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Melanchthon, Philipp

(901 words)

Author(s): Kaufmann, Thomas
Philipp Melanchthon (1497–1560) was the most significant German reformer after Martin Luther. Melanchthon was born in Bretten, Palatinate, as the son of the armorer George Schwarzerdt. After attending the distinguished Pforzheim Latin School, he matriculated in Heidelberg in 1509 at the early age of 12. (That year also his surname was changed from Schwarzerdt to the Greek equivalent, Melanchthon [black earth].) He received his bachelor of arts in 1511 and from 1512 studied in Tübingen, where he …

Müntzer, Thomas

(785 words)

Author(s): Kaufmann, Thomas
Little is known about the early life of the radical reformer and theologian Thomas Müntzer (ca. 1489–1525), who was born in Stolberg, Thuringia. The first reliable witness to his life is his 1506 matriculation entry at the University of Leipzig. He was definitely enrolled in the University of Frankfurt an der Oder in 1512, from which he probably graduated. After ordination in the Halberstadt Diocese, he was active as a minister in Brunswick, though he also had a sinecure in Aschersleben. He apparently studied…

Konfessionalismus

(1,135 words)

Author(s): Kaufmann, Thomas
1. Begriff und Begriffsgeschichte In seiner umgangssprachlichen Verwendung – auch im angloamerikan. Sprachraum ( confessionalism) – häufig etwa gleichbedeutend mit Konfessionalisierung verwendet (»Zeitalter des K.« für Konfessionelles Zeitalter oder Epoche der Konfessionalisierung), ist der Begriff K. zumeist negativ konnotiert; er dient der Bezeichnung von Verhaltensweisen und Haltungen, die in einem als ungebührlich, unzeitgemäß oder ökumenisch inakzeptabel empfundenen Maße konfessionelle Standpunkte mit dem An…

Calvin, John

(1,439 words)

Author(s): Kaufmann, Thomas
Born July 10, 1509, at Noyon in northern France, John Calvin became one of the most influential of the second generation of Reformers. His work was of significance throughout Europe and beyond. His theological development, confessional importance, ecclesiastical consolidation, and international training of reformers were lasting impulses throughout his life and for ages to come. The son of a notary in the bishop’s secretarial service who was excommunicated for financial conflicts with the church in 1528, Calvin was at first destined for a career in …

Bucer, Martin

(909 words)

Author(s): Kaufmann, Thomas
Modern research has rightly come to see in Martin Bucer (1491–1551) one of the main leaders of the Reformation. Educated at the famous Schlettstadt grammar school, he became the reformer of the imperial city of Strasbourg. Having first made an intensive, Thomistically oriented study of Scholastic theology, he then came under the lasting influence of the humanism of D. Erasmus (1469?-1536). His crucial experience, however, was his encounter with M. Luther (1483–1546) at the Heidelberg Disputation…

Zwingli, Ulrich

(936 words)

Author(s): Kaufmann, Thomas
Ulrich (Huldrych, Huldreich) Zwingli (1484–1531), a Zurich reformer, was perhaps the most important figure in German Switzerland and southwest Germany for the initial phase of the early Reformation. His theology, distinctively formed above all in the theological argument with Martin Luther and related particularly to the urban experience, represents a specific interpretation of the Reformation message and forms an essential theological-historical element of the development of the Reformed confession, which had been evolving since the late 1520s. Zwingli was born on Janua…

Konfessionalisierung

(5,102 words)

Author(s): Kaufmann, Thomas
1. Konzept und Forschungsstand 1.1. Grundlagen, Erkenntnisinteressen und Abgrenzungen Der Begriff der K. bezeichnet ein Interpretationskonzept der frühnzl. Staats-, Politik- und Gesellschafts-Geschichte, das, ausgehend von den Arbeiten der Historiker Wolfgang Reinhard [30]; [31] und v. a. Heinz Schilling [36]; [37], seit den 1980er Jahren zu einem maßgeblichen Deutungsmodell für die Erforschung der europ. Geschichte weiterentwickelt worden ist. Das traditionelle Epochen-Gefüge einer an die vornehmlich modernisierungstheoretisch gedeutete Reformation anschli…

