Loscher, Valentin Ernst
Loscher, Valentin Ernst a distinguished German theologian, was born at Sondershausen in 1673. He studied at the universities of Wittenberg (where his father, Caspar Loscher, was a professor) and Jena, and then went on a perigrinatio academica through the Netherlands and Denmark, and the cities Hamburg and Rostock. In the last-named place he connected himself with the anti- Pietist party, but after his return he devoted himself to historical studies, and delivered lectures on genealogy and heraldry, as well as on exegesis, morals, etc. In 1698 he was appointed superintendent by the duke of Weissenfels, and, some time after, began, in connection with some friends, the publication of the first theological periodical in Germany, the Unschuldiqe Nachrichten von alten u. neuen theolog. Sachen (20 volumes to 1720; continued by Henry Reinhard until 1731). This became the organ of the orthodox party in Saxony, as opposed to the pietism and indifferentism prevailing at the time. His sphere of influence was afterwards enlarged, first as superintendent of Delitzsch, and, later (1702), as professor in the University of Wittenberg. In 1704 he was appointed superintendent of Dresden and member of the supreme consistorial court. In this position his activity was soon manifested in the improved facilities for religious and secular instruction. Besides establishing several parish schools, he laid the foundation of a seminarium ministerii; at the same time he zealously instructed candidates for the ministry, preached both on Sundays and week-days, besides carrying on an extensive correspondence with the princes, states, and pastors who held fast to the orthodox faith, and opposed, with him, the inroads of pietism and indifferentism. He died February 12, 1741. Loscher left a collection of his letters forming five volumes folio, which are preserved in the Hamburg Library. His principal works are Historia mortuum (part 1:1707; part 3:1722): — Die Reformationsakta: — Timotheus Verinus (1718). See Herzog, Real- Encykl. s.v.; Tholuck, Der Geist d. lutherischen Theologen Wittenb. (1852); M.v. Engelhardt, Valentin Ernst Loscher nach s. Leben u. Wirken (Dorpat, 1853; 2d edit., Stuttg. 1856); Hurst's Hagenbach, Ch. Hist. 18th and 19th Cent. 1:109 sq., 116 sq., 130.