BRUNO BAUER (German: ; 6 September 1809 – 13 April 1882) was a
German philosopher and historian. As a student of
G. W. F. Hegel
G. W. F. Hegel ,
Bauer was a radical Rationalist in philosophy, politics and Biblical
criticism. Bauer investigated the sources of the
New Testament and,
beginning with Hegel's Hellenophile orientation, concluded that early
Christianity owed more to ancient Greek philosophy (
Stoicism ) than to
Bruno Bauer is also known by his association and sharp
Karl Marx and
Friedrich Engels , and by his later
Max Stirner and
Friedrich Nietzsche . Starting in
1840, he began a series of works arguing that Jesus was a 2nd-century
fusion of Jewish, Greek, and Roman theology.
* 1 Biography
* 2 Conflict with
* 3 Views on Christian origins
* 4 Antisemitism
* 5 Political ideology
* 6 Revival
* 7 Argument against the existence of Jesus
* 8 Translations
* 9 Quotes
* 10 Major works
* 11 See also
* 12 Notes
* 13 References
* 14 Further reading
* 15 External links
Bauer was the son of a painter in a porcelain factory and his wife at
Saxe-Altenburg , and became one of the great scholars of
the 19th century.
Bauer studied at the Friedrich Wilhelm University in Berlin from
Spring 1828 to Spring 1832. He became associated with the so-called
Right Hegelians under
Philip Marheineke , who engaged Bauer years
later to edit the second edition of Hegel's Lectures on the Philosophy
of Religion 1818–1832. This was to become one of Bauer's best-known
works—a three-volume, critical edition.
In 1834 he began to teach in Berlin as a licentiate of theology, and
in 1839 was transferred to the
University of Bonn
University of Bonn .
In 1838 he published his Kritische Darstellung der Religion des Alten
Testaments (Critical Exhibition of the Religion of the Old Testament)
in two volumes. This work showed Bauer was faithful to the Hegelian
Rationalist theology that interpreted all miracles in Naturalistic
Consistent with his Hegelian Rationalism, Bauer continued in 1840
with, Kritik der evangelischen Geschichte des Johannes (Critique of
the Evangelical History of John). In 1841 Bauer continued his
Rationalist theme with, Kritik der evangelischen Geschichte der
Synoptiker (Critique of the Evangelical History of the Synoptics ).
At no time in his writing was Bauer ever an orthodox Christian. From
his earliest days of academic scholarship under Hegel, Bauer
maintained a firm criticism of
Immanuel Kant and a firm fealty to both
Hegel's dialectic and his Rationalist Theology.
Accused of being a so-called "Right Hegelian" (cf. David Strauss, In
Defense of My 'Life of Jesus' Against the Hegelians, 1838), he was
later accused of being a "Left Hegelian" because of his association,
or rather his early leadership, of the
Young Hegelians . Yet the
labels of 'Left' and 'Right' were only placed on
Bruno Bauer by
others; never by himself. Bauer considered himself simply a Hegelian.
From 1839 to 1841, Bauer was a teacher, mentor and close friend of
Karl Marx , but in 1841 they came to a break. Marx, with Friedrich
Engels , had formulated a socialist and communistic programme that
Bruno Bauer firmly rejected.
Engels in turn expressed their
break with Bauer in two books: The Holy Family (1845) and The German
The Prussian Minister of Education, Altenstein , sent Bauer to the
University of Bonn
University of Bonn , to protect his Rationalist Theology from the
critique of the Berlin orthodox, as well as to win over Bonn
University to Hegelianism. Bauer, however, created many enemies at
pietist -dominated Bonn university, where he openly taught Rationalism
in his new position as professor of theology. Bauer attested in
letters during this time that he tried to provoke a scandal, to force
the government either to give complete freedom of science and teaching
to its university professors, or to openly express its
anti-enlightenment position by removing him from his post.
The pro-Hegelian minister Altenstein had died and been replaced by
the anti-Hegelian Eichhorn. The government officials asked for advice
from the theology departments of its universities. Except for the
Marheineke , most said that a professor of Protestant
theology should not be allowed to teach "atheism" to his student
priests. As Bauer was unwilling to compromise his Rationalism, the
Prussian government in 1842 revoked his teaching license. After the
setbacks of the revolutions of 1848 , Bauer left the city. He lived an
ascetic and stoic life in the countryside of
Rixdorf near Berlin.
Bauer continued to write, including more than nine theological tomes,
in twelve lengthy volumes. His lengthy volumes varied between
theology, modern history and politics. He published them at his own
expense while working at his family's tobacco shop.
Between 1843 and 1845 Bauer published Geschichte der Politik, Kultur
und Aufklärung des 18ten Jahrhunderts (History of Politics, Culture
and Enlightenment in the 18th Century, in 4 volumes). In 1847 Bauer
published Geschichte der französischen Revolution (History of the
French Revolution, in 3 volumes).
Between 1850 and 1852 Bauer published Kritik der Evangelien und
Geschichte ihres Ursprungs (A Critique of the Gospels and a History of
their Origin), as well as Kritik der paulinischen Briefe (Critique of
the Pauline Epistles). In these works Bauer led the academic movement
to subject the Bible to historical and literary criticism.
In 1877 Bauer published Christus und die Caesaren (Christ and the
Caesars), and in 1882 he published Disraelis romantischer und
Bismarcks socialistischer Imperialismus (Disraeli's Romantic and
Bismarck's Socialist Imperialism).
