1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Hauge, Hans Nielsen

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HAUGE, HANS NIELSEN (1771–1824), Norwegian Lutheran divine, was born in the parish of Thunö, Norway, on the 3rd of April 1771, the son of a peasant. With the aid of various religious works which he found in his father’s house, he laboured to supplement his scanty education. In his twenty-sixth year, believing himself to be a divinely-commissioned prophet, he began to preach in his native parish and afterwards throughout Norway, calling people to repentance and attacking rationalism. In 1800 he passed to Denmark, where, as at home, he gained many followers and assistants, chiefly among the lower orders. Proceeding to Christiansand in 1804, Hauge set up a printing-press to disseminate his views more widely, but was almost immediately arrested for holding illegal religious meetings, and for insulting the regular clergy in his books, all of which were confiscated; he was also heavily fined. After being in confinement for some years, he was released in 1814 on payment of a fine, and retiring to an estate at Breddwill, near Christiania, he died there on the 29th of March 1824. His adherents, who did not formally break with the church, were called Haugianer or Leser (i.e. Readers). He unquestionably did much to revive the spiritual life of the northern Lutheran Church. His views were of a pietistic nature. Though he cannot be said to have rejected any article of the Lutheran creed, the peculiar emphasis which he laid upon the evangelical doctrines of faith and grace involved considerable antagonism to the rationalistic or sacerdotal views commonly held by the established clergy.

Hauge’s principal writings are Forsög til Afhandeling om Guds Visdom (1796); Anvisning til nogle mörkelige Sprog i Bibelen (1798); Forklaring over Loven og Evangelium (1803). For an account of his life and doctrines see C. Bang’s Hans Nielsen Hauge og hans Samtid (Christiania; 2nd ed., 1875); O. Rost, Nogle Bemaerkninger om Hans Nielsen Hauge og hans Retning (1883), and the article in Herzog-Hauck, Realencyklopädie.