Georg David Hardegg
- Category : 1812-births
- Type : GE
- Profile : 4/6 - Opportunistic / Role Model
- Definition : Quadruple Split (3,12,16,20,30,45,53,55,57)
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Tension 1
German businessman who co-founded the Temple Society (German: Tempelgesellschaft) with Christoph Hoffmann in 1861. The Templers were a German Protestant sect with roots in the Pietist movement of the Lutheran Church.
From 1832 to 1833, Hardegg worked for the liberal republican idea and national unity of Germany as a participant in the Franckh-Koseritz conspiracy. He was detained for a total of eight years for “revolutionary activities”. His trial for high treason began in January 1833 and lasted until 1839. He was sentenced to 14 years in prison; reduced to nine years after revision. In 1840, Hardegg was released on the condition that he leave Württemberg and go into exile.
Hardegg emigrated to Schaffhausen in Switzerland in 1840 and initially worked as an accountant, later as the manager of a trading house. In 1846 he returned to Ludwigsburg because he was granted amnesty by Wilhelm I. He opened a leather goods store.
During his time in prison, Hardegg had turned to Christian mysticism. In 1848 he met Christoph Hoffmann. They were expelled from the Lutheran Church in 1858 because of their millenarian beliefs. Their aim was to realize the apocalyptic visions of the prophets of Israel in the Holy Land.
In 1858, Hardegg and Hoffmann undertook their first expedition to Palestine in order to look for opportunities to settle there. Upon their return, Hoffmann and Hardegg ran the temple together. In 1859, due to the religious activities of the temple society, they broke away from the Evangelical Church of Württemberg.
In August 1868, Hardegg and Hoffmann went to the Holy Land with their families. In the late autumn of 1868, they arrived on the Palestinian Mediterranean coast near Haifa to create a permanent temple settlement. They founded the first Templar colony in nearby Haifa in the spring of 1869 with Hardegg as its head.
In the period that followed, there was a rift between Hardegg and Hoffmann. In June 1874, Christoph Hoffmann was elected the sole head of the community. As a result, the Templars split and there was a schism. After personal and substantive arguments by the temple presidents Hoffmann and Hardegg, about a third of the Templars left the temple society with Hardegg.
The outsiders around Hardegg sought connection to other Christian denominations. To this end, they turned to the Swedish Lutheran Church (1874) and the Anglican Church Missionary Society (1879), but both refused to take them in. Hardegg's followers dwindled and he died in Haifa on 11 July 1879 at age 67.