Kleuker, Johann Friedrich

Kleuker, Johann Friedrich, one of the most eminent modern German theologians, was born at Osterode Oct. 24, 1749. He studied history, philosophy, and theology at the University of Gottingen. In 1773 he became a private tutor in Baickeburg, and there made the acquaintance of Herder, through whose influence he was appointed prorector of the gymnasium of Lemgo, and, in 1778 rector of the gymnasium of Osnabruck. Herder also induced and encouraged him to write on the theological questions of the day. In acknowledgment of his literary activity and profound learning, he was made D.D. by the University of Helmstaddt in 1791. In 1798 he was appointed fourth ordinary professor of theology at Kiel, which position he filled with great success, lecturing on the exegesis of the 0. and N. Test., Christian apologetics, Christian antiquities, ancient Church history, the doctrine of Christ and of the apostles, symbolics, and Christian science, of which, in 1800, he published a Grundriss or Encyklopadie d. Theologie in 2 vols., for the use of his numerous pupils. The last few years of his life were spent in retirement after he had vainly tried to oppose the progress of scientific rationalism. Kleuker, says Hagenbach (see below), "was one of the few men who, in doctrine and writings, stood in avowed opposition to the prevailing theological spirit of his times, of which he said that 'it had so poisoned the whole atmosphere that men hardly dared to speak of Christ as anything more than a passing shadow.'" He was not even satisfied with Herder, who, as he held, made too many concessions to the new style of doctrine and thinking. Yet his simple, evangelical faith, his humble piety, and his active interest in all that was grand and good, secured him the intimate friendship of that class of men, while his profound learning, especially in Oriental and in classical antiquities, procured him the respect and consideration of all scholars. In judging a theologian, his influence on his associates and on the age in which he lived, it does not suffice to examine simply his writings; as much, if not more, can be determined of his character by the testimony of his life and death. With pleasure, then, do we point to the dying testimony of this celebrated German theologian. His biographer (see below) says of his last moments: "I had the fortune to be present when Kleuker died, for I must call it a good fortune to see a true Christian die as calmly as he did. As I came in, the approach of death was clearly indicated by his cold hands, almost motionless pulse, and difficult breathing. A kind of prophetic spirit appeared to come over him when he once more warned against the errors of his contemporaries by proclaim, ing the great truths that he had so often taught. After saying,' It is plainly recorded in all passages of the Old and New Testament that there is only one true Saviour, and by them all the error of our day which looks to selfredemption for salvation is refuted,' he sweetly fell back into the corner of the sofa, bowed his head, and, without experiencing the least convulsive struggle with death, fell asleep, and passed away into the better world," May 23, 1827. Kleuker's activity as a writer was wonderful, He wrote first a Latin programme, entitled Genius e scriptis antiquitatis monumentis hauriendus (1775), which was followed in quick succession by Zend- Avesta nach Anquetil du Perron (1776-1777, 3 parts):- Anhang z. Zend- Avesta (1781-1783, 2 vols.): — Zend-Avesta im Kleinen (1789):- Menschlicher Versuch i. d. Sohn Gottes u. d. Menschen, in l. Zeit unie ausser d. Zeit (1776):-Gedanken Pascals (1777): — Uebersetzung u. Erklidrungk d. Schriften Salomos u. d.Salomonischen Denkwiirdigkeiten; Uebersetzung der Werke Plato's (1778-1797, 6 vols.):Johannes, Petrums, und Paulus als Christologen betrachtet (1785):-a prize essay, entitled Ueber d. Natur u. d. Ursprung (ld.manationslehre b. d.Kabbalisten (1785): — ollwells merkuiirdige historische Nachrichten v. ndostan u. Bengalen, etc. (from the English, 1778): — Abhandlungen ii. d. Gesch., etc., Asiens, von Sir William Jones (from the English, 1795-1797, 4 vols.):- Einige Belehrungen uber Toleranz, Vernunft, O'ehnbarung, Wanderung d. Israeliten durchs rothe Fleer und Auferstehung Christi von d. Todten (1778): — Aeue Priufung u. Erklarung de. vorziiglichsten

Beweise f. d. Warheit u. cl. gottlichen Ursprung d. Christenthums w. d. Offenbarung uberhaupt (3 parts, 1788):Aus/ihrmliche Untersucheung d. Gmriinde : dl. Aechtheit und Glaubwirdigkeit d. schriftlichen Urkun7den d. Christenthums (5 vols.):-Qutintuts Septimius Florens Tertullianus's /Vertheidigaung d. christlichen Sache gegen d. tHeiden mit erliauternden Anmerkzungen (from the Latin, 1798) :Briefe an eine christliche Freundin uiber el. lerder'sche Schrift v. Gottes Sohn (1802): — Ueb. d. Ja u. Nein l. biblisch-christlichen u. Vd.ernunfttheolog. (1819):-JBiblische Sympathien od. erlauternde Bemerkungen u. Betrachtungen ii. d. Berichte d. Evangelisten v. Jesu Lehren u. Thatten 1820): — Ueb. d. alten und neuen Protestantismus (1823). See H. P. Sexto, Expositio Sermonis Jesu. Joh. V 39 et super ejus sententia de nexu inter scriptoruetm Mosaicorum argumentum et doctrinan suam nonnulla (Helmst. 1792, 8vo); Notiz und Karakteristik d. iztlebenden theologischen Schriftsteller Deutschlands (1797, p. 108 sq.); Neue Kielische gelehrte Zeitunq (2 Jahrg. 1798), p. 282286; J. O. Thiess, Gelehrtengesch. d. Universitat zu Kiel i 3 75-447; Ratjen, J. F. Kleuker u. Briefe seiner Freunde (Gittingen, 1842); Hagenbach, Ch. Hist. 18th and 19th Cent. ii, 190 sq.; Herzog, Real- Encykl. 7:742. (J. H.W.)

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