Strauss, David Friedrich

▪ German philosopher
born Jan. 27, 1808, Ludwigsburg, Württemberg [Germany]
died Feb. 8, 1874, Ludwigsburg

      controversial German-Protestant philosopher, theologian, and biographer whose use of dialectical philosophy, emphasizing social evolution through the inner struggle of opposing forces, broke new ground in biblical interpretation by explaining the New Testament accounts of Christ mythologically.

      Influenced during his studies at the universities of Tübingen and Berlin (1825–31) by the doctrine of G.W.F. Hegel, Strauss proposed a developmental theory of formative Christianity in which the interaction of inherent, conflicting forces and interpretations led to a higher religious synthesis. Such an analysis inspired his first major work, Das Leben Jesu kritisch bearbeitet, 2 vol. (1835–36; The Life of Jesus Critically Examined), in which he denied the historical value of the Gospels and rejected their supernatural claims, describing them as “historical myth,” or the unintentionally created, legendary embodiment by 2nd-century writers of the primitive Christian community's popular hopes.

      The ensuing furor among German Protestants prompted Strauss to mitigate his attack by commenting that such criticism did not essentially destroy Christianity, because all religions were based on ideas, not facts. This apology, however, did not avert his exclusion from further teaching either at Tübingen or at the University of Zürich, where, in 1839, he was debarred from a professorship he had been invited to assume.

      In retirement from academic theological circles for more than 20 years, he resided in Ludwigsburg and Darmstadt, where he produced several biographies of political and intellectual figures and held political office as provincial legislator. His religious odyssey closed with the publication of Der alte und der neue Glaube (1872; The Old Faith and the New), in which he ventured to replace Christianity with scientific materialism, a personalized form of Darwinism. Criticized for an inadequate understanding of the biblical and theological texts he criticized, Strauss nevertheless not only influenced 20th-century liberal and eschatological schools of biblical thought but also challenged subsequent scholars with the search for the “historical Jesus.”

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Strauss, David Friedrich — ( 1808 1874 )    German theologian and historian    David Friedrich Strauss was born on January 27, 1808, in Ludwigsburg (near Stuttgart), Germany. He attended a seminary (1821 25) at Blaubeuren, where he met Ferdinand Christian Baur, the most… …   Encyclopedia of Protestantism

  • Strauss, David Friedrich — (1808–74)    Theologian.    Strauss was born in Ludwigsburg, Germany. He was a student of F.C. baur in Blaubeuren and he also studied in Tübingen and Berlin. He is primarily remembered for his Leben Jesu, in which he argued that the supernatural… …   Who’s Who in Christianity

  • 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… …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Strauss, David Friedrich — ► (1808 74) Teólogo y filósofo alemán. Perteneció a la escuela hegeliana. Autor de Vida de Jesús …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Strauss, David Friedrich — (1808–74) German theologian, pupil of F. C. Baur [[➝ Baur, Ferdinand Christian]] in Tübingen. His Life of Jesus, translated into English by the novelist George Eliot, suggested that there was little of historical value in the gospels, which were… …   Dictionary of the Bible

  • STRAUSS, David Friedrich — (1808 1874)    radical German theologian and one of the founders of BIBLICAL CRITICISM. His book The Life of Jesus (1835) caused a storm by its denial of the supernatural and his use of MYTH, which he defined as a story contrary to the laws of… …   Concise dictionary of Religion

  • David Friedrich Strauss — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda David Friedrich Strauss David Friedrich Strauss (Ludwigsburg, 27 de enero de 1808 8 de febrero de 1874). Teólogo y filósofo alemán. Discípulo de Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel y Ferdinand Christian Baur …   Wikipedia Español

  • David Friedrich Strauss — David Strauss Pour les articles homonymes, voir Strauss. David Strauss David Friedrich Strauss, né à Ludwigsburg, près de Stuttgart le 27 janvier 1808 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • David Friedrich Strauß — David Strauss Pour les articles homonymes, voir Strauss. David Strauss David Friedrich Strauss, né à Ludwigsburg, près de Stuttgart le 27 janvier 1808 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • David Friedrich Strauss — David Strauß David Friedrich Strauß (* 27. Januar 1808 in Ludwigsburg; † 8. Februar 1874 ebendort) war ein deutscher Schriftsteller, Philosoph und Theologe. Inhaltsverzeichnis …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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