Confessionalization

(5,441 words)

Author(s): Kaufmann, Thomas
1. Concept and state of research 1.1. Basics, epistemological interests, and boundariesThe term  confessionalization denotes a concept used for interpreting the history of the state, politics, and society (Society [community]) at the beginning of the early modern period. Building on the works of the historians Wolfgang Reinhard [30]; [31] and especially Heinz Schilling [36]; [37], since the 1980s it has been developed into a leading interpretive model for the investigation of European history. The traditional  epochal structure (Epoch) of an e…
Date: 2019-03-20

Confessionalism

(1,131 words)

Author(s): Kaufmann, Thomas
1. Definition and historyThe term  confessionalism is commonly treated as roughly synonymous with confessionalization (“Age of Confessionalism” for the Confessional Age or the Era of Confessionalization), usually with negative connotations; it serves to denote modes of behavior and attitudes that champion confessional positions, claiming their contemporary validity to a degree felt to be improper, anachronistic, or ecumenically unacceptable. The German term  Konfessionalismus was first used around 1830 as a pejorative battle cry of liberal theologians …
Date: 2019-03-20

Thorner Religionsgespräch

(350 words)

Author(s): Kaufmann, Thomas
[English Version] . Das auf Einladung des polnischen Königs Władislaw IV. (1632–1648) am 28.8.1645 im Rathaus der zum königlichen Preußen gehörigen Stadt Thorn durch den polnischen Kanzler Georg von Teschen eröffnete sog. Colloquium charitativum sollte offiziell der interkonfessionellen Verständigung der auch polit. gegeneinander stehenden konfessionellen Konfliktparteien im Königreich Polen dienen, war faktisch aber von vornherein Teil einer gegenreformatorischen Rekatholisierungspolitik (Gegenre…

Westfälischer Friede

(1,382 words)

Author(s): Kaufmann, Thomas
[English Version] I. Entstehung Als W.F. bez. man die Vertragsdokumente, die den Dreißigjährigen Krieg am 24.10.1648 beendeten und eine pax universalis unter den christl. Staaten Europas aufzurichten beanspruchten. Der W.F. umfaßt zwei Einzelverträge: Das zw. dem Kaiser, Schweden und den dt. Reichsständen in Osnabrück ausgehandelte Instrumentum Pacis Osnabrugense (IPO) und das zw. dem Reichsoberhaupt und Frankreich in Münster abgeschlossene Instrumentum Pacis Monasteriense (IPM), beides Ergebnisse …

Kortholt, Christian

(180 words)

Author(s): Kaufmann, Thomas
[German Version] (Jan 15, 1633, Burg on Fehmarn Island – Apr 1, 1694, Kiel) studied theology in Rostock, Jena, Leipzig, and Wittenberg, was awarded a Dr.theol. and appointed professor of Greek in Rostock (1665), then professor of theology in Kiel (1665; pro-chancellor in 1666). Kortholt is regarded as the pioneer of Pietism in Schleswig-Holstein. Strongly influenced by the devotional theology of J. Arndt, J. Lütkemann, and H. Müller, he supported P. Spener's Pia desideria, initially in his writings, though without embracing its specific innovations (conventicles, hop…

Ames, William

(222 words)

Author(s): Kaufmann, Thomas
[German Version] (Amesius, Guilelmus; 1576, Ipswich, Suffolk – 1633, Rotterdam), the most important single theological figure for the early connection of English Puritanism and the Dutch “Nadere Reformatie”. In Cambridge Ames became familiar, through W. Perkins, with deeply puritanical appropriation of the theology of Calvin. After a …

Terministic Controversy

(373 words)

