Lipsius, Richard Adelbert
LIPSIUS, RICHARD ADELBERT
German Protestant theologian; b. Gera (Thuringia), Germany, Feb. 14, 1830; d. Jena, Aug. 19, 1892. Lipsius came from a Saxon family long noted for producing theologians. He studied at the University of Leipzig and there became lecturer (1855) and professor (1859). In 1861 he moved to the University of Vienna and in 1865 to Kiel, where the Lutheran bishop attacked him for alleged theological liberalism. From 1871 until his death Lipsius was professor of systematic theology at Jena. Hegelian influences on his thought gave way to a neo-kantianism that opened a new understanding of schleiermacher. But Lipsius never completely shook off traces of the approaches of hegel and F. C. baur. He found himself constantly in critical dialogue with the old Protestant scholasticism and with ritschl. Because of his biblical and patristic studies, along with his interest in practical Church affairs, Lipsius strove to develop a universal speculative theology that would blend scientific and religious perceptions. In this endeavor he did not succeed; he reduced his efforts to the exposition of his concepts of religious cognition as subjective experience. Despite this allowance for "mysticism," he moved close to Ritschl's theology, which eventually overshadowed his own. His principal work, the Lehrbuch der evangelischprotestantischen Dogmatik, demonstrated in its three editions between 1876 and 1893 the development of his thought. Besides his numerous historical studies, his Apokryphe Apostelgeschichten und Apostellegenden (2 v. 1883–90) deserves attention, as well as his text edition of Acta Apostolorum Apocrypha (1891; new ed. 1959). Lipsius was also a man of action, being a cofounder of the Evangelical Alliance and the Evangelical Prostestant Missionary Union.
Bibliography: m. scheibe, Allgemeine deutsche Biographie 52:7–27. j. j. herzog and a. hauck, eds. Realencycklopädie für protestantische Theologie, 24 v. (3d ed. Leipzig 1896–1913) 11:520–524. s. m. jackson, The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, 13 v. (Grand Rapids, Mich. 1951–54) 6:493–494. h. weinel, R. A. Lipsius (Tübingen 1930). h. hohlwein, Die Religion in Geschichte und Gegenwart, 7 v. (3d ed. Tübingen 1957–65) 6:385–386. r. bÄumer, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. j. hofer and k. rahner, 10 v. (Frieburg 1957–65) 1072.