Bauer's final book on theology, Christ and the Caesars (1877), was
his crowning effort to justify Hegel's position that Christian
theology owed at least as much to Greco-Roman classical philosophy as
it owed to Judaism.
Bruno Bauer died at
Rixdorf in 1882. His younger brother, Edgar , was
a German left-wing journalist who had supported his brother's fights
and was sent to prison for his political positions. He later became a
police spy in London for the Danish government, reporting about Karl
Marx, among others.
CONFLICT WITH DAVID STRAUSS
Shortly after the death of
Hegel , another writer,
David Strauss ,
who had been a reader of Hegel's writings, arrived in Berlin (1831).
As a student of
Friedrich Schleiermacher he wrote a controversial book
which is now famous, entitled, The Life of Jesus Critically Examined,
usually referred to as The Life of Jesus (1835). In this book David
Strauss announced his own landmark theory of 'demythologization' as an
approach to the Gospels, but he also attempted to use Hegel's name and
fame in his book as a marketing ploy.
In the year of its publication, Strauss' book raised a storm of
controversy. The Prussian king
Friedrich Wilhelm IV
Friedrich Wilhelm IV tightened control
of the Prussian University system, favoring his ultra-conservative
approach to the Bible. He objected to the writing of David Strauss,
and he also mistakenly believed that the Hegelian school in general
was its source.
Bruno Bauer, at 26 years of age, was chosen by the Hegelians to
David Strauss in the Hegelian "Journal für wissenschaftliche
Kritik" (Journal of Philosophical Criticism). Bauer ably showed that
Strauss misrepresented Hegel, and that Strauss' position differed
significantly from Hegel's. Bauer also demonstrated that David
Strauss' so-called dialectic was taken from Schleiermacher (who had
been antagonistic toward Hegel).
Although Strauss' book had sold well throughout Europe, in 1838
Strauss published a rebuttal to
Bruno Bauer in a booklet entitled, In
Defense of my Life of Jesus against the Hegelians. In that book
Strauss admitted publicly that his position had not been inspired by
Hegel's philosophy after all, nor by Hegel's theological position
(which advocated a dialectical Trinity). Strauss divorced himself from
the Hegelians with this booklet, and never joined their ranks again.
However, in this final exchange with the Hegelians, he criticised the
Hegelian school in a way that has become unforgettable. In that
David Strauss invented terms still in use today: a Right
Hegelian would uncritically defend all positions of orthodox Christian
theology, he said, while a
Left Hegelian takes a liberal and
progressive approach to Scripture. A "Centrist Hegelian" would take
the middle road and try to honor both: whatever was rational in
theological thinking as well as free scientific thought.
The Prussian monarch, objecting to these debates, banned many
Hegelians from teaching in Universities, including Bruno Bauer. For
the rest of his life, Bauer continued to be bitter towards David
For example, when Bauer was middle-aged, a youthful Friedrich
Nietzsche came to visit him, seeking advice from a well-known author
Bruno Bauer did remain well known during his lifetime). Bauer
encouraged Nietzsche to criticize David Strauss, and in that early
period, that is exactly what young Nietzsche did. Nietzsche in turn
mentions later that
Bruno Bauer was "my entire reading public".
VIEWS ON CHRISTIAN ORIGINS
Bauer wrote criticism of the
New Testament .
David Strauss , in his
Life of Jesus, had accounted for the Gospel narratives as
half-conscious products of the mythic instinct in the early Christian
communities. Bauer ridiculed Strauss's notion that a community could
produce a connected narrative. Rather, only a single writer could be
responsible for the first Gospel. His own contention, embodying a
Christian Gottlob Wilke (Der Urevangelist, 1838), was that
the original narrative was the
Gospel of Mark
Gospel of Mark .
For Bruno Bauer, the
Gospel of Mark
Gospel of Mark was completed in the reign
Hadrian (where its prototype, the 'Ur-Marcus,'
identifiable within the
Gospel of Mark
Gospel of Mark by a critical analysis, was
begun around the time of
Josephus and the Roman-Jewish Wars). Bauer,
like other advocates of this 'Marcan Hypothesis ', affirmed that all
the other Gospel narratives used the
Gospel of Mark
Gospel of Mark as their model
within their writing communities.
Albert Schweitzer wrote that Bauer "originally sought to
defend the honor of Jesus by rescuing his reputation from the inane
parody of a biography that the Christian apologists had forged."
However, he eventually came to the belief that it was a complete
fiction and "regarded the
Gospel of Mark
Gospel of Mark not only as the first
narrator, but even as the creator of the gospel history, thus making
the latter a fiction and Christianity the invention of a single
original evangelist" (
Otto Pfleiderer ).
Although Bauer did investigate the 'Ur-Marcus,' it was his remarks on
the current version of the
Gospel of Mark
Gospel of Mark that captured popular
attention. In particular, some key themes in the Gospel of Mark
appeared to be literary. The
Messianic Secret theme, in which Jesus
continually performed wonders and then continually told the viewers
not to tell anybody that he did this, seemed to Bauer to be an example
of fiction. If the
Messianic Secret is a fiction, Bauer wrote, then
the redactor who added that theme was probably the final redactor of
our current version of the
Gospel of Mark
Gospel of Mark . In 1901, Wilhelm Wrede
would make his lasting fame by repeating many of Bauer's ideas in his
book, The Messianic Secret.
