Friedrich Christoph Oetinger

Last updated
F-c-oetinger-by-eger1775 F-c-oetinger-by-eger1775.jpg

Friedrich Christoph Oetinger (2 May 1702 – 10 February 1782) was a German Lutheran theologian and theosopher.

Germany Federal parliamentary republic in central-western Europe

Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central and Western Europe, lying between the Baltic and North Seas to the north, and the Alps, Lake Constance and the High Rhine to the south. It borders Denmark to the north, Poland and the Czech Republic to the east, Austria and Switzerland to the south, France to the southwest, and Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands to the west.



Oetinger was born at Göppingen. He studied philosophy and Lutheran theology at Tübingen (1722-1728), and was impressed by the works of Jakob Böhme, and also devoted attention to Leibniz and Wolff. On the completion of his university course, Oetinger spent some years travelling. In 1730 he visited Count Zinzendorf at Herrnhut, remaining there some months as teacher of Hebrew and Greek. During his travels, in his eager search for knowledge, he made the acquaintance of mystics and separatists, Christians and learned Jews, theologians and physicians alike. The Philadelphians influenced him to accept apocatastasis, the belief that all people would eventually be saved; he wove this into his theological system, depending chiefly upon I Corinthians 15 and Ephesians 1:9-11. [1]

Göppingen Place in Baden-Württemberg, Germany

Göppingen is a town in southern Germany, part of the Stuttgart Region of Baden-Württemberg. It is the capital of the district Göppingen. Göppingen is home to the toy company Märklin, and it is the birthplace of football player Jürgen Klinsmann.

Philosophy Study of general and fundamental questions

Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental questions about existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Such questions are often posed as problems to be studied or resolved. The term was probably coined by Pythagoras. Philosophical methods include questioning, critical discussion, rational argument, and systematic presentation. Classic philosophical questions include: Is it possible to know anything and to prove it? What is most real? Philosophers also pose more practical and concrete questions such as: Is there a best way to live? Is it better to be just or unjust? Do humans have free will?

Theology Study of the nature of deities and religious belief

Theology is the critical study of the nature of the divine, and more broadly, of religious belief. It is taught as an academic discipline, typically in universities and seminaries. It occupies itself with the unique content of analyzing the supernatural, but also especially with epistemology, and asks and seeks to answer the question of revelation. Revelation pertains to the acceptance of God, gods, or deities, as not only transcendent or above the natural world, but also willing and able to interact with the natural world and, in particular, to reveal themselves to humankind. While theology has turned into a secular field, religious adherents still consider theology to be a discipline that helps them live and understand concepts such as life and love and that helps them lead lives of obedience to the deities they follow or worship.

After some delay he was ordained to the ministry, and held several pastorates (since 1738). While pastor (from 1746) at Walddorf near Tübingen, he studied alchemy and made many experiments, his idea being to use his knowledge for symbolic purposes. These practices exposed him to the attacks of persons who misunderstood him. “My religion,” he once said, “is the parallelism of Nature and Grace.”

Walddorfhäslach Place in Baden-Württemberg, Germany

Walddorfhäslach is a town in the district of Reutlingen in Baden-Württemberg in Germany.

Tübingen Place in Baden-Württemberg, Germany

Tübingen is a traditional university town in central Baden-Württemberg, Germany. It is situated 30 km (19 mi) south of the state capital, Stuttgart, on a ridge between the Neckar and Ammer rivers. As of 2014 about one in three people living in Tübingen is a student.

Oetinger translated a part of Emanuel Swedenborg's philosophy of heaven and earth, and added notes of his own. In 1760 he defended Swedenborg's work and invited him to Germany. His treatise Swedenborg's and other Earthly and Heavenly Philosophies was published in 1765. This and his translations of Swedenborg brought upon him the censure of his ecclesiastical superiors, but he was protected by the Duke of Würtemberg, and later was appointed superintendent of the churches in the district of Weinsberg. He subsequently held the same position in Herrenberg, and afterward he became prelate at Murrhardt (appointed 1765; entered office 1766), where he died.

Emanuel Swedenborg 18th-century Swedish scientist and theologian

Emanuel Swedenborg was a Swedish Lutheran theologian, scientist, philosopher and mystic. He is best known for his book on the afterlife, Heaven and Hell (1758).

Weinsberg Place in Baden-Württemberg, Germany

Weinsberg is a town in the north of the German state Baden-Württemberg. It was founded ca. 1200 and is situated in the Heilbronn district. The town has about 11,800 inhabitants. It is noted for its wine.

Herrenberg Place in Baden-Württemberg, Germany

Herrenberg is a town in the middle of Baden-Württemberg, about 30 km south of Stuttgart and 20 km from Tübingen. After Sindelfingen, Böblingen, and Leonberg, it is the fourth largest town in the district of Böblingen. The number of inhabitants of Herrenberg exceeded 20,000 in 1972 due to the incorporation of the following formerly independent municipalities:


Reinhard Breymayer was a German philologist, researcher into pietism and specialist on the history of rhetoric. His published output is considerable.

International Standard Book Number Unique numeric book identifier

The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a numeric commercial book identifier which is intended to be unique. Publishers purchase ISBNs from an affiliate of the International ISBN Agency.

