He was born at Wiek on the Isle of Rügen. His father, Theodor Schwarz, pastor at Wiek, was well known as a preacher, and as the writer of a number of popular works (parables, romances, etc.) under the pseudonym "Theodor Melas". Karl Schwarz studied theology and philosophy at Halle, and afterwards at Bonn (1831) and Berlin (1832-1834). At Berlin he came under the influence of Schleiermacher and Georg Hegel, whose influences are seen in his work Das Wesen der Religion (1847). In 1837 he was imprisoned for six months on account of his advanced political opinions. After his release he helped (from 1838) with the Hallische Jahrbücher.
From 1843 to 1845 he lectured at Halle, and was then suspended by the government. In 1849, however, he was appointed professor extraordinarius, and later received a number of distinctions (in 1858 chief court preacher, etc.). Schwarz took an important part in the founding and directing of the German Protestantenverein and became an eminent exponent of liberal theology. His work Zur Geschichte der neuesten Theologie (1856, 4th ed. 1869) is a valuable source for the history of theology in Germany. His other works include Lessing als Theologe (1854) and Grundriss der christ. Lehre (1873, 5th ed. 1876). In his memory a Karl-Schwarz-Stiftung was founded in connexion with the theologica1 faculty at the University of Jena.
See G Rudloff, Karl Schwarz (1887); F Hummel, Zur Bedeutung der Schrift von Karl Schwarz: Uber das Wesen der Religion (1890); and Herzog-Hauck, Realencyklopadie.
This entry was originally from the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.