Also, for some influential theologians in the
Tübingen School ,
Pauline epistles were regarded as forgeries of the 2nd
century. Bauer radicalised that position by suggesting that ALL
Pauline epistles were forgeries, written in the West in antagonism to
the Paul of The Acts. Bauer observed a preponderance of the
Greco-Roman element, over and above the Jewish element, in Christian
writings, and he added a wealth of historical background to support
his theory; though modern scholars such as
E. P. Sanders and John P.
Meier have disputed this theory and attempted to demonstrate a mainly
Jewish historical background. Other authors, such as
Rudolf Bultmann ,
tended to agree that a Greco-Roman element was dominant.
According to Bruno Bauer, the writer of Mark 's gospel was "an
Italian, at home both in Rome and Alexandria"; that of Matthew 's
gospel "a Roman, nourished by the spirit of Seneca "; Christianity is
Stoicism triumphant in a Jewish garb."
Bruno Bauer added was a deep review of European literature in
the 1st century. In his estimation, many key themes of the New
Testament, especially those that are opposed to themes in the Old
Testament, can be found with relative ease in Greco-Roman literature
that flourished during the 1st century. Such a position was also
maintained by some Jewish scholars.
Bauer's final book, Christ and the Caesars (1877) offers a
penetrating analysis that shows common key-words in the words of
1st-century writers like Seneca the Stoic and
New Testament texts.
While this had been perceived even in ancient times, the ancient
explanation was that Seneca 'must have been' a secret Christian. Bruno
Bauer was perhaps the first to attempt to carefully demonstrate that
New Testament writers freely borrowed from Seneca the Stoic. One
modern explanation is that common cultures share common thought-forms
and common patterns of speech; that similarities do not necessarily
In Christ and the Caesars, Bauer argued that
Judaism entered Rome
during the era of the
Maccabees , and increased in population and
influence in Rome since that time. He cited literature from the 1st
century to strengthen his case that Jewish influence in Rome was far
greater than historians had yet reported. The Imperial throne was
influenced by the Jewish religious genius, he said, citing Herod's
relation with the Caesar family, as well as the famous relationship
Josephus and the Flavians,
Titus , and also one
of the poems of
According to Bruno Bauer,
Julius Caesar sought to interpret his own
life as an Oriental miracle story, and Augustus Caesar completed that
job by commissioning
Virgil to write his Aeneid, making Caesar into
the Son of Venus and a relative of the Trojans, thereby justifying the
Roman conquest of Greece and insinuating Rome into a much older
By contrast, said Bauer,
Vespasian was far more fortunate, since he
Josephus himself to link his reign with an Oriental miracle.
Josephus had prophesied that
Vespasian would become Emperor of Rome
and thus ruler of the world. This actually happened, and in this way
the Roman conquest of Judea was justified and insinuated Rome into an
even older history.
Albert Schweitzer , Bruno Bauer's criticisms of the New
Testament provided the most interesting questions about the historical
Jesus that he had seen.
Judging by the second-to-last chapter of his Quest, Schweitzer's own
theology was partly based on Bauer's writings. The title of that
chapter is Thoroughgoing Skepticism and Eschatology. In that chapter
Schweitzer clashes head-on with
Wilhelm Wrede , who had recently (in
1905) proposed the theory of a
Messianic Secret . Wrede's theory
claimed that Jesus' continual commands to his followers to "say
nothing to anybody" after each miracle was performed could only be
explained as a literary invention of this Gospel writer. (That is,
Wrede was the thoroughgoing skeptic, and Schweitzer was the
thoroughgoing eschatologist.) Schweitzer began by showing that Wrede
had merely copied this idea from Bruno Bauer. Then Schweizter listed
another forty brilliant criticisms from
Bruno Bauer (pp. 334–335)
some of which he disagreed with (such as the so-called Messianic
Secret ) and some of which he considered indispensable for any modern
theology of the Gospel.
This line of criticism has value in emphasizing the importance of
studying the influence of environment in the formation of the
Christian Scriptures. Bauer was a man of restless creativity,
interdisciplinary activity and independent judgment. Many reviewers
have charged that Bauer's judgment was ill-balanced, Due to the
controversial nature of his work as a social theorist, theologian and
historian, Bauer was banned from public teaching by a Prussian
monarch. After many years of similar censorship, Bauer came to resign
himself to his place as a free-lance critic, rather than as an
Douglas Moggach published The Philosophy and Politics of Bruno Bauer
in 2003. This is the most comprehensive overview of Bauer's life and
works, in English to date. Bauer's biography has obtained more kindly
reviews these days, even by opponents. In his own day, his opponents
often respected him, since he was not afraid of taking a line on
One point that is often raised in this regard is his line that was
displeasing to his liberal friends on the
Jewish question (Die
Judenfrage, 1843). Bauers later article "Jews abroad" (Das Judentum in
der Fremde) in "Staats- und Gesellschaftslexicon" was even more
radical and extensive, mixing arguments of racism, religion and
The topic of Bauer's personal religious views or lack thereof is a
continuing debate in contemporary scholarship about Bruno Bauer. One
modern writer, Paul Trejo (2002), has made the case that Bauer
remained a radical theologian who criticized specific types of
Christianity, and that Bauer maintained a Hegelian interpretation of
Christianity throughout his life. According to Trejo, Bauer's book,
Christianity Exposed (1843), was very mild, only setting one sect of
Christian against another. Further, opined Trejo, Bauer's Trumpet of
the Last Judgment against
Hegel the Atheist and Antichrist was a
comedy – actually a prank – in which Bauer pretended to be a
right-wing cleric who was attacking Hegel. When many right-wing
readers publicly praised the book, Bauer revealed himself as the
actual author and had a good laugh.
