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Loewenthal, Eduard


LOEWENTHAL, EDUARD (1836–1917), German political theorist. Born in Ernsbach, Prussia, Loewenthal advocated a new religion based on scientific truth and rejecting metaphysical concepts. He expounded his ideas in System und Geschichte des Naturalismus (1861, 18976; System and History of Nature, 1882) which achieved considerable popularity. He founded the Cogitant religious society to propagate his views in 1865 and in 1869 formed the European Union, a pan-European society dedicated to the abolition of war. Following the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War in 1870, Loewenthal was forced to leave Prussia but he returned in the following year to reorganize the European Union with a program of a world court and the compulsory arbitration of disputes. In 1874 he was forced to leave Prussia for a second time but continued to preach his pacifist philosophy abroad. He was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize toward the end of his life but, to his chagrin, was not given the award.


E. Loewenthal, Mein Lebenswerk… (1910); Wininger, Biog, 4 (1925) s.v., includes bibliography; ej, s.v., includes bibliography.

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