STRAUSS, DAVID FRIEDRICH, author of the famous Leben Jesu, was b. on Jan. 27, 1808, at Ludwigsburg, in Wflrtemberg. His education was begun in his native town, and completed in the theological seminaries of Blaubeuren and Tubingen. In 1830, his head filled with Hegel's philosophy and Schleiermacher's theology, he entered on the simple life of a country pastor, but already in the following year he was in 31aulbroun acting as professor in the seminary, and went thence to Berlin for six mouths to continue his Hegelian studies, and hear the lectures of Schleiermacher. Returning to Tubingen in 1832, he became repetent in the theological seminary, and in the next years held also philosophical lectures in the university as a disciple, of Hegel. Known as yet only to a narrow circle, he became all at once a man of mark by the publication, in 1835, of his Life of Jesus critically treated (2 vols. Tilb.; 4th ed. 1840; translated into English, 1846). In this work, written from the point of view of a Hegelian philosopher, and designed only for the learned, he attempted to prove the received gospel history to be a collection of myths gradually formed in the early Christian communities, and, sought by an analytical dissection of each separate narrative, to detect, where it existed, a nucleus of historical truth free from every trace of supernaturalism. The book made a real epoch in theological literature, and produced a violent excitement in and out of Germany, calling forth numberless replies from opponents, frightening many by Its bold disregard of consequences back into the ranks of orthodoxy, and stirring up others to similar investigations. The first consequence to the author was his dismissal from his academical position in Tubingen, and transference to the lyceum of Ludwigsburg. He resigned the new post, however, very soon in 1836, and retired into private life at Stuttgart, to have leisure to defend himself. In 1837 he published his Streitschriften against his opponents; and in 1838 Zwei friedliche Ratter, a more conciliatory exposi tion of his views. Early in 1839 he was called by the board of education in Zitrigh to be professor of dogmatics and church history in the university; but the step raised such a storm of opposition among the public that the proposition had to be dropped, thud even the government itself had to resign in the same year. Thrown back on his lit lerary labors, Strauss, who had published during the year his Charakteristiken and Krill sent forth shortly afterward his second great work, Die Christliche Glaubenslehre, a review of Christian dogma "in its historical development and its struggle with modern science" (Tub. 1840-41). This formed a natural sequel to the purely critical investi gation of the origins of Christianity in the first work. When Strauss, after a long period of silence, next appeared on the literary field, it was no longer as a professed theologian. In 1847 he drew attention by a work entitled, Der Romantiker ituf dem Throne der Cdsclren, oder Julian der Abtrannige, full of direct allusions to the political situation of the day. His fellow-townsmen put him forward as a candidate for the
German revolutionary parliament of 1848, but be was unable to stand against the cleri cal influence brought to bear upon the country-people of the district. His speeches on this occasion were published under the title of Sir Theologicopolitical Popular Addresses, and his native place compensated the defeat by sending him as its representative to the Wiltemberg diet. From this position, however, when he unexpectedly displayed con servative leanings, and incurred a vote of censure from his constituents, he retired before the end of the year. A life of the Swabian poet Schubart (1849), and another biographi cal work. Christian Marlelin,. a Picture of Life and Character from the Present (1851), giving an insight into his own mental development. were his next literary efforts, before another period of silence. His third period of activity was opened in 1858 by a remarkable life of the reformer, Ulrich von Hutten (Eng. trans. 1874), followed up by the publica tion of Hutten's Dialogues in 1800. These books, though primarily of strictly historical interest, were nevertheless calculated for thd present state of religious affairs in Ger many, and containeJ fiercely contemptuous denunciations of the tactics of the reaction-. ary party in the church. A collection of miscellaneous Minor Writings appeared in 1662, and a new Life of Jesus, eomposed for the German people, in 1864 (Eng. trans. 1865).. The title of the work indicates its popular cast, the peculiar features of it being a critical statement of the labors of others in the same field down to the present day, and an attempt to construct a life out of all the positive results that have been gained. The mythical hypothesis is retained, but applied differently. Still later publications; which appeared in 1863 are Der ellri8i118 des Glaubens V. der Jesus der Geschichte (Berlin), a criticism of the newly published lectures of Schleiermacher on the life of Jesus, and a brochure, Die Halben 21. die Gansen, directed against Schenkel and Hengsteuberg. The polemic against Schenkel, professor of theology in Heidelberg, a leader of the liberal party in the church of Baden, and author of the Cho•a•te•bild Jesu (1z..64), arose out of an earlier notice of this book by Strauss. In 1872 he published his last work, Der alte and der neve Glaube, in which he endeavors to prove that Christianity as a system of religious belief is practically dead, and that a new faith must be built up out of a scien tific knowledge of nature. Strauss died in 1874. An edition of his collated works. (Gesammelte Schriften) began to be published in 1876. The literary, critical, and polemi cal powers of Strauss must be pronounced to be of the highest order. No inure effective German prose than his has been written since Lessing.--5ee Life of Strauss, by E. Zeller (Eng. trans. 1874).