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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. …

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…

Werner, Johannes

(157 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Hans
[German Version] (1598–1659?), itinerant prophet. In 1629 Werner, a peasant from Bockendorf in Saxony, felt called by a vision to spend the next years prophesying and commenting on the “changes in the Holy Roman Empire” coming during the Thirty Years War. He condemned Saxony’s “betrayal” in the 1635 Peace of Prague. After 1636 he marched with the Swedish army; even after the Peace of Westphalia (Westphalia, Peace of), he accompanied military units until his death. He called for war against the Cat…

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…

Tschesch, Johann Theodor (Dietrich) von

(169 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Hans
[German Version] (Mar 18, 1595, Voigstdorf, Silesia [Wójtówka, Poland] – Feb 22, 1649, Elbing [Elbląg]), mystical spiritualist. After studying law in Marburg, in 1619 he entered the service of the elector palatine Frederick V and later the dukes of Silesia. His life was dominated by his conversion in 1621, brought about by an accident. He turned to a spiritualism that sought to combine the heritage of mysticism with the ideas of the Reformation (J. Tauler and Luther as duo centra unienda). He was surrounded by a circle of friends that included A. v. Franckenberg, with whom …

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 …

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…

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…

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…

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…

Hochmann von Hochenau, Ernst Christoph

(254 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Hans
[German Version] (1669/ 1670, Lauenburg/Elbe – Jan 12 [?], 1721, Schwarzenau), one of the chief proponents of radical Pietism. The son of a Lutheran official and his Catholic wife, Hochmann studied law at several universities, experienced conversion in Halle with accompanying enthusiastic phenomena and worked as a tutor in Pietist homes for some years. Before the turn of the century, associated with millennialist expectations (Millenarianism), he appeared in Switzerland, in Frankfurt, Laubach and …

Mel, Conrad

(190 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Hans
[German Version] (Aug 14, 1666, Gudensberg near Kassel – May 3, 1733, Hersfeld). Mel studied in Rinteln, Bremen and Groningen, and was influenced by covenant theology and the Reformed Pietism of T. Undereyck. In 1690 he became preacher in Mitau (Kurland), 1692 in Memel, 1697 court preacher, and, from 1702, also professor in Königsberg. Here he held conventicles and, influenced by G.W. Leibniz, devised plans for missionary work among the heathen. In 1701 he became a member of the Prussian Akademie …

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 …

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…


(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…

Gruber, Eberhard Ludwig

(185 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Hans
[German Version] (Jun 12, 1665, Stuttgart – Dec 11, 1728, Schwarzenau), radical Pietist (Pietism). After studying theology (from 1683) and a period as a graduate student (1689–1692) in Tübingen, Gruber pastored in Württemberg (1692–1703, Großbottwar, 1703–1706, Hofen). His heterodox views (Millenarianism/Chiliasm, perfectionism), contacts with the enthusiasts and his impudent attitude toward fellow pastors and members of his congregation provoked conflicts that led in 1706 to his dismissal from th…

Zaberella, Francesco

(164 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Hans
[German Version] (de Zabarellis; Aug 10, 1360, Padua – Sep 26, 1417, Constance), important canonist, cardinal. After studying at Bologna, he taught at Bologna, Florence (Dr.utr.iuris), and Padua. In 1410 he became bishop of Florence and in 1411 was made a cardinal. To resolve the Great Western Schism, he urged a council; he was one of the most important figures in the preparation and successful completion of the Council of Constance (Constance, Council of). He played an important role in formulating the decree Haec sancta (Conciliar theory) and deposing the antipope John ¶ XXIII. He als…

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…

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…

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 …
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