Ritschl, Georg Karl Benjamin
Ritschl, Georg Karl Benjamin, an eminent minister of the evangelical Church of Prussia, was born Nov. 1, 1783, at Erfurt. He studied theology at Erfurt and Jena, was licensed to preach in 1802, and came to Berlin in 1804, serving first as a private tutor, next as an adjunct professor in a gymnasium, and finally as a preacher in St. Mary's Church. Eighteen years were given to the duties of that station, during which he approved himself both as a pulpit speaker and an instructor of the young. In 1816, Ritschl was made a member of the consistory having supervision over Brandenburg, and distinguished himself in the conduct of the examination of candidates for the ministry to a degree that secured for him the title of doctor of divinity. He also aided in the preparation of the Berliner Gesangbuch of 1829, a task for which he was qualified by the possession of musical talent and thorough musical culture. In August, 1827, Ritschl was appointed bishop of the evangelical Church and general superintendent of Pomerania, etc., and in the spring of the following year he entered on the duties of his high station. The plan of union in the Prussian evangelical Church was successfully introduced during his administration, and the visitations devolved on the superintendency were so efficiently performed that he sustained direct and personal relations with the entire clergy of the province, and was acquainted with the character of each individual in its membership. Having reached the age of seventy years, and having completed a public career of half a century, Ritschl resigned his position in 1854. He was, however, constituted an honorary member of the Supreme Ecclesiastical Council of Prussia, and thus induced to give his thought and labors to the Church down to the close of his life. He died June 18, 1858. See Herzog, Real- Encyklop. s.v.