Baumgarten, Siegmund Jacob

Baumgarten, Siegmund Jacob an eminent German theologian, was born March 14, 1706, at Wollmirstadt. His early education was conducted by his father, James B., pastor at Wollmirstadt. He then studied at Halle, and, after filling several minor offices, was made professor of theology at Halle, 1734. His lectures were very popular, and he secured a still wider reputation by his writings. Educated in the school of Spener and Francke, he retained the forms of orthodoxy, but imbibed Wolf's philosophy, and taught in a far more scientific spirit than had characterized the pietistic school. He is regarded in Germany as the forerunner of rationalism, which, indeed, found its first free exponent among theologians in his disciple Semler. He died 1757. His writings, some of which are posthumous, are chiefly historical and exegetical; among these are Unterrircht v. d. Auslegung d. heil. Schrift (Halle, 1742, 8vo): — Auslegung d. Briefe Pouli (Halle, 1749 - 1767): — Evangel. Glaubenslehre, ed. Semler (Halle, 1759-60, 3 vols. 4to): — Besgriff d. theol. Streitigkeiten, ed. Semler (Halle, 1771, 8vo): — Theolog. Bedenken (Halle, 1742-50, 7 vols. 8vo): — Geschichte d. Religionsparteien (Halle, 1755, 8vo): — Breviarium historice Christ. in usum schol. (Halle, 1754, 8vo). Semler wrote a sketch of the life of Baumgarten, which contains a full list of his writings (Halle, 1758, 8vo). — Herzog, Real-Encyklopldie, 1:740; Kahnis, German Protestantism, p. 115; Hurst, Hist. of Rationalism, ch. 4.

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