Ernst Troeltsch, who was born in 1865 and died suddenly and prematurely in 1923, on the eve of a visit to Britain, is undoubtedly one of the most important theologians and philosophers of the twentieth century. Having suffered a loss of prestige with the eclipse of liberal theology after his death and the predominance of Karl Barth in a world overshadowed by Nazi Germany and the Second World War, he has now come into his own again, so that this first full-length biography is particularly welcome. Hans-Georg Drescher traces Troeltsch's life from his birth in Augsburg, distinguished university career and meteoric rise to be professor of theology in Bonn, through his twenty-year activity as professor of theology in Heidelberg to his final change of faculty and appointment as professor of philosophy in Berlin. In connection with each major period of Troeltsch's life he analyses Troeltsch's major theological and philosophical work, much of which has never been translated, and the impact of his study is heightened by a series of contemporary photographs. Here, then, is a vivid picture, not only of the thinker who was virtually the first to tackle on a broad front the many problems for religious belief and practice raised by the rise of the modern historical consciousness and the relativity that goes with it, but also of German university life in all its facets before, during and immediately after the First World War.