from the former owners, a Roman Catholic community of religious sisters in Steglitz.

1. May 2006
Philosophia Europa e.V. moves into “Haus Nazareth”; the remodeling of the Haus begins.

2006-2013
Remodeling “Haus Nazareth”, beginnings of the student work.

Team


Dr. Clark and Ann Peddicord

After graduating with degrees from the University of Idaho in Biological Science (Clark) and Education (Ann), the newlyweds went with “Campus Crusade for Christ” (now known as “Cru”) for a three year mission to England. Returning then to the U.S., they studied theology in Chicago for four years and then returned to Europe (after a one year teaching assignment with Cru in Asia and Africa). They came to Germany in the summer of 1975 and began language study in Freiburg (Breisgau); they went on several years later to lead the “Campus für Christus” work in Germany for seven years.

Following that, Clark spent 5 years working with graduate theology students at Marburg University. In 1991, they joined an ecumenical community for ten years, where their two daughters, Seanne and Charissa, spent most of their childhood. During that time, while working in the leadership board of the community, Clark completed his doctorate at the Justus Liebig University in Giessen. The topic was “Immanuel Kant’s Critique of Miracles” (in German) in the boundary area between philosophy of science and philosophy of religion.

Since 2006, they have been working with Haus Nazareth in Berlin. Their two married daughters and grandchildren live in the U.S.A.

Board of Philosophia International

Dr. Clark Peddicord, President

Pastor Tucker Maile, Treasurer

Tim Gordon, Secretary

Tom Velasco, Officer

Haus Nazareth


History

Haus Nazareth was built toward the end of the 1800’s by a Jewish businessman from Berlin. The building was expanded in 1909. The earliest building plans stem from that time. Back then it was called “Landhaus Steinberg”. After the First World War the Haus was donated to the Jewish community in Berlin and became a home for the blind until the rise of the Nazi dictatorship. Synagogue services were also held in the Haus, in a large meeting room in the east wing of what is now the ground floor.

After the dispossession of the Haus by the Nazis, it was occupied for a brief time by the Gestapo until it was bombed (for which we thank God!). After the war was over, it was purchased by a small group of Roman Catholic nuns and became their living and ministry center for the next fifty years as they worked with orphans, street children and needy families. By the end of 2005, it was clear to the Sisters that their time of active ministry was ending; they began praying that fellow believers would purchase Haus Nazareth (they had to sell it to provide for their last years).

At the end of 2005, they spoke with a doctor and his wife whose house bordered on their property. The physician contacted Clark and Ann Peddicord. God spoke clearly to the Philosophia team in the U.S. and, soon after, Philosophia Europa was established in Germany as an independent non-profit organization and the Haus was purchased as a center for the ecumenical and missionary work in Berlin. Money for the down payment was raised by donations and private loans. Over the following years, God led others to the Berlin community and they helped support the project. Without them, it would never have survived.

Remodelling Haus Nazareth (2008)

In 2011, tension began surfacing in the core team over the direction and purpose of the Haus. 2013-2015 was our season of great darkness: the Philosophia Europa team went through a wrenching time of division, trial and failure. We sought outside mediation and help; it proved unsuccessful and two of the couples in the core team left Philosophia.

God’s hand protected and saved the original vision he had given us, though; by 2016 a refinancing of the mortgage on the Haus was possible and this led to a repayment of key private loans; there was renewal and awakening in the remaining core team and student work. New friends joined the team.

Life in the Haus

Haus Nazareth is the living and learning center of spiritual life for Philosophia Europa. Currently, 13 students live there with Dr. Clark and Ann Peddicord. There are frequent discipleship and outreach meetings in their apartment.

The Haus is currently the office and congregational meeting place for four churches.

The seminar and fellowship room (the so-called “Volksküche”), the garden and the sun porch on the 3rd floor provide space for fellowship and teaching for all the residents of the Haus – and are the frequent site for Bible studies, seminars, parties, or just to find a quiet corner.