Oetinger's autobiography was published by Julius Hamberger in 1845 and later by Julius Rößle:

Oetinger published about seventy works, in which he expounded his theosophic views. A collected edition, Sämtliche Schriften (1st section, Homiletische Schriften, 5 vols., 1858-1866; 2nd section, Theosophische Werke, 6 vols., 1858-1863), was prepared by Karl Christian Eberhard Ehmann, who also edited Oetinger's Leben und Briefe (1859). See also C. A. Auberlen: Die Theosophie Friedr. Chr. Oetinger's (1847; 2nd ed., 1859), and Herzog: Friedrich Christoph Ötinger (1902).


  1. "Apocatastasis". New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, Vol. I.

Related Research Articles

Prokop Diviš Czech physicist, inventor and roman catholic priest

Dom Prokop Diviš, O.Praem. was a Czech canon regular, theologian and natural scientist. In an attempt to prevent thunderstorms from occurring, he inadvertently constructed one of the first grounded lightning rods.

Pietism movement within Lutheranism

Pietism is a movement within Lutheranism that combines its emphasis on biblical doctrine with the Reformed emphasis on individual piety and living a vigorous Christian life.

Albrecht Ritschl German theologian

Albrecht Ritschl was a German Protestant theologian.

University of Tübingen public research university located in the city of Tübingen, Baden-Württemberg, Germany

The University of Tübingen, officially the Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen, is a public research university located in the city of Tübingen, Baden-Württemberg, Germany.

Tübinger Stift seminary

The Tübinger Stift is a hall of residence and teaching; it is owned and supported by the Evangelical-Lutheran Church in Württemberg, and located in the university city of Tübingen, in South West Germany. The Stift was founded as an Augustinian monastery in the Middle Ages. After the Reformation, in 1536, Duke Ulrich turned the Stift into a seminary which served to prepare Protestant pastors for Württemberg. To this day the scholarship is still given to students in preparation for the ministry or teaching in Württemberg. Students receive a scholarship which consists of boarding, lodging and further academic support.

Gustav Schwab German teacher, pastor, author and editor

Gustav Benjamin Schwab was a German writer, pastor and publisher.

Georg Calixtus German Lutheran theologian

Georg Calixtus, Kallisøn/Kallisön, or Callisen was a German Lutheran theologian who looked to reconcile all Christendom by removing all unimportant differences.

Erhard Weigel Mathematician, astronomer and philosopher

Erhard Weigel was a German mathematician, astronomer and philosopher.

Philipp Matthäus Hahn German pastor and inventor

Philipp Matthäus Hahn was a German pastor, astronomer and inventor.

Saalburg-Ebersdorf Place in Thuringia, Germany

Saalburg-Ebersdorf is a town in the Saale-Orla-Kreis district, in Thuringia, Germany close to the Bavarian border. It is situated on the river Saale, 10 km southwest of Schleiz, 30 km west of Plauen and 30 km north-west of Hof.

Wanderers Nightsong

"Wanderer's Nightsong" is the title of two poems by the German poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Written in 1776 and in 1780, they are among Goethe's most famous works. Both were first edited together in his 1815 Works Vol. I with the headings "Wandrers Nachtlied" and "Ein gleiches". Both works were set to music as lieder by Franz Schubert as D 224 and D 768.

The Academic Gymnasium Danzig, was a school founded in Gdańsk. It was founded in 1558 by Johann Hoppe (1512–1565), who had previously worked at schools in Culm (Chełmno) and Elbing (Elbląg) until Catholic Prince-Bishop Stanislaus Hosius closed them. For most of its existence it had a character similar to that of a university, and after 1580 it was named Akademisches Gymnasium Danzig.

Johann Andreas Streicher German piano maker and composer

Johann Andreas Streicher was a German pianist, composer and piano maker. In 1793 he married Nannette Streicher (1769–1833), another piano maker and the daughter of Augsburg piano maker Johann Andreas Stein. In 1794 they moved to Vienna. From that time Streicher worked as a piano teacher and became increasingly known for his compositions. The Streicher piano-making business provided at least one fortepiano to Beethoven in his early years, of which the composer was fond, writing that it was "too good for me ... because it robs me of the freedom to produce my own tone".

Antonia of Württemberg princess of the Duchy of Württemberg, literary figure, patroness, and Christian Kabbalist

Antonia of Württemberg was a princess of the Duchy of Württemberg, as well as a literary figure, patroness, and Christian Kabbalist.

Johannes Wallmann is a German Protestant theologian and emeritus professor of church history at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum.

Joachim Feller was a German professor at the University of Leipzig and from 1675 head of its university library.

Karl August Auberlen was a German Lutheran theologian.

Susanne von Klettenberg German abbess and writer

Susanne Katharina Seiffart von Klettenberg was a German abbess and writer. She was a friend of Katharina Elisabeth Goethe, the mother of writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Klettenberg corresponded with Goethe, and he shaped a character, "Beautiful Soul," after her in his novel Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship. She was also a friend of Friedrich Christoph Steinhofer (1706–1761), a former co-episcopus of the Moravian Church.

Johann Friedrich Wilhelm Jerusalem German theologian

Johann Friedrich Wilhelm Jerusalem was a German Lutheran theologian during the Age of Enlightenment. He was also known as "Abt Jerusalem".


Further reading

a) Pre 1945:

b) 1945–1990:

c) newest literature: