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(149 words)

Author(s): Dellsperger, Rudolf
[English Version] , Thomas (ca.1472 Biel – 1526 ebd.). W. studierte ab 1496 in Tübingen u.a. bei K. Summenhart und P. Scriptoris (1504 Bacc. biblicus), wirkte als Sententiarius in Basel (1505–1507) prägend auf Zwingli und L. Jud, war ab 1507 »Kirchherr« in Biel, 1515–1520 auch Kustos und Chorherr des St. Vinzenz-Stifts in Bern. W. nahm wohl schon 1515 bei seiner Basler Doktordisputation gegen den Ablaß Stellung und begann spätestens 1523 in Biel reformatorisch zu predigen (gegen Messe, Fegefeuer, B…


(3,024 words)

Author(s): Dellsperger, Rudolf
[English Version] I. Allgemein: Name, Geographie, Ethnographie Die Sch. (Schweizerische Eidgenossenschaft, Confoederatio Helvetica [CH]) ist 1848 durch den Zusammenschluß eines Staatenbundes zu einem Bundesstaat mit föderalistischer, direkt-demokratischer Verfassung entstanden. Sie hat eine Fläche von 41 282 km 2 und erstreckt sich über das Mittelgebirge des Jura, das Mittelland zw. Genfer See und Bodensee und die Alpen. Den Landessprachen Dt., Franz., Ital. und Rätoromanisch entsprechen vier Regionen mit eigener kultureller Identität. II. Kirchengeschichtlich…

Haller, Albrecht von

(390 words)

Author(s): Dellsperger, Rudolf
[German Version] (Oct 16, 1708, Bern – Dec 12, 1777, Bern), a pioneer of modern medicine and botany and an important 18th century poet and thinker. After studying in Tübingen, Leiden (, London, Paris and Basel, Haller was a physician in Bern (1729–1736). As professor of anatomy, botany and surgery in Göttingen (1736–1753), he contributed significantly to the rise of the young university (editor and author of the journal Göttingische Gelehrten Anzeigen, president of the Akademie der Wissenschaften [Academy of Sciences]). From 1753 until his death, he held pu…

König, Samuel

(198 words)

Author(s): Dellsperger, Rudolf
[German Version] (c. Sep 17, 1671, Bern – May 30, 1750, Bern). After studying in Bern, Zürich (with J. Heidegger), Basel, and Franeker (with C. Vitringa), König was appointed curate in Bern, but he was expelled in 1699 during the trials of Pietists. Initially a millenarian separatist, like his friends H. Horch and E. Hochmann von Hochenau in Halle he took a position of critical solidarity with the church. From 1711 to 1715, he was director of the church and school system for Count Ernst Casimir vo…

Zurkinden, Nikolaus

(99 words)

Author(s): Dellsperger, Rudolf
[German Version] (1506–1588), municipal clerk of Bern and organizer of the church of Vaud. As a theologically well-versed politician, he worked for the peace and unity of the church amid the confessional conflicts of his age. He mediated between Bern and Geneva; despite his reservations about the fate of M. Servet and predestination, he was a close friend of Calvin. Zurkinden criticized Bern’s harsh treatment of Anabaptists. As an advocate for religious nonconformists (K. v. Schwenckfeld, M. Gribaldi, G. Biandrata), he joined S. Castellio in urging toleration. Rudolf Dellsperger Bib…

Manuel, Niklaus

(217 words)

Author(s): Dellsperger, Rudolf
[German Version] (called Niklaus Manuel Deutsch, artist's signature N.M.D.; c. 1484, Bern – Apr 28, 1530, Bern). Prominent as a painter (important reredos altar screens) and, because of the 1516/1519 text of his Dance of Death, as a poet critical of both state and church. His experience as a mercenary in northern Italy in 1522 contributed to his Reformation leanings. His satirical Shrovetide plays on the pope and the priesthood, and his contrasting of the pope with Christ (1523), completed his break with Rome. Under the influence…

Haller, Berchtold

(295 words)

Author(s): Dellsperger, Rudolf
[German Version] (1494 [1490?], Aldingen – Feb 25, 1536, Bern), schooled in Rottweil and Pforzheim (here with Melanchthon and S. Grynaeus), received the Bacc. artium in Cologne in 1511, became provisor of the Latin School in Bern (1513) and secular priest and canon of the Minster in 1520. Haller's historical importance consists in the trustworthy, persistent and circumspect manner in which he represented the Reformation impulse that reached Bern from Wittenberg, Zürich and Upper Germany. For years…

Jetzer Affair, The

(196 words)

Author(s): Dellsperger, Rudolf
[German Version] in Bern. In 1507/1508, the lay brother Johannes Jetzer (1483–1514) experienced many appearances of Mary (Mary, Appearances of) accompanied by miracles in the Dominican monastery in Bern: the Mother of God allegedly authorized the doctrine of her maculate conception as supported by the Order of Preachers over against the Franciscans. The deceit was discovered. In three sensational Inquisition processes, the city reached a harsh verdict: on May 31, 1509, the four leaders of the mona…


(3,455 words)

