Johann August Wilhelm Neander, a German church historian, born in Gottingen, Jan. 17, 1789, died in Berlin, July 14, 1850. His original name was David Mendel. His father was I a Jewish peddler; his mother was an intelligent and pious Jewess, and soon after the birth of David, her youngest child, removed with him to Hamburg. He was reared in poverty, but by the assistance of friends was enabled to satisfy his desire for a liberal education in the Johanneum of Hamburg. He soon attracted the notice of his teachers by his talent and industry, as well as by the oddity of his appearance and the awkwardness of his manner. He looked like a simpleton, and was the source of much amusement to his fellow students; but he took no notice of it, and lived in a world of abstraction. He associated especially with Varnhagen von Ense, Chamisso the poet, Wilhelm Neumann, Noodt, and Sieveking, and formed with them a literary association under the name of the "Polar Star." Schlei-ermacher's "Discourses on Religion" made a powerful impression on Neander; and in 1806 he publicly renounced Judaism and was baptized, adopting the name of Johann August Wilhelm Neander, from his teacher Johann Gurlitt and his friends August Varnhagen and Wilhelm Neumann (in Greek aviip, new man). He studied theology at Halle and Got-tingen, and returned to Hamburg to enter the ministry.
In 1811 he began to deliver theological lectures in Heidelberg, and in 1812 was called to the newly founded university of Berlin as professor of church history. He soon became one of the theological celebrities of the metropolis, and continued to labor there as teacher and writer with very little interruption till his death. His last words, addressed to his sister, who attended to his wants (for he never married), were: " I am weary, let us go home! " In his outward appearance he was of middle size and slender frame. He had strongly marked Jewish features, bushy eyebrows, and weak sight, being at last blind. He dressed carelessly, with jack-boots and a shabby hat. In the lecture room his eccentricities were prominent, but his earnestness and enthusiasm commanded attention. He lectured on nearly all branches of exegetical and systematic theology, but especially on history. As an author he won the honorable title of "father of church history." His reputation mainly rests on the "General History of the Christian Religion and Church," from the close of the apostolic age to the council of Basel in 1431 (6 vols, in 11 parts, 1825-'52; 3d ed., 1851-'6; translated into English, in part by Rose, and in full by Prof. Torrey, and several times reprinted in Boston, Edinburgh, and London). He also wrote on Julian the Apostate (1812), St. Bernard (1813), Gnosticism (1818), St. Chrysos-itom (2 vols., 1821-logginf in'2), and Tertnllian (1825); a "History of the Apostolic Age" (2 vols., 1832-'3); a "Life of Jesus Christ," in refutation of Strauss (1837); and on " Christian Life" (3 vols., 1840). To these must be add-ed a few popular practical commentaries on the Epistle to the Philippians, on the Epistles of St. James, and the first Epistle of St. John (translated by Mrs. H. C. Conant). His ninor essays were collected by Jacobi (Berlin, 1851). After his death were published his ectures on the "History of Christian Doc-rine" (1857), and on the "Epistles to the Co-inthians " (1859). A complete collection of his jvorks has appeared (13 vols., Gotha, 1862-'6). his library was purchased for the theological seminary of Rochester, N. Y.