Philipp Spitta

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Philipp Spitta, woodcut from the church hymn book of the Province of Saxony and Anhalt, 1931
The house at Burgstrasse 23 / 23a in Hanover, built in 1669 by Adrian Siemerding for councilor Johann Duve , was the young Spitta's home.

Carl Johann Philipp Spitta (born August 1, 1801 in Hanover ; † September 28, 1859 in Burgdorf ) was a German Lutheran theologian and poet .


Spittadenkmal in front of the senior center named after him in Peine
Spittadenkmal by Siegfried Zimmermann in front of the superintendent in Burgdorf. The harp alludes to Spitta's collection of songs, Psalter and Harp .
Göttingen memorial plaque for Philipp Spitta

Philipp Spitta probably came from a French Huguenot family . After attending high school, he began an apprenticeship as a watchmaker . After breaking off this teaching, he studied theology at the University of Göttingen from 1821 to 1824 . One of his companions at the time was Heinrich Heine , whom he met in a poetic circle of friends. During his studies in 1822 he became a member of the Old Göttingen Burschenschaft and belonged to the Pideritschen Society .

After passing the first exam, he took the position of tutor near Lüneburg . Activities as an assistant chaplain in Sudwalde in 1828 , later as a prison chaplain and garrison preacher in Hameln followed. He also worked as a secretary for the Christian Association in northern Germany . In 1836 he took over a pastorate in Wechold . In 1847 Spitta was given the post of superintendent in Wittingen . Six years later he became superintendent in Peine .

In 1855 the Göttingen Theological Faculty awarded him an honorary doctorate in recognition of his pastoral life and work. In 1859 Spitta came to Burgdorf as superintendent .

Spitta wrote numerous hymn texts in the spirit of the Lutheran revival movement . They are characterized by the depth of the content, the authenticity of the language and the security of the form. Many of them are still alive today.


Spitta's parents were Lebrecht Wilhelm Gottfried Spitta (* 1754 in Braunschweig ; † 1805 in Hanover ), businessman and language teacher, and his wife, Henriette Charlotte Frommen (* 1759 in Hanover; † March 15, 1847 ibid). She was a granddaughter of the Hanoverian banker David Michael David, whose banking house later became part of Deutsche Bank. After the early death of the father, the mother married Georg Jacob Knocke for the second time.

His brother Heinrich Spitta (* 1799 in Hanover; † 1860 in Rostock ) was Dr. med., full professor for (forensic) pharmacology and physics and full professor for therapy in Rostock .

Two of his sons, who emerged from his marriage to Johanna Maria Hotzen, also made a name for themselves: Friedrich Spitta became an important theologian; Philipp Spitta gained importance as a musicologist.

Another son, Ludwig Otto Adelbert Spitta (born November 27, 1845 in Wechold ; † May 27, 1901 in Hameln ), was pastor in Hameln, at the Marienstift (Braunschweig) and in Nette . From 1872 to 1881 he worked as a pastor in Bergen (district of Celle) . He became famous for his sermons with historical, local and regional histories, which were also published as a book with sermons and lectures given in 1875.



  • Singing book of love for craftspeople , 1824, digitized
  • Psalter and harp. A collection of Christian songs for domestic edification , two volumes, Pirna and Leipzig 1833 and 1843. 23rd edition digitalized
  • (without information on the author) Biblical devotions , ed. from the Christian associations in northern Germany, two volumes, Halle 1836 and 1839.
  • Postponed sacred songs , Leipzig 1861, digitized


  • I want to stay with you, Jesus ( EG 406)
  • Remain with him who is for your sake
  • We have had a lovely lot
  • The Lord knows his people (1843, EG 358)
  • Rejoice in the beautiful earth (1827, EG 510)
  • Spirit of Faith, Spirit of Strength (1833, EG 137)
  • God's city is firmly established (1843, EKG Rheinland-Westfalen-Lippe 477)
  • Heart denouncer
  • I stand in my master's hand (1833, EG 374)
  • Me and my house, we are ready (1827, EKG 173)
  • O you whom my soul loves
  • O Jesus, my sun
  • O come, you spirit of truth (1827/1833, EG 136)
  • O blessed house
  • O father hand that has led me so faithfully
  • Oh, how happy we are at the hour
  • What do you do that you cry (Bremer Gesangbuch 1925)
  • How will us be
  • Where is a father like you, God
  • Word of life, loud source


in order of appearance

  • LU:  Spitta, Karl Johann Philipp . In: Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (ADB). Volume 35, Duncker & Humblot, Leipzig 1893, pp. 204-208.
  • Cornelius K. Conrad Münkel: Karl Johann Philipp Spitta. A picture of life . Friese, Leipzig 1861 ( digitized version ).
  • Wilhelm Rothert : General Hannoversche Biographie , Volume 2: In the Old Kingdom of Hanover 1814–1866 . Sponholtz, Hannover 1914, pp. 467-480.
  • Walter Schmithals : Karl Johann Philipp Spitta. Letters to his bride (1836–1837). On the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the poet's death. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2008.
  • Detlef Klahr : Faithfulness. Carl Johann Philipp Spitta (1801-1859). Revival theologian and poet. Second edition. V & R unipress, Göttingen 2009, ISBN 978-3-89971-569-9 .
  • Helge Dvorak: Biographical Lexicon of the German Burschenschaft. Volume II: Artists. Winter, Heidelberg 2018, ISBN 978-3-8253-6813-5 , pp. 653-655.

Individual evidence

  1. Ulrike Schilling: Philipp Spitta. Life and work reflected in his correspondence. With an inventory of the estate and a bibliography of the printed works . Bärenreiter, Kassel 1994, ISBN 3-7618-1181-0 , p. 9.
  2. Ludwig Otto Adelbert Spitta: From the history of the St. Lamberti community in Bergen near Celle .

Web links

Commons : Carl Johann Philipp Spitta  - Collection of images, videos and audio files