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Philip Schaff

Philip Schaff (January 1, 1819-1893), American theologian and church historian, was born in Chur, Switzerland.

He was educated at the gymnasium of Stuttgart, and at the universities of Tübingen[?], Halle and Berlin, where he was successively influenced by Baur and Schmid, by Tholuck and Julius Müller, by Strauss and, above all, Neander. In 1842 he was Privatdozent in the university of Berlin, and in 1843 he was called to become professor of church history and Biblical literature in the German Reformed Theological Seminary of Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, then the only seminary of that church in America.

On his journey he stayed six months in England and met Pusey and other Tractarians[?]. His inaugural address on The Principle of Protestantism, delivered in German at Reading, Pennsylvania, in 1844, and published in German with an English version by JW Nevin was a pioneer work in English in the field of symbolics. His History of the Christian Church, already mentioned, resembled Neander's work, though less biographical, and was pictorial rather than philosophical. He wrote, besides, biographies, catechisms and hymnals for children, manuals of religious verse, lectures and essays on Dante, etc.

His son, David Schley Schaff (1852-?), was professor of church history in Lane Theological Seminary in 1897-1903, and after 1903 in Western Theological Seminary at Allegheny, Pa.[?]. He wrote a Commentary on the Book of Acts (1882) and a Life of Philip Schaff (New York, 1897).

This entry was originally from the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.



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