Strauss, David Friedrich (18081874)

Strauss, David Friedrich, German theological and biblical critic, born at Ludwigsburg, in Würtemberg; studied in the Theological Institute of Tübingen under Baur, was ordained in 1830, and went in 1834 to Berlin to attend the lectures of Hegel and Schleiermacher, and returning to Tübingen gave lectures on Hegel in 1832, he the while maturing his famous theory which, published in 1835, made his name known over the whole theological world; this was his “Leben Jesu,” the first volume of which appeared that year, in which he maintained that, while the life of Christ had a historical basis, all the supernatural element in it and the accounts of it were simply and purely mythical, and the fruit of the idea of His person as Divine which at the foundation of the Christian religion took possession of the mind of the Church; the book proved epoch-making, and the influence of it, whether as accepted or as rejected, affected, as it still does, the whole theology of the Church; the effect of it was a shock to the whole Christian world, for it seemed as if with the denial of the supernatural the whole Christian system fell to pieces; and its author found the entire Christian world opposed to him, and he was cast out of the service of the Church; this, however, did not daunt his ardour, for he never abandoned the ground he had taken up; his last work was entitled “Der Alte und der Neue Glaube,” in which he openly repudiates the Christian religion, and assigns the sovereign authority in spiritual matters to science and its handmaid art. In a spiritual reference the whole contention of Strauss against Christianity is a tissue of irrelevancies, for the spirit of it, which is its life and essence, is true whatever conclusion critics in their seraphic wisdom may come to regarding the facts (18081874).

Definition taken from The Nuttall Encyclopædia, edited by the Reverend James Wood (1907)

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Stratford-on-Avon
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Strathfieldsaye
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Strauss, David Friedrich
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