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(1,185 words)

Author(s): Sallmann, Martin | Kuhn, Thomas K.
[German Version] I. City and Diocese – II. University I. City and Diocese The beginnings of the city and diocese are unclear. The name “Basilia” for the settlement at the bend of the Rhine is first mentioned around 374. The earliest evidence of Christian presence comes from the fort of Kaiseraugst, which lies not far from Basel. Only in the Carolingian period, from 740, is Basel attested as the per…

Zimmermann, Johann Hans Jakob

(271 words)

Author(s): Kuhn, Thomas K.
[German Version] (Dec 10, 1695, Zürich – Nov 30, 1756, Zürich), the son of a Zürich surgeon, rejected the dominant Reformed orthodoxy even while he was receiving his theological training in Zürich. His interest in representatives of “rational” orthodoxy (S. Werenfels, J.A. Turrettini, J.F. Ostervald)and Arminians (P. van Limborch and J. Clericus)raised suspicions of Arminianism. In 1718 he was accepted into the Zürich clericus, but he was sent to Bremen to be trained in the theology of J. Cocceius…

Ostervald, Jean Frédéric

(263 words)

Author(s): Kuhn, Thomas K.
[German Version] (Nov 24, 1663, Neuchâtel – Apr 14, 1747, Neuchâtel), son of a Neuchâtel minister. Ostervald studied theology in Orléans, Paris, and Saumur, graduated in 1683, became a deacon in 1686, and in 1699 a Reformed minister in Neuchâtel. On his own initiative he taught students embarking on theological studies, his goal being a comprehensive reformation. He was considered the most influential Neuchâtel theologian and preacher of his time. His reforms focused especially on dogmatics and et…

Suicer, Johann Caspar

(179 words)

Author(s): Kuhn, Thomas K.
[German Version] (Hans Kaspar Schwei[t]zer; Jun 26, 1619 or 1620, Frauenfeld – Dec 29, 1684, Zürich), Reformed theologian and philologist. The son of a pastor, Suicer was educated in Zürich, Saumur, and Montauban; in 1643 he was appointed pastor in Basadingen, in Thurgovia. In 1644 he moved to Zürich, initially as a teacher, then after 1646 as superintendent of the seminary and professor of Hebrew. In 1649 he was appointed professor of catechetics and in 1656 professor of Latin and Greek at the Co…

Heß, Johann Jakob

(194 words)

Author(s): Kuhn, Thomas K.
[German Version] (Oct 21, 1741, Zürich – May 29, 1828, Zürich). After studying theology in Zürich, where he belonged to the circle of Enlightenment scholars around Johann Jakob Bodmer (1698–1783) and J.J. Breitinger, and after completing his curacy, Heß worked as a private Bible scholar. In 1767/1768 his recognition of the inner coherence of biblical history caused him to undergo a theological reorientation. He became second priest at the Fraumünster Church in Zürich in 1777, priest at the Großmün…

Sulzer, Simon

(214 words)

Author(s): Kuhn, Thomas K.
[German Version] (Sep 22, 1508, Schattenhalb, Canton Bern – Jun 22, 1585, Basel), important Swiss theologian.After studying in Bern, Lucerne, Straßburg (Strasbourg), and Basel, where he met B. Haller, O. Myconius, M. Bucer, W. Capito, and S. Grynaeus, he served initially as a teacher in Bern. In 1537 he received his M.A. at Basel. After 1536 he displayed a preference for Lutheran theology and advocated a Swiss-German confessional union. In 1538, against growing resistance, he attempted to introduc…

Polanus von Polansdorf, Amandus

(200 words)

Author(s): Kuhn, Thomas K.
[German Version] (Dec 16, 1561, Troppau/Silesia – Jul 18, 1610, Basel), attended school in Breslau and studied in Tübingen (1583), Basel (1583), and Geneva (1584), where T. Beza contributed to his theological training. After long activity as an educator, he gained a doctorate in 1590 at Basel, and served among the Moravian Brethren. In 1596 he became professor of Old Testament studies in Basel. A Calvinist first raised as a Lutheran, he was the versatile close collaborator, and son-in-law, of J.J.…

Pfenninger, Johann Konrad

(208 words)

