GASS, gds, JOACHIM CHRISTIAN: German theologian; b. at Leopoldahagen (a suburb of Anklam, 47 m. n.w. of Stettin) May 26, 1766; d. at Breslau Feb. 19, 1831. He began his education at the monastic school at Bergen, studied theology and philosophy at Halle 1785-89, and in 1795 was appointed field chaplain in Borcke's regiment, and. preacher at the garrison at Stettin. As a theologian he early departed from orthodoxy, although he endeavored to restore the beautiful "individuality" of Christianity, his Beiträge zur Verbreitung eines religaosen Sinnes in Predigten (Stettin, 1801) giving evidence of this desire. In 1806 the Napoleonic war took Gass to Halle, where he met Schleiermaeher, who had been his close friend for three years, and Steffens. Gass soon returned to Stettin, but the disbanding of his regiment in the latter half of 1807, together with domestic troubles, led him to settle in Berlin, where he was appointed preacher at the Marien kirche. In 1810 he was called to Breslau, where he remained until his death, officiating as Konsis torialrat and as a member of the church and school committees of the government of Silesia. When the University of Frankfort-on-the-Oder was trans ferred to Breslau in 1811, Gass was given the chair of systematic theology. As a theologian, he was a follower of Schleiermacher, although he did not absorb the latter's doctrinal idiosyncrasies. In the beginning of his career as a member of the Silesian consistory, Gass was in accord with the highest functionaries, but later he sided with the opposition. His attitude during the controversies regarding union, organization, and ritual may be gathered partly from his letters to Schleiermacher and partly from the Jahrbuch des protestantischen Kirchen- and Schulwesens von und für Schlesien (2 vols., Breslau, 1818-20), which he edited. Among his other works the most important are the following: Ueber den christlichen Cultus (Breslau, 1815); An meine evangelischen Mitburger (1823); Ueber den Religionsunterricht in den oberen Klassen der Gym nasien (1828); and Ueber den Reichstag zu Speyer von 1629 (1827).

(W. Gass.)

Bibliography: F. Schleiermacher, Briehoecheel mit J. C. Gass, Berlin, 1852; Aus Setaeiermacher'a Leben, in Briefen, Berlin, 1858. Eng. transl., The Life of SchleiermacAer as Unfolded in his Autobiography and LeNers, London, 1860.



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