Georg Hermes, a German theologian, born at Dreyerwalde, Westphalia, April 22, 1775, died in Bonn, May 26, 1831. He studied theology at the university of Minister, and in 1798 became teacher in the gymnasium of that city, and in 1807 professor of positive divinity at the university. Having closely studied Kant's philosophy, he occupied himself in refuting the doctrines of that philosopher so far as they were inconsistent with the Roman Catholic faith. When the Prussian government established the university of Bonn, Hermes in 1820 was appointed to the chair of Catholic theology. Here he began to found a speculative philosophic and dogmatic school in the church itself, delivering lectures aiming at an alliance between Protestants and Catholics, insisting that the difference between their views was not so great as is popularly supposed. He attempted to base the Dogmatik or positive theology of the Catholic church on speculative philosophy, founding a doctrine known as Hermesian-ism, and drew around him great numbers of followers.
The philosophico-dogmatic method which Hermes advocated, as propounded in an " Introduction to the Catholic Christian Theology," insisted that the truth of Christian revelation and of the Catholic church should first be tested by reason, and that revelation should then be followed. Hermesianism was in fact a most ingenious effort to base the doctrines of the church on Kant's system of philosophy. It awoke powerful opposition, being condemned as heretical by a papal letter of Sept. 26, 1835. The Hermesians defended their orthodoxy vigorously ; Braun, Achterfeld, Rosenbaum, and others appealing to the pope, but in vain.