Francesco Testa

Hermann Samuel Reimarus (1694-1768) and the Quest of the Historical Jesus

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Deism; German Enlightenment; Socinianism; Liberal Theology; Early Christianity.

Hermann Samuel Reimarus, 18th century German philologist and orientalist, was one of the first European intellectuals to investigate the influence of Jewish religion on Jesus' gospel. The first paragraph of this essay briefly presents Reimarus' life and academic career. The second one analyses the last Reimarus´ fragment, published by Gotthold Ephraim Lessing in 1778: "The Goal of Jesus and His Disciples". Thanks to a deep philological scholarship, Reimarus is able to show the fundamental contradiction between the historical Jesus and the Christian theology. Finally, the third paragraph introduces Reimarus' reception among his contemporaries, focusing on Johann Salomo Semler's reply.

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