David Friedrich Strauss

On this date in 1808, David Friedrich Strauss was born. The German writer pioneered scholarship doubting the historicity of Jesus. Strauss became a Lutheran vicar in 1830, and studied theology under Hegel. He was appointed to the Theological Seminary at the University at Tubingen. His book Life of Jesus (1835), dissecting the New Testament as largely mythical, was published to great acclaim, but lost him his teaching post. In 1836 he left the church. In his final book, The Old Faith and the New (1872), Strauss eschewed Christianity and the concept of immortality. British freethinking novelist George Eliot translated his first book into English. D. 1874.

Compiled by Annie Laurie Gaylor

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