The Trumpet, written by Bauer and published anonymously, was of
Gianfranco Sanguinetti , for his 1975 pamphlet
Veritable Report on the Last Chances to Save Capitalism in Italy, a
Situationist prank which caused him to leave Italy under the force of
Beginning in 1848, critics accused Bauer of promoting a virulent
antisemitism in print within reactionary circles. Bauer's view of
Judaism is considered by some to have been absolutely
negative, both when considering the past and when contemplating the
In 1843, Bauer wrote
The Jewish Question , which was responded to in
a pamphlet written by Karl Marx, entitled,
On the Jewish Question
On the Jewish Question .
According to Marx, Bauer argued that the Jews were responsible for
their own misfortunes in European society since they had "made their
nest in the pores and interstices of bourgeois society". Bauer's
actual words were, 'Jewish citizens should not expect to be free in
Germany as long as German citizens were themselves unfree.'
Jacob Katz contextualizes Bauer's antisemitism with his passionate
anti-Christianity, the latter of which caused Bauer to lose his
professorship. Although, according to Katz, Bauer was "equally
impatient with Christianity and Judaism", Bauer would frequently
diverge from a review or opinion piece on a Jewish writer or thinker
into a general consideration of "the Jew as a type", grasping at
whatever negative characteristics he could find.
The first English-language rendering of Bruno Bauer's career was
published in March, 2003 by Douglas Moggach, a professor at the
University of Ottawa
University of Ottawa . His book is entitled, The Philosophy and
Politics of Bruno Bauer. Professor Moggach develops a republican
interpretation of Bruno Bauer, in which Bauer is portrayed as reaching
atheist conclusions because of his political commitments to free
self-consciousness and autonomy, and his criticisms of the Restoration
union of church and state. Other scholars continue to dispute that
Bauer's personality was complex. During his career and even after he
died he was difficult to classify. The left-wing tried to define him
as one of their own. The right-wing tried to define him as one of
their own. He was praised by the right-Hegelians, and he was praised
by the left-Hegelians.
Bauer had studied directly under the German philosopher Friedrich
Hegel had awarded an academic prize to Bauer when Bauer was
about 20 years old.
Hegel died when
Bruno Bauer was 22 years old.
Perhaps this affected Bauer's personality strongly; he may have seen
himself as sitting very close to the highest academic post in Prussia
and possibly he imagined that he would one day have that post.
Hegel unexpectedly died in 1831, possibly of cholera, Bruno
Bauer's official connections were drastically reduced. Bauer had very
few powerful friends during the academic fallout after Hegel's death.
After the publication of his 'The Trumpet' (1841) he was considered
as an important representative of the radicals.
The struggle with
David Strauss and especially with the Prussian
monarchy had set
Bruno Bauer back quite a bit. This also affected
Bauer went underground and began to write Hegelian newspapers here
and there. In this journey he met some socialists, including Karl Marx
, his former student, and Marx' new friends,
Friedrich Engels and
Arnold Ruge . They were all left-wing radicals. Bauer was not a
left-wing radical, but he was happy to be their leader if it could
lead them back to a Hegelian understanding of the dialectic. Another
member of those Young Hegelians,
Max Stirner , became Bauer's lifelong
friend. Although Bauer was not a radical egoist, he preferred the
writings of Stirner to the writings of
Engels and Ruge .
Engels broke sharply with
Bruno Bauer and
attacked him specifically in a critique of one of his works, "On the
Jewish Question" and in other books that were critical of various
Young Hegelians including Bauer, The Holy Family, and The German
Bruno Bauer met with
Marx again in London in the mid-1850s, while
visiting his exiled brother Edgar there. According to Marx's
correspondence with Engels, Bauer presented him with a copy of Hegel's
Science of Logic.
Marx referred to this volume while completing his
drafts of 'Capital'.
Bauer had already turned away from the socialism and communism of
Marx and Engels, so he was immune to the barbs they wrote in The Holy
Family or Critique of Critical Criticism. Against
Bruno Bauer and
Company by his pupils,
Marx and Engels. Nevertheless, he had fallen
quite far – from a favorite son of
Hegel himself down to an enemy of
both the right-wing and the left-wing as well. He found very few
friends in this intellectual position aside from Max Stirner.
According to some sources he contemplated suicide. According to other
sources, his enemies only wished that he contemplated suicide.
Suppressed and condemned by both the right-wing and the left-wing,
Bruno Bauer finally settled into his family's
tobacco shop to earn his living, though he continued to write. He
never married, but he wrote books for the rest of his life.