Author(s): Kuhn, Thomas K.
[German Version] (Nov 15, 1747, Zürich – Sep 11, 1792, Zürich), son of a pastor, received schooling and university education in Zürich. He was ordained in 1767, and became a deacon in 1775; in 1778, after the departure of J.C. Lavater, he became first pastor at the Waisenhaus (orphanage). In 1786, Pfenninger followed his friend Lavater as deacon at St. Peter’s, Zürich. The most outstanding among his many publications are Jüdische Briefe oder eine Messiade in Prosa [Jewish letters or a messiad in prose]; 12 vols., 1783–1790), a New Testament history in the form of letter…

Kerner, Justinus Andreas Chistian

(170 words)

Author(s): Kuhn, Thomas K.
[German Version] (Sep 18, 1786, Ludwigsburg – Feb 21, 1862, Weinsberg). Kerner studied medicine in Tübingen from 1804 to 1808; from 1810 to 1850 he worked in Württemberg as a popular Romantic physician and medical writer. Kerner's poetry, which he began publishing in 1807/1808, made him the focus of a circle of Swabian poets. He was also interested in animal magnetism, somnambulism, siderism, and occult phenomena, and tried to introduce parapsychology into his medical practice. In addition to his poetry, his novel Reiseschatten (1811) and his occultist Die Seherin von Prevorst (1829;…

Simler, Josias

(210 words)

Author(s): Kuhn, Thomas K.
[German Version] (or Simmler; Nov 6, 1530, Kappel – Jul 2, 1576, Zürich), Reformed theologian, mathematician, astronomer, and historian. He was educated in Kappel, where his father Peter had been prior of the Cistercian convent, and in Zürich with his godfather and later father-in-law H. Bullinger before completing university study in 1546/1547 at Basel and Straßburg (Strasbourg). After ordination in 1549, he served as a temporary pastor; in 1552 he was appointed pastor in Zollikon. While there he…

Stolz, Johann Jakob

(279 words)

Author(s): Kuhn, Thomas K.
[German Version] (Dec 31, 1753, Basadingen, near Zürich – Mar 12, 1821, Zürich), Reformed theologian. The son of Friedrich Salomon, a master shoemaker, and Judith Hofstätter, he received his training in Zürich and was ordained in 1774. After employment as a tutor in Weinfelden (Thurgau), in 1781 on the recommendation of J.K. Lavater he was appointed second Reformed pastor in Offenbach am Main; on the strength of his excellent reputation, in 1784 he was appointed preacher at the Martinskirche in Br…

Köstlin, Julius

(195 words)

Author(s): Kuhn, Thomas K.
[German Version] (May 17, 1826, Stuttgart – May 12, 1902, Halle) studied philosophy and theology in Tübingen from 1844 to 1848, became academic tutor at the Tübingen Stift in 1850 (Tübingen: II), second university preacher and associate professor in Göttingen in 1855, professor of systematic theology in Breslau in 1860, and finally in Halle in 1870, where he held influential church offices. Influenced by L. v. Ranke's historiography, Köstlin was one of the most prominent 19th-century scholars conducting research on Luther and published both a theology of Luther (1863; 21901; repr. 1…

Ulmer, Johann Konrad

(103 words)

Author(s): Kuhn, Thomas K.
[German Version] (Mar 31, 1519, Schaffhausen – Aug 7, 1600, Schaffhausen), Protestant theologian and Reformer. After studying theology at Basel, Straßburg (Strasbourg), and Wittenberg, on the recommendation of Luther and Melanchthon he began working in 1543 to introduce the Reformation in Lohr am Main, the comital seat, where he composed a church order (no longer extant). In 1566 he became a pastor at the Schaffhausen minster; in 1559 he was promoted to antistes. Ulmer championed continuing the Re…

Wyttenbach, Daniel

(266 words)

Author(s): Kuhn, Thomas K.
[German Version] (Jun 26, 1706, Worb, near Bern – Jun 29, 1779, Marburg), Reformed theologian. The son of a pastor, Wyttenbach studied at the Acad-¶ emy in Bern, where he showed an early interest in the philosophy of G.W. Leibniz and C. Wolff. After ordination in 1732, he initially assisted his father in Worb; in the course of an educational tour, he came to Marburg in 1735 to hear Wolff ’s lectures. On his return, he once more assisted his father; after several unsuccessful applications, in 1740 he was appointed deacon at the Church of the Holy Spirit in Bern. His three-volume Tentamen theologi…


