Hunzinger, Abraham (1792-1859)
Abraham Hunzinger, a German Mennonite writer, was born 22 May 1792 at Wimpfen, Germany. He was the author of a booklet, Das Religions-, Kirchen- und Schulwesen der Mennoniten oder Taufgesinnten: wahr und unpartheiisch dargestellt und mit besonderen Betrachtungen über einige Dogmen und mit Verbesserungs-Vorschlägen versehen von einem Mennoniten (Speyer, 1830). The booklet is dedicated to the Grand Duke of Baden, Ludwig Wilhelm August, and was accepted by him in a letter by his own hand 13 January 1829. An American edition of the book appeared at Milford Square, Pennsylvania, in 1862.
After a foreword and an interesting table of subscribers, containing only a few Mennonite names, Part I, Section 1, contains a brief, often inexact and incorrect account of the history of the Mennonites; Section 2, several confessions and a description of the contents of the Christliches Gemüthsgespräch whose appended "Kurze Unterweisung" is presented verbatim; Section 3, an extract from the Dahlem Formularbuch with a short notice on other customs; Section 4 reports on the "Kultus und die Liturgie der amischen Mennoniten," who are erroneously also called Frisians; Section 5 deals with the Flemish or more lenient Mennonites — he means the Reist-Mennonites; Section 6, of the election of preachers and elders; Section 7, of religious instruction; Section 8, of the errors and abuses and their consequences, which are rigorous church discipline, rejection of scientific study.
Part II deals with the distinctive Mennonite doctrines: (1) baptism; (2) oath; (3) divorce; (4) bearing of arms and warfare; (5) occupying government positions; and (6) marriage with members of other churches. The last four Hunzinger wants changed, and presents detailed proposals for improvement, which consist in the appointment of a salaried church council, approved by the ruler, as the highest authority of the Mennonites in every country, the employment of salaried, educated preachers and morally sound, properly trained schoolteachers, introduction of special church synods, introduction of suitable religious instruction, which is to be continued in Sunday schools to the eighteenth year, and proposals for raising funds, with the support of the state and the other churches.
Of the supplements, the statements of the government decisions of Baden and the statistics have a certain historical value. On the whole, the entire treatise, breathing the current spirit of Rationalism, has had no significance for the Mennonites.
In 1817 he changed his name from Hunsinger to Hunzinger, its original form. Abraham Hunzinger had six sons and two daughters, whom he had baptized into the Protestant church. Three of his sons became Protestant pastors in Hesse and Mecklenburg; a grandson Professor August Wilhelm Hunzinger (died 1920) was the head pastor of St. Michael's In Hamburg, the author of a series of important books, mostly apologetics.
Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe; Schneider, 1913-1967: II, 368 f.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, p. 845. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
©1996-2013 by the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. All rights reserved.
MLA style: Neff, Christian. "Hunzinger, Abraham (1792-1859)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1956. Web. 25 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/hunzinger_abraham_1792_1859.
APA style: Neff, Christian. (1956). Hunzinger, Abraham (1792-1859). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 25 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/hunzinger_abraham_1792_1859.