(172981). Critic and dramatist; b. Kamenz, Saxony; librarian Wolfenbüttel 1770; promoted Enlightenment*; criticized shallowness of rationalistic theol., but became one of the greatest promoters of rationalism; engaged in controversy with J. M. Goeze* over H. S. Reimarus'* Fragmente eines Ungenannten; gave a liberal, soc., and humanitarian interpretation to Christianity. Works include Nathan der Weise; Minna von Barnhelm; Laokoon; Die Erziehung des Menschengeschlechts. See also Philosophy. WS.
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