Johann Heinrich Jung

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Johann Heinrich Jung (12 September 1740, Grund – 2 April 1817, Karlsruhe), best known by his assumed name of Heinrich Stilling, was a German author.


He was born in the village of Grund (now part of Hilchenbach) in Westphalia. His father, Wilhelm Jung, schoolmaster and tailor, was the son of Eberhard Jung, charcoal burner, and his mother was Johanna Dorothea née Fischer (aka Dortchen), daughter of a poor clergyman preacher, alchemist: Moritz Fischer. Jung became at his father's wish schoolmaster and tailor.

After various teaching appointments he went in 1768 to study medicine at the University of Strasbourg. There he met Goethe, who introduced him to Herder. The acquaintance with Goethe ripened into friendship; and it was by his influence and assistance that Jung's first work, Heinrich Stillings Jugend, was written. In the second volume of his Aus Meinem Leben, Goethe discusses Jung. In 1772 Jung settled at Elberfeld as physician and oculist, and soon became celebrated for operations in cases of cataract. In 1778 he accepted the appointment as lecturer on agriculture, technology, commerce and the veterinary art in the newly established Kameralschule at Kaiserslautern, a post which he continued to hold when the school was absorbed in the University of Heidelberg.

In 1787, he was appointed professor of economic, financial and statistical science at the University of Marburg. In 1803, he resigned his professorship and returned to Heidelberg, where he remained until 1806, when he received a pension from the grand-duke, Charles Frederick of Baden, and moved to Karlsruhe, where he remained until his death in 1817.

He has been described as "an able defender of Christianity against German rationalism [and] an ardent and eminent Universalist."[1] A Professor Tholuck wrote in 1835 that the doctrine of universalism

"came particularly into notice through Jung-Stilling, that eminent man who was a particular instrument in the hand of God for keeping up evangelical truth in the latter part of the former century, and at the same time a strong patron to that doctrine."[1]

He was married three times, and left a numerous family.


Schopenhauer referred to Jung-Stilling in his example of how rational humans, unlike irrational animals, are prone to error. People can use, according to Schopenhauer, abstract ideas to make other people do anything they wish.

"In the year 1818 seven thousand Chiliasts moved from Würtemberg into the neighborhood of Ararat, because the new kingdom of God, specially announced by Jung-Stilling, was to appear there."[2][3]


His autobiography "Heinrich Stillings Leben," from which he came to be known as Stilling, is the chief authority for his life. His early novels reflect the piety of his early surroundings. A complete edition of his numerous works, in 14 vols. was published at Stuttgart in 1835–1838.

There are English translations by Samuel Jackson of the Leben (1835) and of the Theorie der Geisterkunde (London, 1834, and New York, 1851); and of Theobald, or the Fanatic, a religious romance, by the Rev. Samuel Schaeffer (1846).

The original German Der Graue Mann (1795), was translated into Russian as Угроз Световостоков (Ugroz svetovostokov) (1806), which was translated from Russian and published in English as The Man in the Grey Suit (2002).


  1. 1.0 1.1 Rev. John McClintock and James Strong. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature. Volume 10, 1895, pp. 109–33.
  2. The World as Will and Representation, Volume 2, Chapter 6.
  3. Schopenhauer cited Christian Friedrich Illgen's Zeitschrift für historische Theologie, 1839, first part, p. 182.


Further reading

Biographies by F. W. Bodemann (1868), J. V. Ewald (1817), Peterson (1890).

External links