Author(s): Kaufmann, Thomas
[German Version] The terministic controversy in Lutheran Protestantism was sparked by a common practice based on CA 12 (Augsburg Confession): at death’s door, after confession and communion (Eucharist) eternal bliss (Blessedness) was promised regardless of whether the person dying had lived a recognizably Christian life. In response Pietist theologians –especially P.J. Spener, appealing to J.K. Dannhauer – cited Heb 3:7–11 in support of the view that God has determined a set period of grace for repentance ¶ ( tempus peremtorius gratiae); at its end, the sinner is cut off fr…

Heussi, Karl

(200 words)

Author(s): Kaufmann, Thomas
[German Version] (Jun 16, 1877, Leipzig – Jan 25, 1961, Jena). Heussi studied theology, history and philosophy in Leipzig, Berlin and Marburg and received the Dr.phil. (Leipzig) in 1903, the Lic.theol. (Heidelberg) in 1911, and the Dr.theol. h.c. (Gießen) in 1919. Between 1904 and 1924 Heussi worked as headmaster and then professor at the Gymnasium in Leipzig; after 1924, he taught in Jena as professor of church history. Published in many revised editions since 1907, his Kompendium der Kirchengeschichte [Compendium of church history] (181991) which was originally conceived for…

Chyträus, David

(346 words)

Author(s): Kaufmann, Thomas
[German Version] (Kochhaf[e]; Feb 26, 1530, Ingelfingen, Hohenlohe – Jun 25, 1600, Rostock). The son of Matthäus Kochhaf, a pastor from the entourage of J. Brenz, Chyträus was enrolled at the University of Tübingen before the age of 10. Receiving his M.A. in 1544, he then moved to Wittenberg. He was decisively influenced by both Melanchthon and Luther, whose lectures on Genesis he attended. The not entirely unproblematic bonds to his two Wittenberg teachers remai…

Counter-Reformation

(3,371 words)

Author(s): Kaufmann, Thomas
[German Version] I. Terminology – II. Political and Legal Aspects; Spread – III. Characteristics I. Terminology The term was originally used mostly in the plural to denote individual legal and political measures taken against the Protestants by Roman Catholic rulers on the basis of the ius reformandi . In the singular, as Gegenreformation (cf. Fr. contreréforme, Ital. controriforma) in L. v. Ranke's Deutsche Geschichte im Zeitalter der Reformation (1839–1847), it underwent a major historiographical transformation, becoming the designation of the perio…

Brès, Guido de

(281 words)

Author(s): Kaufmann, Thomas
[German Version] (Guy de Brès/de Bray; 1522, Bergen/Mons – May 31, 1567, Valenciennes) was the definitive reformer of the southern Low Countries. Under unknown circumstances, the learned glass painter was won to the Reformation cause in the 1540s. In 1548 he fled into exile in London for religious reasons; he returned in 1552 to preach in Rijssel/Lille. He use…

Dorsche, Johann Georg

(241 words)

Author(s): Kaufmann, Thomas
[German Version] (Dorsch, Dorsch[a]eus; Nov 13, 1597, Straßburg – Dec 25, 1659, Rostock) received the M.A. in 1617 after attending the Gymnasium illustre in his home city; he studied theology (1619–1621) in Rinteln and Tübingen. In 1622, Dorsche assumed a pastorate in Ensisheim near Straßburg. After receiving his doctorate from Straßburg, he assumed a dual office as cathedral pre…

Fecht, Johann

(243 words)

Author(s): Kaufmann, Thomas
[German Version] (Dec 25, 1636, Sulzburg – May 5, 1716, Rostock) gained his most important and long-lasting theological experiences from 1655 on in Straßburg (J.K. Dannhauer). He studied in Tübingen, Heidelberg, Jena, Wittenberg and Leipzig, and received the Lic.theol. in Gießen in 1666. In the same year, he became pastor in his home town (Langendenzlingen) and, in 1668, professor of Hebrew and metaphysics at the Gymnasium in Durlach; in 1669, he became court preacher, and in 1688, superintendent in Durlach. He fled to Calw as a con…
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