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Verschoor, Jakob

(259 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Hans
[German Version] (1648, Vlissingen – 1700, Middelburg), Dutch Reformed separatist. Already during his study of theology at Leiden, F. Spanheim the Younger was suspicious of his student’s views. In 1673, without passing his examinations, he began to organize “exercises” (conventicles) in Vlissingen, which he later continued in other towns. Since his views aroused distrust and he was even suspected of being an adherent of B. Spinoza, his attempts to find a church appointment were unsuccessful. Versc…

Beissel, Georg Conrad

(158 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Hans
[German Version] (not: Johann; Mar 1, 1691, Eberbach/Neckar – Jul 6, 1768, Ephrata, PA), a radical pietist (Pietism). In the Palatinate as well as in the counties of Ysenburg and Wittgenstein, the itinerant baker came into contact with Pietistic groups, especially inspiration communities and Anabaptists (Church of the Brethren), and …

Ronsdorf Sect

(140 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Hans
[German Version] The Ronsdorf Sect grew out of a Philadelphian society (Philadelphians) in Elberfeld. Its central figures were the merchant Elias Eller (1690–1750) and the baker’s daughter Anna v. Buchel (1702–1743; from 1733 Eller’s wife), who as “Mother of Zion” received ecstatic revelations (Inspirationist communities) regarding the imminent millennial kingdom (Millenarianism). Their son Benjamin (1734–1735) was to be the messiah. Even pastors, for example F.D.E. Schleiermacher’s grandfather Da…

Poiret, Pierre

(318 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Hans
[German Version] (Apr 15, 1646, Metz – May 21, 1719, Rijnsburg, near Leiden), French mystic. After attending school, Poiret became a tutor in French at the court of the counts of Hanau-Lichtenberg in Bouxwiller, Alsace. From 1664 he studied theology at Basel, Hanau, and Heidelberg. After ordination in 1669, he served as an assistant minister in French Reformed churches of the Palatinate (Otterberg, Frankenthal, Mannheim). From 1672 to 1676 he was pastor in Annweiler. During these years he had his …

Daut, Johann Maximilian

(158 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Hans
[German Version] (died after 1736), radical Pietist. A cobbler's apprentice, he was expelled from his home city, Frankfurt am Main, in 1709, because of his polemics against the church and authority, led an irregular life as a wandering prophet (Wittgenstein region, Leiden and Altona). In view of the impending judgment of God, he called “false and unrepentant C…

Dippel, Johann Konrad

(373 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Hans
[German Version] (Aug 10, 1673, Schloß Frankenstein near Darmstadt – Apr 25, 1734, Schloß Wittgenstein near Laasphe) was a Protestant theologian, alchemist, and physician. Having begun in Gießen, Dippel continued his studies of (the artes liberales and then) theology in Straßburg. Here, he encountered ¶ Pietism – with which he had become acquainted through J.H. May but initially rejected – by reading the writings of P.J. …

Constance, Council of

(274 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Hans
[German Version] The reform Council of Constance met from 1414 to 1418. The joint efforts of the German king, Sigismund (1410–1437), and the pope of the Pisan obedience (Pisa, Council of), John XXIII, to heal the Western Schism led to a council held in the imperial free city of Constance; it became the largest ecclesiastical congress of the Middle Ages. Its major tasks were to restore the unity of the church ( causa unionis), oppose the heresies of J. Wycliffe and J. Hus ( causa fidei), and reform the church ( causa reformationis). When John XXIII sought to evade the council's demand t…

Horch, Heinrich

(275 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Hans
[German Version] (Dec 1 [?], 1652, Eschwege – Aug 5, 1729, Kirchhain), Reformed theologian and radical Pietist (Pietism). After studying in Marburg (1670f., 1674ff.) and Bremen (1671–1674; influenced by T. Undereyck) and on study tours, Horch became assistant pastor (deacon) in Heidelberg in 1683, pastor and court preacher in Kreuznach in 1685, and pastor of the German-Reformed congregation in Frankfurt am Main in 1689. His teaching activity as professor of theology in Herborn (1690–1697) manifest…

Rock, Johann Friedrich

(168 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Hans
[German Version] (Oct 25, 1678, Oberwälen, Württemberg – Mar 2, 1749, Gelnhausen), major prophet of the Inspirationist communities. While traveling as a journeyman leather worker, Rock was converted to Pietism in Berlin. After returning home in 1702, he joined a revivalist circle in Stuttgart that was tending towards Separatism. Under pressure from the authorities, he emigrated in 1707 with E.L. Gruber to the county of Ysenburg, where he worked as a court saddler. In 1714 he came under the influen…

Carl, Johann Samuel

(205 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Hans
[German Version] (1676?; baptized Aug 16, 1677, Öhringen/county of Hohenlohe – Jun 13, 1757, Meldorf/Holstein), doctor and radical pietist. The son of a pharmacist and already influenced by Pietism in his formative years, he became the doctor in his home town after studying medicine in Halle (pupil of Georg Ernst Stahl) and Strasbourg. Deported because of his radical pietistic activities, Carl found positions as ¶ a personal physician at the courts of pietistic high nobility in Büdingen (1708–1728), Berleburg (1728–1736) and Copenhagen (1736–175…