Bauer's scholarship was buried by German academia, and he remained a
Albert Kalthoff rescued his works from neglect and
obscurity. Kalthoff revived Bauer's Christ Myth thesis in his Das
Christus-Problem. Grundlinien zu einer Sozialtheologie (The Problem of
Christ: Principles of a Social Theology, 1902) and Die Entstehung des
Christentums, Neue Beiträge zum Christusproblem (The Rise of
Albert Schweitzer a historian of theology, who
presented an important critical review of the history of the search
for Jesus's life in Geschichte der Leben-Jesu-Forschung (The Quest of
the Historical Jesus , 1906), highly praised Bauer's early work.
Arthur Drews noted Bauer's views in his own work The Denial of the
Historicity of Jesus in Past and Present , "Christianity is the
product of the intimidated class of Romans who needed a straw of hope
and faith in their struggle against the egoism of Caesars. It's absurd
to suppose it to be originating from Hierosolyma . The origin of the
Gospel literature is then reexamined. Originally, it's just a
demonstration of the new principle of freedom, in rebellion against
the law-dominated world, represented by Judaism. The Gospels
demonstrate various steps in the evolution of this esteem. The main
factor of influence was of the Roman empire, whose oppression forced
the community to look for hope in a kingdom of heavens and
exterminating the kingdom of Rome to make it possible. ...Absolutely
no such thing as a historical Jesus of Galilee is needed to explain
the genesis of Mark's gospel." Modern scholar
Robert M. Price
Robert M. Price wrote:
Reading the prescient
Bruno Bauer one has the eerie feeling that a
New Testament scholarship may find itself ending up where
it began. For instance, the work of
Burton Mack ,
Vernon Robbins , and
others makes a powerful case for understanding the gospels as Cynic
-Stoic in tone.... Robert M. Fowler,
Frank Kermode , and Randel Helms
have demonstrated how thoroughly the gospels smack of fictional
composition. Thus, from many directions,
New Testament researchers
seem to be converging uncannily on the theses that
Bruno Bauer set
forth over a century ago.
ARGUMENT AGAINST THE EXISTENCE OF JESUS
Bauer became the first author to systematically argue that Jesus did
not exist. Beginning in 1841, in his Criticism of the Gospel History
of the Synoptics, Bauer argued that the
Biblical Jesus was primarily a
literary figure. However, he left open the question of whether a
historical Jesus existed at all until his 1851 work, Criticism of the
Gospels and History of their Origin and then in 1877 proposed his
theory for the true origin of Jesus in Christ and the Caesars.
Bauer's 1842 work, Kritik der evangelischen Geschichte der Synoptiker
und des Johannes (3 vol) argued that the gospels were purely literary,
with no historically authentic material. While not yet rejecting the
historicity of Jesus, Bauer denied the historicity of a supernatural
Christ (viz. Jesus—a natural human). Bauer wrote, "Everything that
the historical Christ is, everything that is said of Him, everything
that is known of Him, belongs to the world of imagination, that is, of
the imagination of the Christian community, and therefore has nothing
to do with any man who belongs to the real world." (see David Strauss
(1808–1874) who pioneered the search for the "Historical Jesus" by
also rejecting the supernatural events of "The Christ", in his 1835
work, Life of Jesus).
In his Criticism of the Pauline Epistles (1850–1852) and in A
Critique of the Gospels and a History of their Origin (1850–1851),
Bauer argued that Jesus had not existed. Schweitzer notes, "At the
end of his study of the Gospels, Bauer is inclined to make the
decision of the question whether there ever was a historic Jesus
depend on the result of a further investigation which he proposed to
make into the Pauline Epistles. It was not until ten years later
(1850–1851) that he accomplished this task, (Kritik der Paidinischen
Briefe. (Criticism of the Pauline Epistles.) Berlin, 1850-1852.) and
applied the result in his new edition of the "Criticism of the Gospel
History." (Kritik der Evangelien und Geschichte ihres Ursprungs.
(Criticism of the Gospels and History of their Origin.) 2 vols.,
Berlin, 1850-1851.) The result is negative: there never was any
In Christ and the Caesars (1877) he suggested that Christianity was a
synthesis of the
Seneca the Younger
Seneca the Younger and of the Jewish
Philo as developed by pro-Roman Jews such as
Bauer's work was heavily criticized at the time; in 1839 he was
removed from his position at the University of Bonn, and his work did
not have much impact on future myth theorists.
Christ myth theory
Christ myth theory proponents still assert the threefold argument
originally asserted by Bauer:
* that the
New Testament has no historical value.
* that there are no non-Christian references to Jesus Christ dating
back to the first century.
* that Christianity had pagan or mythical roots.
The great bulk of Bauer's writings have still not been translated
into English. Only two books by Bauer have been formally translated; a
comedic parody, The Trumpet of the Last Judgment Against
Atheist and Antichrist (1841, trans. Lawrence Stepelevich, 1989), and
Christianity Exposed: A Recollection of the 18th Century and a
Contribution to the Crisis of the 19th (1843, ed. Paul Trejo, 2002). A
third book, Bauer's great, Christ and the Caesars (1877, Charleston
House Publishing, 1999) was published informally, perhaps as a
software-generated translation under a pseudonym, "Frank E. Schacht."
