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(4,554 words)

Author(s): Byrne, Peter | Hornig, Gottfried | Pailin, David Arthur | Walters, Kerry S.
[German Version] I. Philosophy of Religion – II. Dogmatics – III. Europe – IV. North America I. Philosophy of Religion Deism has a current and a historical sense in theology and philosophy of religion. Its current sense, dating from the end of the 18th century, denotes belief in a first cause who made the world but no longer exercises any providential control over it. In its historical sense it refers…

Biester, Johann Erich

(167 words)

Author(s): Hornig, Gottfried
[German Version] (Nov 17, 1749, Lübeck – Feb 20, 1816, Berlin) studied law, modern languages, history and literature in Göttingen, gained his doctorate in law and then after a teaching position at the pedagogical institute in Bützow became secretary of the Prussian minister baron v. Zedlich, and then librarian at the royal library. Together with Friedrich Gedicke, in 1783 Biester founded the Berlinische Monatsschrift, an influential organ of the German Enlightenment, whose sole editor he was after 1791. He collaborated on …

Corrodi, Heinrich

(190 words)

Author(s): Hornig, Gottfried
[German Version] (Jul 31, 1752, Zürich – Sep 14, 1793, Zürich) studied theology in Halle and Leipzig, and from 1786 was professor of natural law and ethics at ¶ Zürich Gymnasium. As a student of J.S. Semler he supported a historical-critical theology, affirming the presence of myths in the Bible. Out of his own research there grew his Kritische Geschichte des Chiliasmus [Critical history of millenarianism] (initially anonymous, 2 vols. 1781; in 4 vols. 1794). Corrodi was the prime representative of Neology (Enlightenment: II, 4.c) in …

Büsching, Anton Friedrich

(135 words)

Author(s): Hornig, Gottfried
[German Version] (Sep 27, 1724, Stadthagen – May 28, 1793, Berlin). As a Lutheran theologian and senior consistorial councilor of Berlin (1766), Büsching may be considered a representative of neology (Enlightenment, Rationalism). He drew up a “biblical theology” in competition with the dominant theology of his day (1758) and took part in the debate over the va…