(392 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Hans
[German Version] 1. Ludwig (Mar 29, 1586, Laasphe – Dec 7, 1655, Bremen). After studying at Herborn, Marburg, and Basel (Dr.theol. 1609), the Reformed theologian Ludwig Crocius became a pastor in Bremen and professor at the Gymnasium Illustre, of which he later became headmaster. With M. Martini and Heinrich Isselburg, he participated in the Synod of Dort as a delegate from the Bremen church. He was a prominent representative of the school of Bremen theologians fou…

Giessen, University of

(627 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Hans
[German Version] The University of Giessen is one of the post-Reformation/confessional institutions. As a reaction to the introduction of the Reformed confession in the Hessian University of Marburg (Marburg, University of), Count Ludwig V of ¶ Hessen-Darmstadt established a Lutheran Paedagogium in Giessen in 1605 which was elevated to university status in 1607 by imperial privilege (Ludwigs-Universität, Ludoviciana). Owing to claims of traditional and legal succession, it was moved in 1624/1625 to occupied Marburg during the Thirty Years War and reop…

Arndt, Johann

(477 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Hans
[German Version] (Dec 27, 1555, Ballenstedt or Edderitz, Anhalt – May 11, 1621, Celle). From 1575 to 1581 (?), this pastor's son studied in Helmstedt, Wittenberg (?), and in Basel and Strasbourg (without earning an academic degree) artes liberalis and medicine (influenced by Paracelsism, Paracelsus), but he did not complete a regular theological curriculum; after his ordination in 1583, he began pastoring in Anhalt …

Pisa, Council of

(155 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Hans
[German Version] (1409). After the failure of various attempts to put an end to the Western Schism (Papacy: II),most cardinals of the two rival popes (Gregory XII [1406–1415] in Rome, Benedict XIII [1394–1417/1423] in Avignon) renounced their obedience to them, and together called a council in Pisa. This condemned both popes (without deciding on their legitimacy) for their obdurate behavior, and deposed them. However, since these popes did not submit, and they continued to receive political suppor…

Nicholas V, Pope

(167 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Hans
[German Version] (pontificate Mar 6, 1447 – Mar 24, 1455; Tommaso Parentucelli, born Nov 15, 1397 in Sarzana, Liguria). After studies in Florence and Bologna, from 1426 he was in the curia; 1443 vice-treasurer, 1444 bishop of Bologna, 1446 (in recognition of his merits in the fight against the Council of Basel) cardinal; in 1447, elected pope as a compromise candidate. Nicholas promoted scholarship and the arts to lasting effect (beginning of Renaissance papacy). In 1448 he concluded the Vienna Co…


(1,551 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Hans
[German Version] I. The Term The term quietism (from Lat. quies, “rest, quiet, silence”) was originally a polemical term for a particular school of ¶ Catholic mysticism. in the 17th and 18th centuries, whose spirituality was directed toward ataraxia (“tranquility”) as its highest goal. During the conflicts in Italy over its characteristic feature, orazione di quiete (“quiet prayer”), after 1680 the name quietists became attached to its advocates. A little later, probably in the context of the papal condemnation in 1687, the abstract term quietism was coined. II. History Quietism r…

Rothe, Johannes

(260 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Hans
[German Version] (Dec 2, 1628, Amsterdam – 1702, Friedrichstadt), millenarian prophetic preacher. Rothe was born into a patrician merchant family. After university studies and years of travel, during which he came under the influence of L.F. Gifftheil, he appeared in various Dutch cities as an inspired itinerant preacher called by God. In England his proclamation of a “fifth monarchy” (Dan 2:44; Fifth Monarchists) was interpreted as political propaganda for Charles II and prompted his arrest in 16…

Tennhardt, Johannes

(277 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Hans
[German Version] (Jan 2, 1661, Dobergast, Saxony – Sep 12, 1720, Kassel), radical Pietist itinerant preacher. After dropping out of secondary school, Tenn­hardt, the son of a prosperous farmer, worked as a barber and then after 1688 as a wigmaker in Nuremberg. As a young man, he was already an avid reader of mystical works, an interest that shaped his later religiosity, which involved repeated visions. In 1704, after the death of his wife, in a vision he experienced a call to be God’s “chancery cl…

Inspiration Communities

(256 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Hans
[German Version] are communities which arose out of radical Pietism and still exist today. As early as around 1690, ecstatic, visionary and prophetic phenomena became manifest in the Pietist movement. After the appearance of ecstatic prophets from the Camisards, who came to Germany via England and the Netherlands, German prophets and prophetesses as well started to appear as “mediums”; in 1714, they sparked an enthusiastic “inspirational awakening,” primarily among the radical Pietists, which was …

Rijnsburg Collegiants

(290 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Hans
[German Version] The Rijnsburg Collegiants were a Dutch religious group of the 17th and 18th centuries. When, after the Synod of Dort, the ministers of the Remonstrants (Arminians) were banned, the church elder Gisbert van der Codde and his brothers (Jan the elder, Arie, and Jan the younger) set up meetings for worship ( collegia) without a minister, in 1619 in Warmond and in 1621 in Rijnsburg, with reading of Scripture, prayer, and open preaching. In the course of the 17th century, these meetings were amplified by further collegia in other towns; the most important, in Rotterdam a…
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