Tersteegen, Gerhard (1697-1769)
Gerhard Tersteegen, (1697-1769), a leading German Pietist known as the father of Pietism along the Lower Rhine, born in Mörs, Germany, lived in Mülheim an der Ruhr and was trained in business. Here he was attracted by mysticism and devoted his life to the promotion of his religious convictions. In 1728 he gave up his business occupation, devoting his full time to helping people with their spiritual and physical needs by leading in devotional meetings, counseling, and practicing medicine as a lay physician. He translated writings by Jean de Labadie, Thomas à Kempis, and others. He published a number of his own writings including Auserlesene Lebensbeschreibung heiliger Seelen (3 vv., 1733-53), which included biographies of Catholic and Protestant "saints."
In his large correspondence, Mennonites were included. Particularly the von der Leyens and Arnold Goyen of Krefeld were in close touch with him. He even preached in the Krefeld Mennonite church. There was a strong interest in the writings of Tersteegen by the Grömbach Mennonite preachers, including financial contributions toward publication costs. His writings and songs ("Gott ist gegenwärtig," "Ich bete an die Macht der Liebe") have influenced Mennonite piety in many countries.
Cattepoel, Dirk. "Das religiöse Leben in der Krefelder Mennonitengemeinde des 17. und 18. Jahrhunderts." Beiträge zur Geschichte rheinischer Mennoniten. Weierhof, 1939: 15-17.
Die Religion in Geschichte and Gegenwart, 2. ed. 5 vols. Tübingen: Mohr, 1927-1932: v. V, 1052.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 698, 1148. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Krahn, Cornelius. "Tersteegen, Gerhard (1697-1769)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 21 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/T4967.html.
APA style: Krahn, Cornelius. (1959). Tersteegen, Gerhard (1697-1769). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 21 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/T4967.html.