Associate professor of church history princeton theological seminary baker book house



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ROTHE, rote, RICHARD: Theologian; b. at

Posen (100 m. e. of Frankfort‑on‑the‑Oder) Jan.

28, 1799; d. at Heidelberg Aug. 20, 1867. His

father was characterized by strong fidelity to duty

and patriotic devotion; his mother by

Early Life fervent piety. The latter was of a

and rationalistic type, as was also the

Education. wretched religious instruction obtained

from the side of the school and the

Church. However, he was led into a supernatural

vein of thought by the imaginative works of Novalis

and other leaders in the Romantic movement„ and by

his own reading of the Bible. He thus acquired a

living Christianity. Accordingly, against his par­

ents' inclination, he resolved to study theology,

and, at Easter, 1817, betook himself to Heidelberg.

Here he was influenced anew by Romanticism, so

that he came to entertain warm sympathies with

Roman Catholicism. At Berlin, whither he re­

moved in 1819, there prevailed, in part, a Pietistic

type of religion, together with a very conservative

spirit in matters of State and Church, and a prefer­

ence for the Hegelian philosophy. Rothe listened

to Hegel's lectures on natural law and political sci­

ence with enthusiasm, and was but little attracted

by Schleiermacher's lectures and sermons. He ac­

quired growing reverence for August Neander (q.v.),

through whose good offices he found entrance to the

circle that gathered about Baron von Kottwitz.

Yet he felt not at all content, but tired of academic

life and yearned for home. Cheered and refreshed

by a brief visit to his parents, he went to the Theo­

logical Seminary at Wittenberg in the autumn of

1819. Most influential over him here was the third

director H. L. Heubner (q.v.); nevertheless Rothe

aimed to preserve his individuality and mental free­

dom. He also here, as formerly at Berlin, at first

vigorously withstood the attempts of the new semi­

nary adjunct Rudolf Stier and of Baron von Kott­

witz and the licentiate Tholuck on a visit from

Berlin to win him over to a Pietistic form of relig­

ion; but before long his sensitive temperament



yielded. On May 9, 1821, he reports of the inward




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