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Ludwig von Mühlenfels als Advocatus Schleiermacheri. Ein Nachtrag zu: Der unpfäffische Schleiermacher. Karl Gutzkow und das Schleiermacher-Bild des Jungen Deutschlands – Zur Konstruktion eines Gegenmythos (JHMTh/ZNThG 24, 2017, 240–299)

  • Patsch, Hermann
Published Article
Journal for the History of Modern Theology / Zeitschrift für Neuere Theologiegeschichte
De Gruyter
Publication Date
May 25, 2018
DOI: 10.1515/znth-2018-0010
De Gruyter


Ludwig von Mühlenfels as Advocatus Schleiermacheri. An addendum. The editorial copy of the “Allgemeine Zeitung” has survived in the Cotta-Archive with the names of the contributors. This has made it possible to identify belatedly the author of the apologia “Another word about Schleiermacher” in the “Außerordentliche Beilage der Allgemeinen Zeitung” (Augsburg) of April 2, 1834. It was Ludwig Friedrich von Mühlenfels (1793–1861). Mühlenfels, who led a rather varied life, was related to Schleiermacher’s wife Henriette, and thus belonged to Schleiermacher’s extended family. (1) Member of Lützow’s Freicorps. On Schleiermacher’s suggestion, Mühlenfels participated in the war of liberation against Napoleon as a volunteer with the “Black Hunters”, in the end in the so-called Battle of the Nations at Leipzig. He finished the study of law in 1816 and, on probation, joined the prosecutor’s office in Cologne where the French legal code was still in force. (2) Incarcerated as a demagogue under the investigating judge E. T. A. Hoffmann. Mühlenfels became one of the formative figures in the early history of German fraternities and participated in the Wartburg Festival in October 1817. He was arrested in July 1819 by the authorities in Berlin, charged with activities as a demagogue and incarcerated in Berlin on September 17. Mühlenfels contested the jurisdiction of the authorities in Berlin and refused to testify. The investigative judge was the writer and composer E. T. A. Hoffmann who wanted to have Mühlenfels released, and who later used him as a literary figure in a satirical novel. (3) Flight from Berlin – Exile in Sweden. On May 5, 1821, Mühlenfels succeeded in fleeing to Sweden where he made a meagerly living as a private tutor. (4) Professor for German and Scandinavian Literature in London – Return to Prussia. In October 1827, Mühlenfels reached London. Supported by some German scholars, he obtained the Chair for German and Scandinavian at the newly founded University College. He taught there until 1831 and publishedseveral textbooks. When he was acquitted by a court ruling in 1830, he returned to the Prussian public service in August 1831 and gradually built a solid career. (5) The defender of Schleiermacher. His apologia of Schleiermacher written in opposition to the obituary by Gutzkow is a masterpiece of literary and legal writing. – First publication: Six letters between Mühlenfels, Henriette and Friedrich Schleiermacher, and Georg Andreas Reimer.

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