Author(s): Dellsperger, Rudolf
[German Version] I. General Switzerland (Swiss Confederation, Confoederatio Helvetica) came into being in 1848 when a league of states joined together to form a federal state with a federalist constitution based on direct democracy. It has an area of 41,282 km2 and includes the central Jura Mountains, a midland between Lake Geneva and Lake Constance, and the Alps. Its four national languages – German, French, Italian, and Romanish – are spoken in four regions, each with its own cultural identity. II. Church History 1. Antiquity and Middle Ages The territory of Switzerland became pa…


(1,056 words)

Author(s): Dellsperger, Rudolf
[German Version] I. City – II. University (Cf. Bern, Synod of) I. City Founded c. 1191, Bern, in the late Middle Ages, endeavored to consolidate its partly indirect, partly direct sovereignty as the center of a large city-state. Ecclesiastically, Bern belonged to the dioceses of Constance, Basel, Lausanne, and Sitten. The promotion of ecclesiastical life and the supervision of monasteries and clergy were constant factors …

Megander (Großmann), Kaspar

(179 words)

Author(s): Dellsperger, Rudolf
[German Version] (1495, Zürich – Aug 17, 1545, Zürich). After studying in Basel, Megander, as chaplain at the Großmünster, supported Zwingli's Reformation imperatives (evangelical preaching, marriage of priests, Lord's Supper) from the beginning. In 1528, he became a pastor and professor of theology in Bern and remained a Zwinglian, which in 1531, after the defeat at Kappel, led to his temporary suspension because of political preaching and in 1537 to his departure. Megander returned to Zürich out…


(85 words)

Author(s): Dellsperger, Rudolf
[English Version] Zurkinden, Nikolaus (1506–1588), Stadtschreiber Berns, Organisator der Waadtländer Kirche, wirkte als theol. versierter Politiker in den konfessionellen Konflikten seiner Zeit für den Frieden und die Einheit der Kirche. Er vermittelte zw. Bern und Genf und war trotz Vorbehalten (Fall M. Servet, Prädestinationslehre) enger Freund Calvins. Z. kritisierte Berns harte Täuferpolitik. Als Fürsprecher rel. Nonkonformisten (K.v. Schwenckfeld, M. Gribaldi, G. Biandrata) warb er in Übereinstimmung mit S. Castellio für Toleranz. Rudolf Dellsperger Bibliography…

Heidegger, Johann Heinrich

(235 words)

Author(s): Dellsperger, Rudolf
[German Version] (Jul 1, 1633, Bäretswil, Switzerland – Jan 18, 1698, Zürich). After studies in Zürich, Marburg (with J. Crocius), and Heidelberg (Dr.theol.), Heidegger was professor of theology in ¶ Steinfurt from 1659 to 1665 and in 1667 became the successor of J.H. Hottinger, his teacher in Zürich. Late Reformed orthodoxy (II, 2.b) in Zürich reached its high point with Heidegger. He represented the early Reformed covenant theology, as further developed by J. Cocceius, which interpreted the biblical tradition from the pers…

Lutz, Samuel

(209 words)

Author(s): Dellsperger, Rudolf
[German Version] (Aug 10, 1674, Biglen, Canton of Bern – May 28, 1750, Diessbach, near Thun). After studying theology at Bern, Lutz was not admitted to the ministry until 1700 because of his Pietist leanings. In 1703 he was appointed pastor in Yverdon (Iferten), in 1726 he was transferred to Amsoldingen, Canton of Bern, and in 1738 to Diessbach. He rejected calls to Köthen, Zweibrücken, Büdingen, and Zerbst, and his efforts to secure an appointment in Bern failed, but he attracted an active influx…

Wyttenbach, Thomas

(194 words)

Author(s): Dellsperger, Rudolf
[German Version] (c. 1472, Biel – 1526, Biel) matriculated at Tübingen in 1496, where his teachers included K. Summenhart and P. Scriptoris; he received his Bacc.biblicus in 1504. As sententiarius in Basel (1505–1507), he had a formative influence on Zwingli and L. Jud. In 1507 he was appointed pastor of the city church in Biel; from 1515 to 1520 he was also custodian and canon of the minster of St. Vincent in Bern. In his 1515 doctoral disputation at Basel, Wyttenbach had probably already opposed indulgences; by 1523 at th…

Bern, Synod of

(192 words)

Author(s): Dellsperger, Rudolf
[German Version] The Berner Synodus (BS) of 1532, the first pastoral order of the Reformed Bern church, is a compilation of Reformational tenets of faith in the style of the devotio moderna . The model for the synod of Jan 9–12 came from W. Capito, who was unexpectedly spending time in Bern. The BS addresses topics such as (1) the preaching of Christ and (2) questions of ecclesial order, of the relationship to civil …

Musculus, Wolfgang

(184 words)

Author(s): Dellsperger, Rudolf
[German Version] (Müslin; Sep 8, 1497, Dieuze, Lorraine – Aug 30, 1563, Bern) went to school in Schlettstadt and in 1512 entered Lixheim Monastery (OSB). In 1518 he became a follower of Luther, and in 1527 moved to Strasbourg, where he married and became a student and colleague of W. Capito, M. Bucer and M. Zell. From 1531 to 1548, as preacher at Holy Cross Church and the cathedral, Musculus became one of the leading figures in the Augsburg Reformation. In 1548 he left the city in protest against …