Schaff, Philip

Schaff, Philip

(shäf), 1819–93, biblical scholar and church historian in America, b. Switzerland. He went to the United States in 1844 to teach in the Theological Seminary of the Reformed Church, Mercersburg, Pa. His importance as an interpreter of German theology and (in his writings) as a conveyor of the religious thought of America to Germany gained wide recognition. From 1870 until his death he was professor at Union Theological Seminary, New York City, where he held the chair of sacred literature (1874) and of church history (1887). Schaff was president of the American branch of the English Bible Revision Committee. He edited the first edition (1882–84) of the Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge and wrote A History of the Christian Church (7 vol., 1858–90). His literary work embraced the writing or editing of some 80 publications.
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Schaff, Philip

(1819–93) Protestant theologian; born in Chur, Switzerland. He studied at several German universities and took a theological degree in Berlin in 1841. In 1844 he accepted the chair of theology at the German Reformed seminary in Mercersburg, Pa. In 1870 he became a professor at Union Theological Seminary in New York. An early ecumenicist, he foresaw the eventual unification of diverse Christian sects. He wrote or edited more than 80 works of theology and biblical scholarship, including The Creeds of Christendom (1877).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.