Tollner, Johann Gottlieb

Tollner, Johann Gottlieb a German theologian, was born Dec. 9, 1724, at Charlottenburg. He completed his studies at the Orphanage and the University of Halle under the guidance of Baumgarten, Knapp, Michaelis, Wolff, Weber, and Meier, and then became private tutor and military chaplain. In 1760 he was made professor of theology and philosophy at Frankfort-on-the-Oder. He delivered four lectures each day, wrote numerous learned books-his practice being to write upon one while dictating to an amanuensis the contents of another, so that two were in process of simultaneous preparation-and entered into most intimate and direct relations with his numerous students. He was accustomed to conduct devotional meetings after the ending of the public services of the Sabbath, and to train the students in homiletical and catechetical duties. During much of his public life his health was infirm. Extreme terrors sometimes came over him when about to ascend the pulpit, and rendered it impossible for him to preach; and upon these followed asthma and a racking cough, to which he finally succumbed at the age of forty-nine years. He died Jan. 20, 1774, while uttering the word "Overcome." Of Tollner's writings, the following may perhaps be regarded as of chief importance: Gedanken von der wahren Lehrart in d. dogm. Theologie (1759): —Grundriss der dogm. Theologie (1760): —Grundriss der MoralTheologie (1773): —Grundriss der Hermeneutik (1773): Grundriss der Pastoral-Theologie (1773): —Der thtige Gehorsam Christi (1773): — Theologische Untersuchungei (1773). He occupied entirely orthodox ground in theology, though the ethics of Christianity held the foremost place in his thoroughly practical mind, and though he made far-reaching concessions to rationalism. With reference to confessions of faith his position was independent, and with reference to the contradictions of his time he stood midway between the extremes. The school of Spener and Francke had gradually come to assume a position of hostility, or at least indifference, towards science, and over against it stood the scholastic or philosophical school of the Wolfdian type, which undertook to demonstrate everything mathematically. Tollner regarded both extremes as overstrained, and adopted the scientific method, which regarded 'all dogmatic truths as constituting a science, i.e. a learned and comprehensive knowledge, and which attempted a logical explanation of every tenet without the employment of any illustrations whatsoever.

Literature. —Hamberger, Gelehrtes Deutschland (with the first supplement by Mensel); Mensel, Lexikon d. teutschen Schriftsteller voni Jahre 1750-1800; Hirsching, Hist. —lit. Handbuch berühmter u. denkw. Professoren des 18ten Jahrhunderts (Leips. 1818), XIV, 2; Wetzer u. Welte, Kirchen-Lex. s.v.; Herzog, Real-Encyklop. s.v.

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