David Friedrich Strauss


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Strauss, David Friedrich

 

Born Jan. 27, 1808, in Ludwigsburg; died there Feb. 8, 1874. German philosopher, a Young Hegelian.

Strauss studied in Tübingen from 1825 to 1831 and was influenced by F. C. Baur (see alsoTÜBINGEN SCHOOL). In his The Life of Jesus Critically Examined (vols. 1–2, 1835–36; Russian translation, books 1–2, 1907), which began the “process of the decomposition of the Hegelian system” (K. Marx and F. Engels, Soch., 2nd ed., vol. 3, p. 15), Strauss rejected the historical reliability of the evangelical legends and examined them as myths created by the spiritual substance of the era. Strauss regarded Jesus Christ as a historical person and separated him from the “eternal” idea of god-man as a foundation of Christian faith. In the second edition of The Life of Jesus (1864) and in The Old Faith and the New (1872; Russian translation, 1906), Strauss followed L. Feuerbach in preaching a pantheistic religion based on the feeling of human dependence on universal law.

WORKS

Gesammelte Schriften, vols. 1–12. Bonn, 1876–78.
In Russian translation:
“Perepiska mezhdu E. Renanom i D. Shtrausom.” In E. Lavele, Sovremennaia Prussiia v politicheskom i ekonomichesk̂om omosheniiakh. St. Petersburg, 1870.
Ul’rikhfon Gutten. St. Petersburg, 1896.
Chudesa Khrista. St. Petersburg [1907].
Vol’ter. St. Petersburg, 1909.

REFERENCES

Zeller, E. D. F. Strauss in seinem Leben und seinen Schriften geschildert. Bonn, 1874.
Hausrath, A. D. F. Strauss und Theologie seiner Zeil, vols. 1–2. Heidelberg, 1876–78.
Ziegler, T. D. F. Strauss, parts 1–2. Strassburg, 1908.
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He covers basic facts about the gospels, miracles and David Friedrich Strauss, the virgin birth, the resurrection, whether Mark is history or dogma, the sayings gospel Q, the prelude to Jesus' public ministry, and Jesus as apocalyptic prophet.
Hurth makes an excellent case that New England's liberal Christians fully grasped the unsettling biblical criticism and naturalistic psychology of figures such as David Friedrich Strauss and Ludwig Feuerbach.
This implication finds expression in Hegel's disciple David Friedrich Strauss, whose interpretation of Hegel is well known.
To the contrary, argues Grusin, Thoreau held with Parker and David Friedrich Strauss (in Leben Jesu, the apogee of German Higher Criticism) that "all thought is historically conditioned" (102), that mythology is consequently to be interpreted rather than enacted.