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Reformation

(701 words)

Author(s): Leppin, Volker
New Type of Religiosity 1. The Reformation radiating from Germany hosted a confluence of social, political, and religious developments. In terms of religion, the various motifs were focused through scriptural principles, and a teaching on justification. The criticism of the Church by that Church itself led to a collapse of the medieval concept of a unitary Christianity, the Corpus Christianum. Into its place stepped the co-existing confessional churches. In the Protestant regional churches, there arose a new type of Christian religiosity, one characteri…

Luther, Martin

(2,452 words)

Author(s): Leppin, Volker
The Person 1. Martin Luther was born on November 10, 1483, at Eisleben, in Saxony, Germany. In 1505, to fulfill a private vow that he had made in acute fear of death and the Last Judgment, he entered the monastery of Augustinian hermits in Erfurt. His experience of failing to attain a salvific relationship to God even as a monk led him to a gradual change of attitude and the ‘reformatory turn’ that he later stylized in his self-interpretation as a sudden experience of breakthrough and awakening. O…

Conscience

(792 words)

Author(s): Leppin, Volker
In the late Middle Ages, the notion of a “spark of conscience” found, for example, in the work of the Latin church father Jerome, was developed productively into the mystical notion of the spark of the soul. For the formation of the early modern term  conscience, the decisive factor was the increasing gap between individual convictions and supraindividual obligations to social norms and laws imposed by the state – a gap that first became identifiable in the religious question. The Protestant theologian Karl Holl has even called the Reform…
Date: 2019-10-14

Congregation

(1,187 words)

Author(s): Leppin, Volker
1. Christian 1.1. Late Middle Ages, Reformation, and ConfessionalizationThe parochial structure of the church had been the norm since the Carolingian period (i.e. the association of one’s place of residence with membership in an ecclesiastical congregation). In the late Middle Ages, there developed a strong sense – especially in urban areas – of the congregation as a social nexus politically as well as religiously, so that in this context we can even speak of a  corpus Christianum (“Christian body”) in microcosm [3]. This self-conception, both communal and parochial, g…
Date: 2019-10-14

Devil, belief in

(1,027 words)

Author(s): Leppin, Volker
1. Concepts of the DevilThe Devil in the early modern period had a double role as an opponent of God in the narrative of salvation and as a negative force whose effects were tangible in the everyday world. The key factor in the shaping of belief in the Devil was how this concept of opposition worked in relation to the omnipotence of God.Concern for this issue in early modern reflection is well exemplified in the works of Martin Luther. On the one hand, there is a pointedly anthropological idea of the human individual as a vehicle for both God and the Dev…
Date: 2019-10-14

Til, Salomo(n) van

(136 words)

Author(s): Leppin, Volker
[German Version] (Dec 26, 1643, Wees – Oct 31, 1713, Leiden). After studying in Utrecht and Leiden ( J. Cocceius), in 1666 Til became pastor of the Reformed church in Huisduinen. After other positions, he came to Dordrecht in 1683, where the next year he was also appointed to a chair at the Schola Illustris. In 1702 he moved to Leiden. The focus of his work was scholarly philological exegesis of the Old Testament prophets. He modified the covenant theology he learned from Cocceius by including Cartesian (R. Descartes) elements, paving the way for the early Enlightenment by giving theologia n…

Matthew of Krakow

(161 words)

Author(s): Leppin, Volker
[German Version] (before 1350, Krakow –Mar 5, 1410, Heidelberg). Matthew studied in Prague (1367, M.A.; 1384, professor of theology), where he worked also as a clergy-critical preacher and as an edifying writer. In 1394, he went to Heidelberg University, where he became rector in 1396/1397. After supporting the building up of theological studies in Krakow from 1397, he returned to Heidelberg before 1400, and carried out diplomatic missions for the Electors. His criticism of the curia, aimed at cleansing the see of Rome, especially against simony ( De squaloribus curiae Romanae, 1403;…

Marbeck, Pilgram

(246 words)

Author(s): Leppin, Volker
[German Version] (c. 1495, Rattenberg, Tyrol – 1556, Augsburg). In his home town Marbeck was given in 1525 the office of Bergrichter (mountain magistrate). He resisted the unreasonable request to use this function to put an end to Anabaptist activity. He gave up his office after the execution of the Anabaptist preacher Leonhard Schiemer in 1528, and was probably baptized himself in Krumau (Bohemia). In 1528 he was granted citizenship of Strasbourg. With his mystical theology of suffering discipleship leading through…

Hut, Hans

(164 words)

Author(s): Leppin, Volker
[German Version] (c. 1490, Haina – Dec 6, 1527, Augsburg). From 1524 and under the influence of A. Bodenstein von Karlstadt and T. Müntzer (Anabaptists), Hut, a bookkeeper, rejected infant baptism and was baptized in 1526 by H.Denck. After participating in the Peasants' War in the hope that it might bring about the eschatological cleansing, he reacted to its failure by prolonging Müntzer's millenarianism (III, 3), now expecting the judgment of the wicked and the thousand-year kingdom to commence i…

Kautz, Jakob

(163 words)

Author(s): Leppin, Volker
[German Version] (c. 1500, Großbockenheim – after 1532, probably in Moravia). On Jun 9, 1527, Jakob Kautz, then preacher (from 1524) in Worms, publicly posted “Seven Articles” that stressed the importance of the “inner word” under the influence of H. Denck and rejected infant baptism as well as the notion of the Real Presence; the intended disputation was probably meant to initiate a reformation in line with spiritualistic Anabaptism (Anabaptists). Expelled from Worms on July 1, Kautz took part in…

Bader, Johannes

(181 words)