(391 words)

Author(s): Kuhn, Thomas K.
[German Version] 1. Johann Friedrich (1708, Bern – May 1775, Bern). After studying in Brugg, Bern, and Marburg, Stapfer served from 1738 to 1740 as a military chaplain in Waldstätten (Bern) and from 1740 to 1750 as a tutor and garrison chaplain in Oberdießbach (near Thun). From 1750 to 1775 he served there as pastor, succeeding S. Lutz. He turned down offers of a chair at Marburg. After 1743 he published a final systematic treatise of “polemics”, his Institutiones theologiae polemicae univesae (5 vols., 1743–1747); his other major works include his dogmatic Grundlegung zur wahren Relig…


(4,006 words)

Author(s): Hoheisel, Karl | Kuhlemann, Frank-Michael | Kuhn, Thomas K. | Aebischer-Crettol, Ebo | Honecker, Martin
[German Version] I. Religious Studies Suicide is the violent taking of one’s own life by one’s own hand; it also includes voluntary euthanasia or assisted suicide. Cultural traditions vary greatly regarding the admissibility of suicide. In tribal cultures, the aged and infirm in the Kalahari or other extremely arid regions ask their relatives for death. Kings and chiefs in African tribal cultures must kill themselves when the fortunes of war turn against them or they grow frail. To avoid dying in bed…


(178 words)

Author(s): Kuhn, Thomas K.
[English Version] Simler, Josias (auch Simmler; 6.11.1530 Kappel – 2.7.1576 Zürich); ref. Theologe, Mathematiker, Astronom und Geschichtsforscher. Ausgebildet in Kappel, wo sein Vater Peter Prior des Zisterzienserklosters gewesen war, und bei seinem Paten und späteren Schwiegervater H. Bullinger in Zürich, bevor er 1546/47 in Basel und Straßburg studierte. Nach der Ordination 1549 wirkte er als Aushilfe, wurde 1552 Pfarrer in Zollikon und versah daneben bis 1557 die Professur für ntl. Theol. am Car…


(195 words)

Author(s): Kuhn, Thomas K.
[English Version] Sulzer, Simon (22.9.1508 Schattenhalb, Kanton Bern – 22.6.1585 Basel); bedeutender schweizerischer Theologe. Nach Ausbildung in Bern, Luzern, Straßburg und Basel, die ihn mit B. Haller, O. Myconius, M. Bucer, W. Capito und S. Grynaeus zusammenführte, wirkte S. zunächst als Lehrer in Bern (1537 M.A. in Basel). Seit 1536 zeigte er Vorlieben für die luth. Theol. und setzte sich für eine konfessionelle Union von Schweizern und Deutschen ein. 1538 versuchte er in Bern gegen wachsende W…

Polanus von Polansdorf

(176 words)

Author(s): Kuhn, Thomas K.
[English Version] Polanus von Polansdorf, Amandus (16.12.1561 Troppau/Schlesien – 18.7.1610 Basel); Schulbesuch in Breslau und Studium in Tübingen (1583), Basel (1583) und Genf (1584), wo ihn Th. Beza theol. prägte; lange Tätigkeit als Erzieher; 1590 Promotion in Basel, Dienste bei den mährischen Brüdern, 1596 Prof. für AT in Basel. Der zunächst luth. erzogene Calvinist und vielseitig begabte engste Mitarbeiter und Schwiegersohn von J.J. Grynaeus wurde wiederholt Rektor der Universität und trat v.a. …


(94 words)

Author(s): Kuhn, Thomas K.
[English Version] (von Ulm), Johann Conrad (31.3.1519 Schaffhausen – 7.8.1600 ebd.), ev. Theologe und Reformator. Nach der theol. Ausbildung in Basel, Straßburg und Wittenberg wirkte U. seit 1543 auf Empfehlung von Luther und Melanchthon als Reformator in der Residenzstadt Lohr am Main und verfaßte eine nicht mehr erhaltene Kirchenordnung. 1566 Pfarrer am Münster in Schaffhausen, 1559 Antistes. U. setzte sich für die Fortführung der Reformation und v.a. für die Katechese ein. Theol. vermittelte U. zw. Luther, Melanchthon und Zwingli. Thomas K. Kuhn Bibliography G. Opp (BBKL …
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