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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 pre…

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…

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 180…

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 …

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 di…

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 …

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

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 deaco…

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 promine…

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 …

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. …

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…


(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…


(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…