Author(s): Leppin, Volker
[German Version] (c. 1470, Zweibrücken – Aug 10 or 15, 1545, Landau). Formerly a teacher and chaplain at the court of Zweibrücken, Bader became pastor in Landau in 1518. Because of his Reformational preaching from 1522 onward, the clerical court of Speyer banned him in 1524, but the council of Landau protected him. His work influenced the education of youths (…

Hoffmann, Melchior

(364 words)

Author(s): Leppin, Volker
[German Version] (c. 1500, Schwäbisch-Hall – 1543, Strasbourg) was a Spiritualist (Spiritualism: II, 1) and an Anabaptist. Hoffmann was active from 1523 as a lay preacher in Livonia. He placed the mysticism of suffering imparted by A. Bodenstein von Karlstadt in an apocalyptic context. The time before the Last Day announced for 1533 was to bring Christians suffering, but also knowledge, directly conveyed by the Spirit. Despite a certificate of orthodoxy issued by Luther in 1525, Hoffmann was expel…

Schwenckfeld, Kaspar von

(733 words)

Author(s): Leppin, Volker
[German Version] (1489, Ossig [Osiek] – Dec 10, 1561, Ulm). After studying at Cologne and Frankfurt an der Oder, Schwenckfeld v. Ossig, scion of a noble Silesian family, returned to diplomatic service in the duchy of Liegnitz, a position he had to resign for health reasons in 1523. An early follower of Luther, he sought to spread the Reformation in Silesia by extensive ¶ preaching and personal influence on Duke Frederick II of Liegnitz (1480–1547). Along with his early dependence on Luther, he also incorporated strong strains of mysticism into his own theology, which h…

Denck, Hans

(291 words)

Author(s): Leppin, Volker
[German Version] (c. 1500, Heybach – Nov 1527, Basel). After completing his studies at Ingolstadt (1517–1519), where he was formatively influenced by humanism, ¶ Denck acted as a school rector in Nuremberg from 1523, upon the recommendation of J. Oecolampadius. The ideas of A.B. v. Karlstadt and T. Müntzer strengthened his criticism of the Nuremberg Reformation, which, in his opini…

Campanus, Johannes

(159 words)

Author(s): Leppin, Volker
[German Version] (c. 1500, Maaseik – after 1574). After studying at Cologne and a stay in the duchy of Jülich, Campanus came to Wittenberg c. 1527/1528. His exclusion from the debate at the Colloquy of Marburg (Disputations, Religious: I) marked the beginning of his conflict with the Wittenberg Reformers, which was intensified in 1530 when he disputed the divinity of the Holy Spirit. He soon returned to Jülich, where a warrant for his arrest (at first not executed) was issued in 1532. His Göttlicher und Heiliger Schrift … Restitution (1532) expounded his anti-trinitarian th…

Walch

(485 words)

Author(s): Leppin, Volker
[German Version] 1. Johann Georg (Jun 17, 1693, Meiningen – Jan 13, 1775, Jena). Walch began studying classical languages and ancient history in 1710 at Leipzig, where he delivered his first lectures on classical philology as Magister. In 1718 he was appointed professor of philosophy and antiquities at Jena; in 1719 rhetoric was added and poetry in 1722. In 1724, even before he received his doctorate in theology (1726), he was appointed associate professor of theology. In 1728 he was made full professor. He took the lectures of hi…

Hilten, Johann

(151 words)

Author(s): Leppin, Volker
[German Version] (Johannes Herwich aus Ilten; 1425, Ilten – c. 1500, Eisenach). Hilten enrolled at Erfurt in 1445 and received his Bacc. artium in 1447. Later he entered the Franciscan order. In 1463 he moved to Livonia, where in 1472 be became lector and preacher in Dorpat (modern Tartu). He was held under claustral house arrest on various charges in Weimar and Eisenach after 1477. He is mentioned in the Apology of the Augsburg Confession (Augsburg Confession, Apology of the; art. 27; BSLK, 378), because the Wittenberg Reformers thought that in the context of his apo…

Entfelder, Christian

(186 words)

Author(s): Leppin, Volker
[German Version] (died after 1547). From 1526 to 1528, he was the preacher of an anabaptist congrega-¶ tion (Anabaptists) in Eibenschütz (Bohemia). From 1529 he worked in Strassburg, where he had contact with H. Bünderlin and K. v. Schwenckfeld. Realizing that anabaptism was coming under threat, he clearly distanced himself from the movement. No later than 1536, he became adviser to Albert of Prussia in Königsberg. Af…

Professio fidei Tridentinae

(248 words)

Author(s): Leppin, Volker
[German Version] At the request of French cardinals – who wanted to ensure the Roman Catholic faith of bishops, in view of the royal right of nomination in France – the decrees of Trent from the council’s 24th and 25th sessions in 1563 prescribed for bishops and other clergy the declaration of an expanded confession of faith upon assuming office, and for academic teachers the regular swearing of an oath of Catholicity. The text, presumably written in the context of the Roman Inquisition, was promulgated by Pope Pius IV in the bull Iniunctum nobis (Nov 13, 1564). ¶ In it, the Niceno-Constant…

Occam, William of

(2,010 words)

Author(s): Leppin, Volker
[German Version] I. Life – II. Work – III. Influence (Venerabilis Inceptor; c. 1285, Ockham, England – Apr 9, 1347, Munich) I. Life William probably studied a reduced program of arts at the Franciscan college in London before proceeding in 1308 to study theology at the University of Oxford. Here he delivered his lectures on the Sentences from 1317 to 1319. It is not clear whether, or to what extent, William was involved in the disputes between the mendicant orders and the university. In any case, he came under sharp philosophical attack, especially from t…
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