Crusius Christian August

Crusius Christian August, a German theologian, was born at Leuna, near Merseburg, January 10, 1715. He studied at Leipzic, where he afterwards became professor of philosophy in 1744, of theology in 1750, and primarius of theology in 1757. He died October 18, 1775. Dissatisfied with the existing philosophical systems, he attempted a new one, which he sought to bring into harmony with orthodox theology. The school which he represented in Leipzig may be designated by the name of a Philosophico-Biblical Realism. As a philosopher, lie was one of the most important opponents of the idealism and mechanism of the Leibnitz-Wolffian philosophy, while, as a Bible theologian, he maintained the historical and literal as opposed to an exclusively spiritualistic exegesis. In morals "he drew his conclusions, not from the conceptions of the intellect, but the suggestions of the will and conscience. He derived the notion of duty from moral necessity or obligation. He asserted the free-agency of the human mind (which he contemplated principally in a negative point of view, i.e. as uninfluenced by physical or material laws), and developed the formal conditions of our free- will actions and the motives of them. The principle of a moral law led him to that of a moral Governor and Legislator, and consequently to the hypothesis which ascribes all moral obligations and laws to the divine authority, deducing, as the school-men had done, the principles of morals from the will of God. That which is consistent with the nature of the divine perfections, and accords with the designs of God, is good, and becomes obligatory on all rational beings. God demands of his rational creation, in the first place. that they should be good; and also wills their happiness as a consequence of virtue" (Tennemann). His principal works are: Logik o. d. Weg z. Gewissheit u. Zuverlissigkeit d. menschlichen Erkenntniss (Lpz. 1747; 2d ed. 1762); Entwurf d, nothwsiendigen Vernunftwahrheiten (Lpz. 1745; 3d ed. 1766); Anweisung, verniinftig a. leben (Lpz. 1744; 3d ed. 1767); Anleitung, u. natiurliche Begebenheiten ordentlich u. vorsichtig nachzudenken (Lpz. 1749, 2 vols., 1772); Begriffd. christlichen Moral- theologie (Lpz. 1772, 2 vols.). See Pierer, Universal-Lexikon, s.v.; Kahnis, German Protestantism (Edinb. 1856, 12mo, p. 107); Delitzsch, Die biblish-prophetische Theologie, ihre Fortbildung durch Chr. Crusius, etc. (Lpz. 1845); Tennemann, Manual Hist. Philippians § 368.

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