Pufendorf, Samuel

Pufendorf, Samuel a German historian, was born at Chemnitz, Saxony, in 1632. He lectured on jurisprudence at Heidelberg and Lund, and finally settled at Berlin as historiographer to the elector of Brandenburg. Pufendorf died in 1694. His principal work is De Jure Naturae et Gentiunm (Lund, 1672 and often; transl. into German, English, and French). Though essentially only an elaboration and systematization of the ideas of Grotius. it forms the foundation of the modern conception of the doctrine of natural and international rights. Previously that doctrine had been based on the decalogue and developed in accordance with the idea of the justice of God. But Pufendorf emancipated the natural law from theology, without opposing the dogmas of the latter, because he recognized in religion the means of realizing the right and God as its author. Pufendorf's work attracted great attention, but also met with much opposition; indeed, Buddlaeus and Wolff were the first who fully recognised it. Among his other works, his De Habitu Religionis Christianae ad Vitum Civilem (Bremen, 1687) has also theological interest as a defence of his colleagues' system. In a work published after his death, in 1695, entitled Jus Feciale Divinum seu de Consensu et Dissensu Protestantium, he demonstrates the impossibility of uniting the Lutherans and Reformed as long as the latter retain the doctrine of absolute predestination. See Stahl, Die Philosophie des Rechts (3d ed. Heidelberg, 1854), 1:182; Hettuer, Literaturgeschichte des XVIII. Jahrhunderts (Brunswick, 1856-62), 3:83 sq.; Bluntschli und Brater, Deutsches Staats Wotfelrbuch, 8:424-439; Droysen, Zuro-Kritik Pufendorf's, in Abhundlugen zur neueren Geschichte (Leipsic, 1876); Franck, Geschichte der protestantischen Theologie, 2:62 sq.; Plitt-Herzog, Real-Encyklop. s.v.; Lichtenberger, Encyclop. des Sciences Religieuses, s.v. (B.P.)

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