Edward Zeller


Edward Zeller was born on January 22, 1814, in tiny Kleinbottwar. Initially tutored at home, the eight-year-old was to be sent to a private school, though a term late, due to poor health. In the meantime, his father learned ancient Greek in order to teach it to his young son so he need not enter school at a disadvantage. His father had raised him as a rationalist, and he remained a lifelong pantheist. Entrance into seminary at age thirteen brought him state support to continue his education. In the summer of 1831, David Friedrich Strauss joined the faculty, and young Zeller throve under his teaching. That autumn, Zeller enrolled at Tubingen, where Strauss taught him anew, mainly in philosophy. Two years later Zeller focused on theological and biblical studies, and there he met F. C. Baur. He joined the Tubingen faculty in 1837 and founded the Theologische Jahrbucher as the sounding board of the Tubingen radicals. In 1847 Zeller married Baur's daughter Emilie. The scholar's radical views were controversial in both Bern and Marburg. Eventually he taught at Heidelberg and Berlin as well. Zeller died March 19, 1908, having received just about every available honor from an admiring government and public.

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