This section CONTAINS TOO MANY QUOTATIONS FOR AN ENCYCLOPEDIC
ENTRY. Please help improve the article by editing it to take facts
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"We save the honor of Jesus when we restore His Person to life from
the state of inanity to which the apologists have reduced it, and give
it once more a living relation to history, which it certainly
possessed." — Bruno Bauer, SYNOPTIKER, 1840 "Therefore, criticism
has to direct itself against itself, and against the mysterious
Substance in which it has up to now hid itself. In this way criticism
must resolve things such that the development of this Substance drives
itself forward to the Universality and Certainty of the Idea of its
actual existence, the Eternal Self-consciousness." — Bruno Bauer,
SYNOPTIKER, 1840 "The pure Christian State is a State in which
theological law prevails. This law attains to real power or, to be
more exact, absolute power, when through its results which are
identical with those of opium, it puts all parts of humanity to sleep.
If some occasionally awake they carry out crimes that horrify humanity
which has not yet become Christian in the full sense of the word or
has already abandoned the Christian framework." — Bruno Bauer, 1841,
THE CHRISTIAN STATE AND OUR TIMES "After fulfilling its destructive
urge towards everything that is noble and good on earth, it sketches,
in its opium intoxication, a picture of the future situation, which
differs drastically from the order of this world, since everything
changes and is renewed." — Bruno Bauer, 1842, THE GOOD CAUSE OF
FREEDOM AND MY OWN CASE "Reason is the true creative power, for it
produces itself as Infinite Self-consciousness, and its ongoing
creation is...world history. As the only power that exists, Spirit can
therefore be determined by nothing other than itself, that is, its
essence is Freedom...Freedom is the infinite power of
Spirit...Freedom, the only End of Spirit, is also the only End of
History, and history is nothing other than Spirit's becoming
*conscious* of its Freedom, or the becoming of Real, Free, Infinite
Self-consciousness." — Bruno Bauer, 1842, HEGEL'S LEHRE VON DER
RELIGION UND KUNST VON DEM STANDPUNKTE DES GLAUBENS AUS BEURTEILT,
trans. Moggach, 2001
* De pulchri principiis, Prussian royal prize manuscript, first
published as Prinzipien des Schönen. De pulchri principiis. Eine
Preisschrift (1829), new ed.
Douglas Moggach und Winfried Schultze
(Berlin: Akademie Verlag, 1996).
* "Rezension (review): Das Leben Jesu, David Friedrich Strauss,"
Jahrbücher für wissenschaftliche Kritik, Dec. 1835; May 1836.
* Kritik der Geschichte der Offenbarung. Die Religion des alten
Testaments in der geschichtlichen Entwicklung ihrer Prinzipien
dargestellt 2 vol. (Berlin, 1838).
* Herr Dr. Hengstenberg (Berlin, 1839).
* Kritik der evangelischen Geschichte des Johannes (Bremen, 1840)
* “Der christliche Staat und unsere Zeit," Hallische Jahrbücher
für deutsche Wissenschaft und Kunst, June 1841.
* Kritik der evangelischen Geschichte der Synoptiker, 2 vols.
* Die Posaune des jüngsten Gerichts über Hegel, den Atheisten und
Antichristen (Leipzig, 1841); trans. L. Stepelevich, The Trumpet of
the Last Judgement against
Hegel the Atheist and Antichrist. An
Ultimatum (Lewiston, N.Y.: E. Mellen Press, 1989)
* (anon.) Hegels Lehre von der Religion und Kunst von dem
Standpuncte des Glaubens aus beurteilt (Leipzig, 1842); new ed. Aalen
(Scientia Verlag, 1967)
* Die gute Sache der Freiheit und meine eigene Angelegenheit (1842)
* Die Judenfrage (1843) ("The Jewish Question")
* Das Entdeckte Christentum (Zürich, 1843, banned and destroyed,
into oblivion until 1927: ed. Barnikol); transl. Esther Ziegler,
Christianity Exposed (MellenPress, 2002)
* "Die Fähigkeit der heutigen Juden und Christen, frei zu werden,"
in Georg Herwegh (ed.), Einundzwanzig Bogen aus der Schweiz (Zürich
und Winterthur, 1843)
* Geschichte der Politik, Kultur und Aufklärung des 18.
Jahrhunderts, 4 vol. (1843–45)
* "Die Gattung und die Masse”, Allg. Lit.-Ztg. X, September 1844
* Geschichte Deutschlands und der französischen Revolution unter
der Herrschaft Napoleons, 2 vols. (1846)
* Der Ursprung des Galaterbriefs (Hempel, 1850)
* Kritik der paulinischen Briefe ("Critique of Paul's epistles")
* Der Ursprung des ersten Korintherbriefes (Hempel, 1851)
* Kritik der Evangelien und Geschichte ihres Ursprungs, 3 vols.
(1850–51); 4th vol. Die theologische Erklärung der Evangelien
* Russland und das Germanentum 2 vol. (1853)
* Das Judenthum in der Fremde. (Berlin, 1863).
* Philo, Renan und das Urchristentum (Berlin, 1874)
* Einfluss des englischen Quäkerthums auf die deutsche Cultur und
auf das englisch-russische Project einer Weltkirche (Berlin, 1878)
* Christus und die Cäsaren. Der Ursprung des Christenthums aus dem
römischen Griechenthum (1877, 2d ed. 1879); Transl. Frank E. Schacht,
Christ and the Caesars: The Origin of Christianity from Romanized
Greek Culture (Charleston House, 1998)
* Christus und die Cäsaren...Transl. German to English by Helmut
Brunar and Byron Marchant, Christ and the Caesars... available
(Bloomington IN: Xlibris Publishing, 2015).
