« Reineccius, Jakob Reinhard, Franz Volkmar Reinkens, Joseph Hubert »

Reinhard, Franz Volkmar

REINHARD, rain´hart, FRANZ VOLKMAR: German Lutheran; b. at Vohenstrauss (42 m. n.e. of Regensburg) Mar 12, 1753; d. at Dresden Sept. 6, 1812. He was educated at the University of Wittenberg, where he became privat-docent for philosophy and philology in 1777, being appointed associate professor of philosophy in 1780 and full professor of theology in 1782, still retaining his philosophical courses. In 1784 he was also made provost of the castle and university church, as well as assessor in the Wittenberg consistory. He declined a call to the University of Helmstedt in 1790, but two years later accepted an invitation to become chief court chaplain, ecclesiastical councilor, and member of the supreme consistory at Dresden. Despite the existence of serious doubts during his career as a university professor, he became one of the leaders of the Supernaturalistic school, which sought not only to oppose the rationalism of the period and to defend the divine supremacy and authority of the Bible, but also to prove the truth of divine revelation by psychologically intelligible demonstration and to bring it into harmony with the demands of reason. Both in his dogmatic lectures and in his sermons he sought to establish the truth of Lutheranism by rationalistic arguments, but as a pulpit orator he won wide fame throughout Germany, and at the same time exercised a powerful influence on Saxony, since, as ecclesiastical councilor and member of the consistory, he also supervised the appointment of teachers in the universities and seminaries. With advancing years, especially in the second half of his Dresden activity, he advanced to a deeper sense of Christianity and to a more profound conviction of justification solely by the grace of Christ as the center of Christian doctrine; and after 1805 his themes dealt no longer with mere imperfections and moral weaknesses, but with sins and vices, with Christ as the sole mediator between God and man. Reinhard was the main factor in introducing an improved system of pericopes in the Saxon church with a consequent raising of the standard of preaching. A most prolific author, his sermons were collected in thirty-nine volumes (Sulzbach, 1793–1837), and mention should also be made of his System der christlichen Moral (5 vols., Wittenberg, 1788–1815); Versuch über den Plan, welchen der Stifter der christlichen Religion . . . entwarf (1798; Eng. transl., Plan of the Founder of Christianity, by O. A. Taylor, from the fifth German edition, New York, 1831); Vorlesungen über die Dogmatik (ed. J. G. J. Berg, Sulzbach, 1806); and Geständnisse meine Predigten und meine Bildung zum Prediger betrefend (1810; Eng. transl., under the title Memoirs and Confessions, by O. A. Taylor, Boston, 1832).

(David Erdmann†.)

Bibliography: Sketches of the life were written by K. H. L. Pölitz, Leipsic, 1813; F. A. Köthe, Jena, 1812; K. A. Böttiger, Dresden, 1813; M. F. Scheibler, Leipsic, 1823; and in ADB, xviii. 32–33. Consult also F. Dibelius, Beiträge zur sächsischen Kirkengeschichte, vii. 90–91, Leipsic, 1892.

« Reineccius, Jakob Reinhard, Franz Volkmar Reinkens, Joseph Hubert »
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