German Lutheran; b. at Mittweida (10 m. n.n.e. of Chemnitz), Saxony, Nov. 14, 1778; d. at Leipsic Feb. 17, 1828. He was educated at the University of Leipsic (1796-99), and in 1800 became privat-docent at Wittenberg, where he was soon appointed adjunct of the philosophical faculty. Before long, however, the death of his father led him to exchange his academic position for that of deacon of his native town, where he found leisure, despite his parochial duties, for writing, Leben and Ende merkwürdiger Selbstmörder (Weissenfels, 1805); Ueber den moralischen Indifferentismus (Leipsic, 1805), and began a Geschichte der Apologetik (1805). Largely because of the latter work, he was recalled to Wittenberg in 1805 as professor of theology, thus having occasion to prepare his De dignitate hominis per religionem Christianam adserta et declarata (Wittenberg, 1805) and De virtutum et vitiorum inter se cognatione (1805), the latter touching upon a theme more fully developed in his Ueber die Verwandtschaft der Tugenden und Laster (Leipsic, 1809). In his De sacris publicis ab ecclesia vetere studiose cultis (Wittenberg, 1808), moreover, he issued a prelude to his intended history of Christian worship, which his academic duties forced him to relinquish. He lectured on natural theology, dogmatics, and homiletics, as well as on church history after 1806.
In 1809 Tzschirner was called to Leipsic as fourth professor of theology. His ability as a church historian was evinced by his preparation of the ninth and tenth volumes of J. 117. Schröckh's great Christliche Kirchengeschichte seit der Reformation (Leipsic, 1810-12); while as a dogmatic and homiletic scholar he wrote Beurteilende Darstellung der dogmatischen Systeme, welche in der protestantischen Kirche gefunden werden (in Memorabilien, i., 1810-11), and Briefe veranlasst dureh Reinhards Geständnisse (1811), in which he sought to prove that the only middle way between rationalism and supernaturalism was an ethical and critical rationalism which held the rational concept of morality to be the supreme principle of Christianity, and criticized the Scriptures on the basis of this concept, retaining all connected with moral requirements, and rejecting all temporal elements derived from the later Jewish theology.
In 1813 Tzschirner was for a short time chaplain in the Saxon army, after which he wrote Ueber den Krieg, ein philosophischer Versuch (1815). In the autumn of 1814 he was appointed archdeacon of Thomaskirche, Leipsic, and shortly afterward was made pastor of the same church and superintendent of the diocese of Leipsic (1815). In 1818 he was promoted to be second professor and canon of Meissen. Meanwhile the conditions of his country and his church had changed, and he was now obliged to combat not only unbelief and indifference, but the recrudescence of Roman Catholicism and Roman Catholic tendencies arising within the Protestant Church, and especially Pietism. While he planned a work on Der Fall des Heidentums, his interest in contemporary history led him to write Die Sache der Griechen die Sache Europas (1821). But the aims of the Roman Catholic hierarchy engaged his special attention, and he defended the Protestant cause in Protestantismus and Katholicismus aus dem Standpunkte der Politik betrachlet (1822); Die Rückkehr katholischer Christen im Grossherzogtum Baden zum evangelischen Christentume (1823); Die Gefahr einer deutschen Revolution (1823); and Zwei Briefe durch die jüngst zu Dresden erschienene Schrift: Die reine katholische Lehre, veranlasst (1826). He also wrote four treatises on the relation of the Church to marriage, urging a revision of marriage law, but rejecting civil marriage; while in his Gutachten über die Annahme der Preussischen Agende (1824) he advised the rejection of this unsatisfactory liturgy, unless its adoption was expressly recommended, at the same time urging a thorough reform of public worship. Besides two collections of sermons (1812-16), Tzschirner wrote Graeci et Romani scriptores cur rerum Christianarum raro meminerint (1824-25); De perpetua inter Catholicam et Evangelicam Ecclesiam dissentione (1824); De causis impeditae in Francogallia sacrorum publicorum emendationis (1827); and De religionis Christianae per philosophiam Graecam propagatione (1827). After his death a number of his writings were edited by his friends: a selection of his sermons from 1817 to 1828 (3 vols., Leipsic, 1828); the first part of the uncompleted Fall des Heidentums (1829); the Vorlesungen über die christliche Glaubenslehre (1829); the academic programs under the title Tzschirneri opuscula academica (1829); and the unfinished Briefe eines Deutschen an die Herren Chateaubriand, de la Mennais und Montlosier über Gegenstände der Religion and Politik (1828).
BIBLIOGRAPHY: H. G. Tzschirner, Skizze seines Lebens, Leipsic, 1828; J. D. Goldhorn, Mittheilungen aus . . . H. G. Tzschirners . . . Amts- und Lebensjahren, ib. 1828; K. H. L. Pölitz, H. G. Tzschirner. Abriss seines Lebens and Wirkens, ib. 1828; J. A. H. Tittmann, Memoria H. G. Tzschirner, ib. 1828; ADB, xxxix. 62 sqq.
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