Franz Camille Overbeck

1837-1905. Theologian and church historian. Professor of church history at Jena (1864-70) and of NT and early Christian history at Basle (1870-97), he was an advocate of a totally secular interpretation of church history and particularly of early Christian origins. Although he was a member of a Protestant faculty of theology, he was a professed atheist from about 1870 and was an indefatigable critic of both orthodox and liberal theology. He was a close friend of Friedrich Nietzsche.* Among his most significant writings are a large commentary on Acts (1870); Studien zur Geschichte der alten Kirche (1875); and Christentum und Kultur (posthumous, 1919).