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Christian Karl Josias von Bunsen (Chevalier Bunsen)

See also Christian Charles Josias Bunsen

1791- 1860. Theologian and Prussian diplomat. He founded the German Evangelische Gemeinde and prepared its liturgy. He thus came to be associated with King Frederick William III's ecclesiastical policy, and even more with that of Frederick William IV. The latter appointed him Prussian minister in London (1841-54), where his enthusiasm for Anglicanism increased, and he helped to establish the Anglo-Prussian Jerusalem bishopric (1841). He came to know England well, and his significance may be gauged partly by Rowland Williams's writing in Essays and Reviews (1860) on Bunsen's biblical researches. In the 1850s Bunsen's approach had become less confessional and conservative. He defended freedom of conscience and sought to present the living meaning of the Bible in accord with its historical sense as then understood in critical scholarship. He interpreted dogma morally and psychologically rather than as metaphysical, and placed emphasis on the personal nature of God who reveals Himself in the course of history and through personality. None of his theological or historical work had permanent value.