Basedow, Johann Bernhard

Basedow, Johann Bernhard (known also as Bernard of Nordhalbengen), a German theologian and sectary, was born Sept. 11, 1723, at Hamburg. He studied at Leipsic and Kiel; was in 1753 professor of practical philosophy at Soroe, in Denmark; in 1761, professor at Altona; went to Dessau in 1771, where in 1774 he founded the "Philanthropin," an institution in which education was to be achieved without any religious influence-a principle which Rousseau had laid down before him. In 1778 he retired from this institution, went to Magdeburg, where he died July 25, 1790. Lichtenberger, in his Encyclopedie des Sciences Religieuses, says of Basedow, "His life is that of a vulgar adventurer, and his character deserves neither sympathy nor esteem;" and, concerning his educational system, the same writer says, "He has, nevertheless, the merit of having called the attention of his age to the important problem of education, and of demanding that this should be conceived in'a more rational and humane manner; but he was deceived in the method generally, and lacked the authority needed to effect a like reform." He is the author of Philalethie, oder Neue Aussichten in die Wahrheit und Religion der Vernunft, bis an die Grenzen der glaubwiirdigen Offlenbarung (Altona, 1754, 2 vols.): — Theoretisches System der gesunden Vernunft (1765): Methodischer Unterricht in Reliqion und Sittenlehre (eod.). He also published Universalgesangbuch zur gesellschaftlichen und unanstossigen Erbauutng (Berlin and Altona, 1767), changing some very fine hymns according to his own taste. See, besides the article in Lichtenberger, Meyer, Basedows Leben, Charoakter und Schriften (Hamburg, 1791, 2 vols.); Koch,ῥGesch. d. deutschen Kirch., 6:219 sq.; Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Generale, s.v. (B. P.)

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