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Christian Hermann Weisse

Christian Hermann Weisse (August 10, 1801 - September 19, 1866), German Protestant religious philosopher, was born at Leipzig.

He studied at Leipzig[?], and at first belonged to the Hegelian school of philosophy. In course of time, however, his ideas approximating to those of Schelling in his later years, he elaborated with IHV Fichte a new speculative theism, and became an opponent of Hegel's pantheistic idealism. In his addresses on the future of the Protestant Church (Reden über die Zukunft der evangeliscken Kirche, 1849), he finds the essence of Christianity in Jesus's conceptions of the heavenly Father, the Son of Man and the kingdom of Haaven. In his work on philosophical dogmatics (Philosophische Dogmatik oder Philosophie des Christentums, 3 vols. 1855-1862) he seeks, by idealizing all the Christian dogmas, to reduce them to natural postulates of reason or conscience.

Weisse was the first theologian to propose the two-source hypothesis (1838), which is still held by a majority of biblical scholars today. In the two-source hypothesis, the Gospel of Mark was the first gospel to be written and was one of two sources to the Gospel of Matthew and the Gospel of Luke, the other source being the Q document, a lost collection of Jesus's sayings.

His other works include:

  • Die Idee der Gottheit (1833)
  • Die philosophische Geheimlehre von der Unsterblichkeit des inenschlichen Individuums (1834)
  • Bitchlein von der Auferstehung (1836)
  • Die evangelische Geschichte, kritisch und philosophisch bearbeitet (2 vols., 1838)
  • Die Evangelienfrage in ihrem gegenwärtigen Stadium (1856)
  • Psychologie und Unsterblichkeitslehre (edited by R Seydel, 1869).

See O Pfleiderer, Development of Theology (1890); and cf. R Seydel, Christ. Herm. Weisse (1866), and Religion und Wissenschaft (1887).

This entry was originally from the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.

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