Isaac de Beausobre Biography

French churchman Isaac de Beausobre as preacher to the French community in Berlin

Isaac de Beausobre (8 March 1659 – 5 June 1738) was a French Protestant churchman, now best known for his two-volume history of Manichaeism, Histoire Critique de Manichée et du Manichéisme .


Beausobre was born at Niort, Deux-Sèvres. After studying theology at the Protestant Academy of Saumur, he was ordained at the age of twenty-two, becoming pastor at Châtillon-sur-Indre. After the revocation of the edict of Nantes he fled to Rotterdam (November 1685), and in 1686 was appointed chaplain in Oranienbaum to the princess of Anhalt-Dessau, Henrietta Catherine of Orange-N*au.

In 1693, on the death of John George II, Prince of Anhalt-Dessau, he went to Berlin and became a court preacher, and in 1695 pastor for the French church at Friedrichswerder Church. He became court preacher, counsellor of the French Reformed Consistory, director of the Maison française, a hospice for French people, inspector of the French gymnasium and superintendent of all the French churches in Brandenburg.

He had strong sense with profound erudition, was one of the best writers of his time and an excellent preacher.


Beausobre was married twice. By his first wife he had a son, Charles Louis de Beausobre (1690–1753), who became a pastor and theologian, and a member of the Prussian Academy of Sciences in Berlin. By his second wife, Charlotte Schwarz, he had another son, Louis de Beausobre (1730–1783), who became a philosopher and political economist, and also a member of the Academy of Sciences.


  • Beausobre, Isaac de (1734). Histoire critique de Manichée et du manicheisme. Vol.:1. Amsterdam: J. Frederic Bernard.; 2 (1739)


    Attribution::This article:incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain::Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Beausobre, Isaac de". Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol.:3 (11th:ed.). Cambridge University Press. p.:599.

    External links

    Biographical Sketch
    • "Isaac De Beausobre Revisited: The Birth of Manichean Studies" by Guy Stroumsa