Stahl, Friedrich Julius

Stahl, Friedrich Julius a famous jurist of Germany, was born at Munich, of Jewish parentage, January 16, 1802. At the age of seventeen he embraced Christianity, and though he was entitled at that time to a professorship at the gymnasium, he betook himself to the study of jurisprudence, and was in 1829 made doctor of law. In 1827 Stahl commenced his academical career at Munich, was called in 1832 to Erlangen, and in 1840 to Berlin. Here he gathered crowded audiences, not only of juridical students, but at times, also, of educated people in general, as, for instance, in 1850, when he lectured on The Present Party Position in Church and State (which lectures were. published after his death, Berlin, 1863). He also held the highest positions in the state government of the Church, and took a very active part in Prussian politics. His brilliant parliamentary talent soon made him one of the most prominent leaders of the conservative party, both in political and ecclesiastical affairs. Democracy and freethinking he understood, and was not afraid of; but he hated liberalism and rationalism. The former is revolution, he said; but the latter is dissolution. Stahl died August 10, 1861. In his Philosophie des Rechts (1830-37; 3d ed. 1854) he tried to show that philosophy is not the last end of God, but that God is the last end of philosophy. He called science to "repentance," and thus caused a great stir both among jurists and philosophers. To understand Stahl's greatness and influence one must study his Kirchenverfassung nach Lehre und Recht der Protestanten (2d ed. Erlangen, 1862): — Ueber Kirchenzucht (Berlin, 1845): — Der christliche Staat und sein Verhaltniss zu Deismus und Judenthum (1847): — Was ist Revolution? (1852): — Der Protestantismus als politisches Princip (4th ed. 1853): — Die katholischen Widerlegungen (1854): — Ueber christliche Toleranz (1855): — Wider Bunsen (3d ed. 1856): — Die lutherische Kirche und die Union (1860). Stahl was very intimately connected with professor Hengstenberg, and, like the latter, an able advocate of high Lutheran orthodoxy. See Plitt-Herzog, Real-Encyklop. s.v.; Lichtenberger, Encyclop. des Sciences Religieuses, s.v.; Groen van Prinsterer, Ter Nagedachtenis van Stahl, and especially Schwarz, Zur Geschichte der neuesten Theologie (4th ed. Leipsic, 1869), page 240 sq. (B.P.)

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