Christian Hermann Weisse

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Christian Hermann Weisse
Born10 August 1801
Died19 September 1866
Alma materUniversity of Leipzig
Era19th-century philosophy
RegionWestern philosophy
SchoolGerman idealism
Speculative theism[1]
InstitutionsUniversity of Leipzig
(1828–37; 1841–66)
Academic advisorsI. H. Fichte (epistolary correspondent)
Notable studentsHermann Lotze[3]
Main interests
Christian philosophy, philosophy of religion
Notable ideas
Speculative theism[2]
Two-source hypothesis

Christian Hermann Weisse (/ˈvsə/; German: [ˈvaɪsə]; Weiße in modern German; 10 August 1801 – 19 September 1866) was a German Protestant religious philosopher and professor of philosophy at the University of Leipzig. He was the son of theologian Christian Ernst Weisse [de] (1766–1832).


Weisse was born in Leipzig, and studied at the university there, at first adhering to the Hegelian school of philosophy. In the course of time, his ideas changed, and became close to those of Schelling in his later years.[4] He developed (along with I. H. Fichte with whom he regularly corresponded after 1829)[5] a new speculative theism, and became an opponent of Hegel's idealism. In his addresses on the future of the Protestant Church (Reden über die Zukunft der evangelischen Kirche, 1849), he finds the essence of Christianity in Jesus' conceptions of the heavenly Father, the Son of Man and the kingdom of Heaven. In his work on philosophical dogmatics (Philosophische Dogmatik oder Philosophie des Christentums, 3 vols., 1855–1862) he seeks, by idealizing all the Christian dogmas, to reduce them to natural postulates of reason or conscience.[6]

Weisse was the first theologian to propose the two-source hypothesis (1838), which is still held by a majority of biblical scholars today. In the two-source hypothesis, the Gospel of Mark was the first gospel to be written and was one of two sources to the Gospel of Matthew and the Gospel of Luke, the other source being the Q document, a lost collection of Jesus's sayings.[citation needed]

Weisse was a contributor to I. H. Fichte's academic journal Zeitschrift für Philosophie und spekulative Theologie.

He died in his native city of Leipzig, aged 65.


  • System der Ästhetik (2 vols., 1830)
  • Die Idee der Gottheit (1833)
  • Die philosophische Geheimlehre von der Unsterblichkeit des menschlichen Individuums (1834)
  • Büchlein von der Auferstehung (1836)
  • Die evangelische Geschichte, kritisch und philosophisch bearbeitet (2 vols., 1838)
  • Reden über die Zukunft der evangelischen Kirche (1849)
  • Philosophische Dogmatik oder Philosophie des Christentums (3 vols., 1855–1862)
  • Die Evangelienfrage in ihrem gegenwärtigen Stadium (1856)
  • Psychologie und Unsterblichkeitslehre (edited by R. Seydel, 1869)[6]


  1. ^ Kelly Parker, Krzysztof Skowronski (eds.), Josiah Royce for the Twenty-first Century: Historical, Ethical, and Religious Interpretations, Lexington Books, 2012, p. 202.
  2. ^ Frederick Charles Copleston, 18th and 19th Century German Philosophy, Continuum, 2003, p. 259.
  3. ^ a b William R. Woodward, Hermann Lotze: An Intellectual Biography, Cambridge University Press, 2015, pp. 74–5.
  4. ^ Michelle Kosch, Freedom and Reason in Kant, Schelling, and Kierkegaard, Oxford University Press, 2006, p. 134.
  5. ^ Anatol Schneider, Personalität und Wirklichkeit: nachidealistische Schellingrezeption bei Immanuel Hermann Fichte und Christian Hermann Weisse, Königshausen & Neumann, 2001, pp. 73–4.
  6. ^ a b Chisholm 1911.


  •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Weisse, Christian Hermann". Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 28 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 499. This work in turn cites:
    • Otto Pfleiderer, Development of Theology (1890)
    • Rudolf Seydel, Christian Hermann Weisse (1866)
    • Rudolf Seydel, Religion und Wissenschaft (1887)

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