BIEDERMANN, bî’der-mān, ALOIS EMANUEL: Swiss Protestant; b. near Bendlikon, on the west shore of the Lake of Zurich (4 m. from the city), Mar. 2, 1819; d. at Zurich Jan. 25, 1885. He studied at Basel 1837-39, and then at Berlin; became pastor at Mōnchenstein (3 m. s. of Basel) 1843; professor extraordinary at Zurich 1850, ordinary 1860, where he lectured at first upon theological encyclopedia and New Testament introduction, later chiefly upon dogmatic theology. He was the leading theologian of the neo-Hegelians, and was deeply influenced by the Tübingen school, especially by Strauss. He was a prolific writer for the religious press, but obtained his greatest repute by his Christliche Dogmatik (Zurich, 1869; 2d ed., Berlin, 1884-85, vol. ii edited by Rehmke), in which he denies the historicity of the Gospels, yet holds to the eternal ideas which the supposed facts of the Gospels embody; denies Christian doctrine, but advocates Christian practise; denies personality to God and personal immortality to man, yet holds that love to God and man constitutes the essence of religion. He took a deep interest in education and public affairs, preached often and by preference to small and weak congregations, and was tactful and courteous in his associations with men of all classes; he was a lover of athletics and a robust mountain-climber. Many of his briefer publications were collected under the title Ausgewählte Vorträge und Aulsätze, with a biographical introduction by J. Kradolfer (Berlin, 1885).


Bibliography: For further notes on Biedermann's life consult J. J. Oeri, Persōnliche Erinnerungen an Biedermann, in Kirchenblatt für die reformierte Schweiz, 1886, nos. 7-18. On his theology and philosophy consult O. Pfleiderer, Religionsphilosophie, i, 594, Berlin, 1883; idem, in Pressische Jahrbücher, Jan., 1886, pp. 53-76; T. Moosherr, A. E. Biedermann nach seiner allgemeinen philosophischen Stellung, Jena, 1893.