“Two nations,” writes Hengstenberg in 1836, “are struggling in the womb of our time, and two only. “
|November 20, 2011||Posted by webmaster under All text of Schweitzer Quest Jesus, chapter nine||
“Two nations,” writes Hengstenberg in 1836, “are struggling in the womb of our time, and two only. They will be ever more definitely opposed to one another. Unbelief will more and more cast off the elements of faith to which it still clings, and faith will cast off its elements of unbelief. That will be an inestimable advantage. Had the Time-spirit continued to make concessions, concessions would constantly have been made to it in return.” Therefore the man who “calmly and deliberately laid hands upon the Lord’s anointed, undeterred by the vision of the millions who have bowed the knee, and still bow the knee, before His appearing,” has in his own way done a service.
Strauss on his part escaped with relief from the musty atmosphere of the study—beloved by theology in carpet-slippers—to the bracing air of Hengstenberg’s Kirchenzeitung. In his “Replies” he devotes to it some fifty-four pages. “I must admit,” he says, “that it is a satisfaction to me to have to do with the Evangelische Kirchenzeitung. In dealing with it one knows where one is and what one has to expect. If Herr Hengstenberg condemns, he knows why he condemns, and even one against whom he launches his anathema must admit that the attitude becomes him. Any one who, like the editor of the Evangelische Kirchenzeitung, has taken upon him the yoke of confessional doctrine with all its implications, has paid a price which entitles him to the privilege of condemning those who differ from his opinions.”
Hengstenberg’s only complaint against Strauss is that he does not go far enough. He would have liked to force upon him the rôle of the Wolfenbüttel Fragmentist, and considers that if Strauss did not, like the latter, go so far as to suppose the apostles guilty of deliberate deceit, that is not so much from any regard for the historical kernel of Christianity as in order to mask his attack.
Even in Catholic theology Strauss’s work caused a great sensation. Catholic theology in general did not at that time take up an attitude of absolute isolation from Protestant scholarship; it had adopted from the latter numerous rationalistic ideas, and had been especially influenced by Schleiermacher. Thus, Catholic scholars were almost prepared to regard Strauss as a common enemy, against whom it was possible to make common cause with Protestants. In 1837 Joseph Mack, one of the Professors of the Catholic faculty at Tübingen, published his “Report on Herr Dr. Strauss’s Historical Study of the Life of Jesus.” In 1839 appeared “Dr. Strauss’s Life of Jesus, considered from the Catholic point of view,” by Dr. Maurus Hagel, Professor of Theology at the Lyceum at Dillingen; in 1840 that lover of hypotheses and doughty fighter, Johann Leonhard Hug, presented his report upon the work.
Even French Catholicism gave some attention to Strauss’s work. This marks an epoch—the introduction of the knowledge of German critical theology into the intellectual world of the Latin nations. In the Revue des deux mondes for December 1838, Edgar Quinet gave a clear and accurate account of the influence of the Hegelian philosophy upon the religious ideas of cultured Germany. In an eloquent peroration he lays bare the danger which was menacing the Church from the nation of Strauss and Hegel. His countrymen need not think that it could be charmed away by some ingenious formula; a mighty effort of the Catholic spirit was necessary, if it was to be successfully opposed. “A new barbarian invasion was rolling up against sacred Rome. The barbarians were streaming from every quarter of the horizon, bringing their strange gods with them and preparing to beleaguer the holy city. As, of yore, Leo went forth to meet Attila, so now let the Papacy put on its purple and come forth, while yet there is time, to wave back with an authoritative gesture the devastating hordes into that moral wilderness which is their native home.”
 Ernst Wilhelm Hengstenberg was born in 1802 at Fröndenberg in the “county” (Grafschaft) of Mark, became Professor of Theology in Berlin in 1826, and died there in 1869. He founded the Evangelische Kirchenseitung in 1827.
 Bericht über des Herrn Dr. Strauss‘ historische Bearbeitung des Lebens Jesu.
 Dr. Strauss‘ Leben-Jesu aus dem Standpunkt des Catholicismus betrachtet.
 Johann Leonhard Hug was born in 1765 at Constance, and had been since 1791 Professor of New Testament Theology at Freiburg, where he died in 1846. He had a wide knowledge of his own department of theology, and his Introduction to the New Testament Writings won him some reputation among Protestant theologians also.
 Among the Catholic “Leben-Jesu,” of which the authors found their incentive in the desire to oppose Strauss, the first place belongs to that of Kuhn of Tübingen. Unfortunately only the first volume appeared (1838, 488 pp.). Here there is a serious and scholarly attempt to grapple with the problems raised by Strauss. Of less importance is the work of the same title in seven volumes, by the Munich Priest and Professor of History, Nepomuk Sepp (1843-1846; 2nd ed. 1853-1862).
 Über das Leben-Jesu, von Doctor Strauss. By Edgar Quinet. Translated from the French by Georg Kleine. Published by J. Erdmann and C. C. Müller, 1839. In 1840 Strauss’s book was translated into French by M, Littré. It failed, however, to exercise any influence upon French theology or literature. Strauss is one of those German thinkers who always remain foreign and unintelligible to the French mind. Could Reman have written his Life of Jesus as he did if he had had even a partial understanding of Strauss?
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