Schulthess, Johannes, Dr
Schulthess, Johannes, Dr.
the Swiss compeer of Paulus and Rohr in the advocacy of the older rationalism, was born Sept. 28, 1763, and received a predominantly philological training. His earliest labors were expended in behalf of reforms in the public schools (see Schweizer Schulfreund, 1812, etc.). His Kinderbibel des alten Testaments and his Schweizer Kinderfreund were highly esteemed as textbooks. He became a professor of the Zurich gymnasium, and prebendary in 1816, and from that time devoted himself to the department of New Test. exegesis. He endeavored to ground his rationalism on the Bible itself, even at the cost of violence to the text. In 1824 he published a commentary on the Epistle of St. James, and in 1822 he gave to the world his dogmatical views, in a pamphlet entitled Rationalism. u. Supranaturalism. Kanon, Tradition u. Scription, a work in which Orelli participated. His Revision d. kirchl. Lehrbegriffs (1823-26) served a similar purpose. From 1826 to 1830 he edited the Annalen founded by Wachler, Schwarz at Heidelberg at the same time publishing a periodical in the interests of his peculiar theological views. In the revived conflict (1820 sq.) respecting the Lord's supper between the Lutheran and Reformed churches, he gave himself out as the defender of true Zwinglianism (comp. his Evangel. Lehre vom heil. Abendmahl [Leips. 1824]). He likewise felt himself called to resist the movements of his time towards ultramontanism, but no less all tendencies towards "mysticism and pietism." He had, in short, a thoroughly polemical nature, which involved him in controversies with all who would not adopt his frequently venturesome hypotheses, rationalists no less than orthodox theologians; but in the privacy of social intercourse he displayed, especially in his later years, a friendly, genial spirit, in which nothing of the controversialist was apparent. He also combined with his rationalism a simple piety whose center was a firm faith in the all-controlling goodness of God. After the University of Zurich had been founded, in 1833, Schulthess became ordinary professor in that institution. He had received the degree of doctor in theology from Jena, Nov., 1817. He died Nov. 10, 1836, leaving, as his most important legacy to theological science, an edition of the works of Zwingli which he had published m connection with Schuler. The clergymen trained by him generally entered into different paths from those in which he walked — the older ones through the influence of Schleiermacher, and the younger under the guidance of Nitzsch, Tholuck, Jul. Muller, etc. The most trustworthy source for his biography is the Denkschrift zur hundertjahr.
Jubelfier d. Schulthess. Familienfonds, etc., by his son Johann (Zurich, 1859).