Garden community

Community life is enriched by the contacts and discussions stimulated by international guests.

The ground floor and basement are home to a medical office as well as a pilates-therapy practice.

Activities


Mentoring for students and others

Weekly meetings of the “Sofagroup-Steglitz” (part of the Berlin Projekt church) take place with sharing and in-depth Bible study.

Regular Bible studies and personal counseling take place with Dr. Clark and Ann Peddicord.

There are “salons” and open evenings dealing with vital spiritual and social topics.

Recent Salons

October 2017
Dr. John and Patricia Fisher – From Hebrew Christianity to Messianic Judaism
August 2017
Eckehard Scharfschwerdt – Christians in China
November 2016
Simeon B. – Impressions of North Africa: Interaction with Muslims

Salon with Simeon

Selected lectures from Dr. Clark Peddicord

“Überblick über die Geschichte des sogenannten Christlichen Abendlandes” und “Gesellschaft heute wahrnehmen”, Kompakt- und Aufbauseminars“Nun sag, wie hast du’s mit der Religion”, Konrad-Adenauer- Stiftung, 29. September-1. Oktober 2017, Tübingen
“Leben in Begegnung und/oder Selbstbestimmung”, Semesteranfangsfreizeit, Campus Connect Berlin, 11./12. November 2016
“Christen in der Großstadt”, PlanB christliche Studentenwerke, Berlin, 22. Oktober 2016
“Die Evolution von Darwins Gottesglauben”, Studenten für Christus, Berlin, 24. Mai 2016

Science and faith don’t contradict each other – they belong together

Spirituality


Life Together

The culture of the West is turning again to the spiritual dimension. Many are seeking answers. But few are finding paths to our own spiritual roots. In post-Christian Europe (and, increasingly, in parts of America) hardly anyone knows what being a Christian really means and how to live that out. What is the essence of a Faith that has fascinated millions of people over the centuries? How do Christians live together?

“I see myself as if I were standing on the edge of a river and want to build a bridge to the people on the other side – the image comes from the beginning of Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy’s book about the future. In it, Rosenstock explains that when one wants to be truly human, one pours one’s whole heart into the incarnation of one’s soul on the earth. But, he explains, an individual can only find the courage to do that if he or she can be freed from the curse of loneliness. And that is the key question: how can the curse of loneliness be lifted? It can never be overcome, he explains, with careful, little steps. The chasm between people can only be bridged by an act of trust, by an infinitely huge effort – like when one throws a rope across a river and then, inch-by- inch builds a bridge after it. And that is only possible through a community.”
(Dr. Clark Peddicord)

Two principles of life in community are especially important to us:

Listening to each other

“Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.”
(James 1:19 ESV)

Aptitude for Conflict

“Having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil.”
(Ephesian 4:25-27 ESV)

Resources


Lectures and Sermons of Dr. Clark Peddicord in English

“What is the church and why should I care?”,  30. April, 2017, Calvary Boise, Idaho

“The Evolution of Darwin’s Religious Faith”, 15. Mai 2017, Boise State University, Idaho

“The Living God”, 21. August 2016, Calvary Boise, Idaho

Books by Dr. Clark Peddicord

In English

Jesus, the powerful saviour (Life of Christ growth guide) 1984

Product Details

Jesus, the powerful servant (Life of Christ growth guide) 1984

Product Details

In German 

Die Wunderkritik Immanuel Kants  Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen 2001 (doctoral thesis in German)

For an overview of all other publication click here 

Alumni


The Alumni-Network of “Haus Nazareth” enables former students and residents to keep contact with and support each other.

They can also participate in projects, salons and events at the Haus.

Through this, the Haus community is expanding to a network in Germany, Europe and the rest of the world.

Have you lived in Haus Nazareth?

If so, please complete the contact form below and help us keep in touch with
you!