Romanticism pp 138-149 | Cite as

Friedrich Schleiermacher: Speeches on Religion to its Cultured Despisers

  • John B. Halsted
Part of the The Documentary History of Western Civilization book series (DHWC)


Friedrich Schleiermacher (1768–1834) was one of the central figures in the German Romantic school. He had been brought up in the Pietist Moravian faith, and, after serving as tutor in a noble family, he went to Berlin in 1796 as chaplain of the Charity Hospital. There, he joined the circle that was so significantly to influence his career. Friedrich von Schlegel and Ludwig Tieck urged him to put his views on religion in writing—selections from the result, his first major work, Speeches on Religion to its Cultured Despisers (1799), follow. Schleiermacher went on to become a teacher of theology at Halle, where he had earlier studied, and in 1810 he became a member of the theological faculty at the new University of Berlin, while serving as preacher at a Berlin church. As he grew older he revised the Speeches, clarifying what had been rather vague conceptions, expressing more fully the views of a mature theologian, rather than those of a young, enthusiastic controversialist.


Vague Conception Charity Hospital Noble Family Ancient Usage Finite Thing 
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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1969

Authors and Affiliations

  • John B. Halsted

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