* Disraelis romantischer und Bismarcks sozialistischer Imperialismus
* ^ see Bauer's work "Christus und die Caesaren" (English: Christ
and the Caesars)
* ^ Durant, Will . Caesar and Christ. New York: Simon and Schuster.
* ^ Nietzsche, Friedrich , Genealogy of Morals and Ecce Homo, Ecce
Homo, page 278 (Random House: Vintage Books Edition, 1989, Walter
* ^ Schweitzer, Albert,
The Quest of the Historical Jesus
The Quest of the Historical Jesus – 1906
– Adam and Charles Black, on p.159, Schweitzer explicitly states,
"Bauer's 'Criticism of the Gospel History' is worth a good dozen Lives
of Jesus, because his work, as we are only now coming to recognise,
after half a century, is the ablest and most complete collection of
the difficulties of the Life of Jesus which is anywhere to be found."
* ^ Bauer citation, report of scandal.
* ^ Moggach, Douglas, The Philosophy and Politics of Bruno Bauer
(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003) p. 17
* ^ Katz, Jacob, From Prejudice to Destruction: Anti-Semitism,
1700–1933 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1980) p. 214
* ^ Poliakov, Leon, The History of Anti-Semitism, Volume III: From
Voltaire to Wagner (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press,
2003) p. 420
* ^ Katz, Jacob. From prejudice to destruction: anti-Semitism,
1700–1933. page 169
* ^ Katz, Jacob. From prejudice to destruction: anti-Semitism,
1700–1933. page 214-5
* ^ A B SCHWEITZER, ALBERT (1910). THE QUEST OF THE HISTORICAL
JESUS A CRITICAL STUDY OF ITS PROGRESS FROM REIMARUS TO WREDE. p. 159.
had long been regarded by theologians as an extinct force; nay, more,
had been forgotten. It was, indeed, nothing less than a misfortune
that Strauss and Bauer appeared within so short a time of one another.
Bauer passed practically unnoticed, because every one was preoccupied
with Strauss. Another unfortunate thing was that Bauer overthrew with
his powerful criticism the hypothesis which attributed real historical
value to Mark, so that it lay for a long time disregarded, and there
ensued a barren period of twenty years in the critical study of the
Life of Jesus. Bauer's "Criticism of the Gospel History" is worth a
good dozen Lives of Jesus, because his work, as we are only now coming
to recognise, after half a century, is the ablest and most complete
collection of the difficulties of the Life of Jesus which is anywhere
to be found. (Image of p. 159 at Google Books)
* ^ Drews, Arthur (1926). Die Leugnung der Geschichtlichkeit Jesu
in Vergangenheit und Gegenwart. Karlsruhe 1926 (in German). G. Braun.
pp. 65–68. The Denial of the Historicity of Jesus in Past and
* ^ Schilling, Klaus. "The Denial of the Historicity of Jesus in
Past and Presen". Ego Death and Self-Control Cybernetics. Michael
* ^ Price, Robert (2009). "Bruno Bauer, Christ and the Caesars,
reviewed by Robert M. Price". Retrieved 19 November 2016.
* ^ A B
Robert E. Van Voorst Jesus Outside the New Testament: An
Introduction to the Ancient Evidence Eerdmans Publishing, 2000. ISBN
0-8028-4368-9 pages 7-11
* ^ Beilby, James K. and Eddy, Paul Rhodes. "The Quest for the
Historical Jesus", in James K. Beilby and Paul Rhodes Eddy (eds.). The
Historical Jesus: Five Views. Intervarsity, 2009, p. 16.
* See Strauss, David. "The Life of Jesus Critically Examined, Calvin
* ^ Bauer, Bruno (1842). Kritik der evangelischen Geschichte der
Synoptiker (in German). 3. O. Wigand. p. 308. Die Frage, mit der sich
unsere Zeit so viel beschäftigt hat ob nämlich Dieser, ob Jesus der
historische Christus sey, haben wir damit beantwortet dass wir
zeigten, dass Alles, was der historische Christus ist, was von ihm
gesagt wird, was wir von ihm wissen, der Welt der Vorstellung und zwar
der christlichen Vorstellung angehört, also auch mit einem Menschen,
der der wirklichen Welt angehört Nichts zu thun hat. Die Frage ist
damit beantwortet, dass sie für alle Zukunft gestrichen ist. (Image
of Title page & p. 308 at Google Books)
* ^ Schweitzer, Albert. The Quest of the Historical Jesus.
Fortress, 2001; first published 1913, pp. 124–128, 139–141.
* ^ SCHWEITZER, ALBERT (1910). "Bruno Bauer". THE QUEST OF THE
HISTORICAL JESUS A CRITICAL STUDY OF ITS PROGRESS FROM REIMARUS TO
WREDE. p. 157. Image of p. 157 at Google Books.
* ^ Moggach, Douglas. The Philosophy and Politics of Bruno Bauer.
Cambridge University Press, 2003, p. 184. *Also see Engels, Frederick.
Bruno Bauer and Early Christianity", Der Sozialdemokrat, May 1882.
* ^ In Search of Jesus: Insider and Outsider Images by Clinton
Bennett (Dec 1, 2001) ISBN 0826449166 Continuum page 204
* ^ Voorst, Robert Van (2000). Jesus Outside the New Testament: An
Introduction to the Ancient Evidence. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. p.
