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1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Hofmann, Johann Christian Konrad von

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HOFMANN, JOHANN CHRISTIAN KONRAD VON (1810-1877), Lutheran theologian and historian, was born on the 21st of December 1810 at Nuremberg, and studied theology and history at the university of Erlangen. In 1829 he went to Berlin, where Schleiermacher, Hengstenberg, Neander, Ranke and Raumer were among his teachers. In 1833 he received an appointment to teach Hebrew and history in the gymnasium of Erlangen. In 1835 he became Repetent, in 1838 Privatdozent and in 1841 professor extraordinarius in the theological faculty at Erlangen. In 1842 he became professor ordinarius at Rostock, but in 1845 returned once more to Erlangen as the successor of Gottlieb Christoph Adolf von Harless (1806-1879), founder of the Zeitschrift für Protestantismus und Kirche, of which Hofmann became one of the editors in 1846, J. F. Höfling (1802-1853) and Gottfried Thomasius (1802-1875) being his collaborators. He was a conservative in theology, but an enthusiastic adherent of the progressive party in politics, and sat as member for Erlangen and Fürth in the Bavarian second chamber from 1863 to 1868. He died on the 20th of December 1877.

He wrote Die siebzig Jahre des Jeremias u. die siebzig Jahrwochen des Daniel (1836); Geschichte des Aufruhrs in den Cevennen (1837); Lehrbuch der Weltgeschichte für Gymnasien (1839), which became a text-book in the Protestant gymnasia of Bavaria; Weissagung u. Erfüllung im alten u. neuen Testamente (1841-1844; and ed., 1857-1860); Der Schriftbeweis (1852-1856; 2nd ed., 1857-1860); Die heilige Schrift des neuen Testaments zusammenhangend untersucht (1862-1875); Schutzschriften (1856-1859), in which he defends himself against the charge of denying the Atonement; and Theologische Ethik (1878). His most important works are the five last named. In theology, as in ecclesiastical polity, Hofmann was a Lutheran of an extreme type, although the strongly marked individuality of some of his opinions laid him open to repeated accusations of heterodoxy. He was the head of what has been called the Erlangen School, and “in his day he was unquestionably the chief glory of the University of Erlangen” (Lichtenberger).

See the articles in Herzog-Hauck's Realencyklopädie and the Allgemeine deutsche Biographie; and cf. F. Lichtenberger, History of German Theology in the Nineteenth Century (1889) pp. 446-458.