The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Baltzer, Johann Baptista

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BALTZER, Johann Baptista, German theologian: b. Andernach 1803; d. 1871. He was educated at the University of Bonn, was ordained to the priesthood in 1829, and in the following year became professor of theology at Breslau. He was an enthusiastic follower of Georg Hermes in the latter's effort to effect a reconciliation of Roman Catholic teaching with the newer German philosophy. In 1839 he broke away from this connection and became a follower of Anton Günther. When Günther came under the ban of the Church Baltzer submitted, but he was soon involved in other difficulties with the ecclesiastical authorities and these differences led to his suspension in 1862. He opposed the promulgation of papal infallibility and became an ardent promoter of the Old Catholic movement. He wrote ‘Die biblische Schöpfungsgeschichte’ (2 vols., 1867-73) and ‘Ueber die Anfänge der Organismen’ (4th ed., 1869). Consult the biographical sketches by Friedberg (Leipzig 1873) and by Melzer (Bonn 1877), both in favor of Baltzer's attitude, and Franz (Berlin 1873), representing the opposite side.