9. ISBN 978-0-8028-4368-5 . Bauer laid down the typical threefold
argument that almost all subsequent deniers of the existence of Jesus
were to follow (although not in direct dependence upon him). First, he
denied the value of the New Testament, especially the Gospels and
Paul’s letters, in establishing the existence of Jesus. Second, he
argued that the lack of mention of Jesus in non-Christian writings of
the first century shows that Jesus did not exist. Neither do the few
mentions of Jesus by Roman writers in the early second century
establish his existence. Third, he promoted the view that Christianity
was syncretistic and mythical at its beginnings.
* ^ Quote from Sanguinetti '75: In 1841, under the pretext of
Hegel for his atheism,
Marx and Bauer wrote and published
an anonymous pamphlet in fact directed against the right-wing
Hegelians, but which, in its style and tone, seemed to have been
written by a right-wing metaphysician. This pamphlet in reality showed
all of the menacing revolutionary traits that the Hegelian dialectic
had in that epoch, and was thus the first document to establish the
death of metaphysics and, consequently, the "destruction of all of the
laws of the State."
* This article incorporates text from a publication now in the
public domain : Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Bauer, Bruno".
Encyclopædia Britannica . 3 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
* Barnikol, Ernst, 1972, Bruno Bauer, Studien und Materialien
* Brazill, W.J., 1970, The
Young Hegelians (New Haven: Yale
* Eberlein, Hermann-Peter, Bruno Bauer. Vom Marx-Freund zum
Antisemiten (Berlin: Karl Dietz-Verlag, 2009).
* Engels, Friedrich, 1882, "
Bruno Bauer und das Urchristentum,”
Sozialdemokrat, May 4 and 11.
* Eßbach, Wolfgang, 1988, Die Junghegelianer. Soziologie einer
Intellektuellengruppe (München: Wilhelm Fink Verlag).
* Katz, Jacob. From prejudice to destruction: anti-Semitism,
* Kautsky, Karl, 1908, Der Ursprung des Christentums (Stuttgart:
* Kautsky, Karl, 1915, Nationalstaat, imperialistischer Staat und
* Kegel, Martin, 1908,
Bruno Bauer Und Seine Theorien Über Die
Entstehung Des Christentums
* Leopold, David, 1999, “The Hegelian Antisemitism of Bruno
Bauer,” History of European Ideas 25 (1999)
* Leopold, David, 2007, The Young Karl Marx: German Philosophy,
Modern Politics, and Human Flourishing (Cambridge Un. Press)
* Löwith, Karl, 1967, From
Hegel to Nietzsche (Garden City:
* Mah, Harold, 1987, The End of Philosophy and the Origin of
Karl Marx and the Crisis of the
Young Hegelians (Berkeley:
Un. of California Press).
* Marx, Karl, 1975, On the Jewish Question, Collected Works, vol. 3
(New York: Int'l Publishers)
* Marx, Karl, Frederick Engels, 1975, The Holy Family, or Critique
of Critical Criticism, Collected Works, vol. 4 (New York: Int'l
Publishers); The German Ideology, Collected Works, vol. 5 (New York:
Int'l Publishers, 1976)
* McLellan, David, 1969, The
Young Hegelians and
Karl Marx (Toronto:
* Mehlhausen, Joachim, Dialektik, Selbstbewusstsein und Offenbarung.
Die Grundlagen der spekulativen Orthodoxie Bruno Bauers in ihrem
Zusammenhang mit der Geschichte der theologischen Hegelschule
dargestellt (Bonn 1965)
* Moggach, Douglas, 2009, The Philosophy and Politics of Bruno Bauer
(Cambridge Un. Press, 2003)
* Moggach, Douglas, ed., 2006, The New Hegelians: Politics and
Philosophy in the Hegelian School (Cambridge Un. Press).
* Rosen, Zvi, 1978,
Bruno Bauer and
Karl Marx (the Hague: Nijhoff).
* Sass, Hans-Martin, 1967, “Bruno Bauers Idee der Rheinischen
Zeitung”, Zeitschrift für Religions- und Geistesgeschichte 19,
* Schweitzer, Albert, 1906/1913, The Quest of the Historical Jesus.
A Critical Study of its Progress from Reimarus to Wrede (Johns Hopkins
Un. Press, 1998)
* Stepelevich, L.S., ed., 1983, The Young Hegelians, An Anthology
(Cambridge Un. Press).
* Toews, J.E., 1980, Hegelianism. The Path toward Dialectical
Humanism (Cambridge Un. Press).
* Tomba, Massimiliano, 2002, Crisi e critica in Bruno Bauer. Il
principio di esclusione come fondamento del politico (Naples:
Bibliopolis); transl. Krise und Kritik bei Bruno Bauer. Kategorien des
Politischen im nachhegelschen Denken (Frankfurt, 2005)
* van den Bergh van Eysinga, G.A., 1963, “Aus einer
unveröffentlichten Biographie von Bruno Bauer.
Bruno Bauer in Bonn
1839–1842,” Annali Feltrinelli
* Waser, Ruedi, 1994, Autonomie des Selbstbewußtseins. Eine
Untersuchung zum Verhältnis von
Bruno Bauer und Karl Marx
(1835–1843) (Tübingen: Francke Verlag).
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* Moggach, Douglas. "Bruno Bauer". Stanford