Hermann Samuel Reimarus Bibliography

Abhandlungen von den vornehmsten Wahrheiten der natürlichen Religion (Treatise on the Principal Truths of Natural Religion) 1754
From 1727 Reimarus was professor of Hebrew and Oriental Languages at the Hamburg Gymnasium. In 1728 he married Johanne Friederike Fabricius and made his own house a meeting-place for learned and artistic societies. Between 1750 and 1752 he used materials collected by his father-in-law to a produce an edition of Dio Cassius writings.

The Treatise was Reimarus’s first major philosophical work. It contains a unified deistic system made up of three inter-related parts: the cosmological, biological-psychological and theological.
Vernunftlehre . . . (Doctrine of Reason) 1756
Allgemeine Betrachtungen über die Triebe der Thiere (General Considerations on the Instincts of Animals) 1760
A work in which Reimarus sought to define the unique characteristics of animal life and which he continued to revise until his death.
Apologie oder Schutzschrift für die vernünftigen Verehrer Gottes (Apologia or Defense for the Rational Reverers of God) 1774
Reimarus’s major work, a series of anonymous critical essays on the gospel history, which he withheld from publication during his lifetime. He died in Hamburg on 1 March, 1768. Lessing aroused considerable controversy by printing fragments of the work, under the title ‘Wolfenbüttel fragments’, in his Zur Geschichte und Litteratur, parts iii and iv (1774 and 1777); Andreas Riem, under the pseudonym C.A.E. Schmidt, published other passages in 1787; D.W. Klose, more passages in 1850-52; and D.F. Strauss described the contents of the manuscript in his H.S. Reimarus und seine Schutzschrift . . . (1862; second edition 1877; Eng. Trans., Fragments from Reimarus, 1879).

“The standpoint is that of pure naturalistic deism. Miracles and mysteries, with the exception of the Creation, are denied, and natural religion is advanced as the absolute contradiction of revealed religion: discoverable by reason, the essential truths of natural religion, namely the existence of a wise and good Creator and the immortality of the soul, can be the basis of a universal religion, whereas no revealed religion can ever be intelligible or credible to all. The fragment “Von dem Zwecke Jesu und seiner Jünger” (On the Aim of Jesus and his Pupils) influenced some 19th century critics.” (Encyclopaedia Britannica)