« Bungener (Laurent Louis), Félix Bunsen, Christian Karl Josias Bunting, Jabez »

Bunsen, Christian Karl Josias

BUNSEN, bun´zen, CHRISTIAN KARL JOSIAS: Baron; German scholar and diplomat; b. at Korbach (28 m. s.w. of Cassel) Aug. 25, 1791; d. at Bonn Nov. 28, 1860. He studied theology and philology in Marburg and Göttingen (1808–13). Resigning his hopes of journeying to India, Bunsen followed his friend Brandis to Rome in 1816, first as secretary to the Russian embassy, over which Niebuhr presided. Two years later he succeeded Brandis in the diplomatic service, and represented Prussia at Rome (where he became a close friend of Tholuck and Rothe) from 1823 to 1839. In the latter year he was sent as minister to Bern, and in 1841 to London as minister plenipotentiary and envoy extraordinary of his Majesty Frederick William IV. at the Court of St. James. In 1854 he returned to Germany and was ennobled by the king of Prussia. In the same year he retired to Heidelberg, devoting himself to literary pursuits. Shortly before his death he moved to Bonn, where he continued his studies until the last. Bunsen's influence and position enabled him to assist not only scholars like Birch, Cureton, Max Müller, Richard Lepsius, and Hoffmann, but also to found institutions, like the German hospitals in Rome and London, and the archeological institute at Rome. He helped to establish the Anglo-Prussian bishopric at Jerusalem (see Jerusalem, Anglican-German Bishopric in) as a basis of a larger union between the German evangelical and the Anglican churches. A complete list of his writings would include contributions to Roman and Egyptian Antiquities, as well as to politics, liturgy, and hymnology. His chief works of theological interest are as follows: Ignatius von Antiochien und seine Zeit (Hamburg, 1847); Hippolytus and his Age (4 vols., London, 1851), which, together with his Analecta Ante-Nicæna and Outlines of the Philosophy of Universal History as Applied to Language and Religion, form his great work Christianity and Mankind (7 vols., 1854), for which many scholars wrote contributions. Soon after his return to Germany he published Die Zeichen der Zeit (2 vols., Leipsic, 1855; Eng. transl., Signs of the Times, London, 1856), in which he assailed the anarchy existing in political, religious, and intellectual life, advocating toleration and liberty of conscience, and opposing the sophistical and fanatical doctrines of Stahl and Ketteler. Another work which involved Bunsen in controversy was his Gott in der Geschichte, oder der Fortschritt des Glaubens an eine sittliche Weltordnung (3 vols., 1857–58; Eng. transl., God in History, 3 vols., London, 1868–70), but his most important book was his Vollständiges Bibelwerk für die Gemeinde (9 vols., 1858–70). Bunsen lived to see the publication of vols. i., ii., and v.; after his death Adolf Kamphausen, continued the work with the help of Johannes Bleak, H. Holtzmann, and others; the work gave a marked impetus to the revision of Luther's Bible version, and was diligently consulted by the German revisers.

A. Kamphausen.

Bibliography: The chief work on Bunsen's life is by his widow, Memoir of Baron C. C. J. Bunsen, 2 vols., London, 1868–69, translated and enlarged by Nippold, 3 vols., Leipsic, 1868–71. Consult also A. J. C. Hare, Life and Letters of Baroness Bunsen, London, 1878, Germ. transl. by F. A. Perthes, Gotha, 1885. Both works have had a large circulation on both aides of the Atlantic.

« Bungener (Laurent Louis), Félix Bunsen, Christian Karl Josias Bunting, Jabez »
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