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(738 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Hans
“Conciliarism” is the theory that general councils represent the supreme church court, specifically, that they are superior to the pope. Its roots lie in the discussions of medieval canonists (Canon Law), ¶ especially concerning papal immunity and responsibility. The heresy clause in the Decretum Gratiani (ca. 1140) states the principle that the pope can be judged by no one as long as he does not deviate from the faith (40.6). An extension of the concept of heresy included simony and persistence in schism. In the 12th century this line of thought led to a broad discussion of …


(1,154 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Hans
1. Political Separatism is a breakaway movement either politically or ecclesiastically. In French séparatisme also denotes the separation of church and state. Politically, separatism involves the efforts to detach a state or a federation of states and either to make them independent or to incorporate them into a neighboring state. Germany after World War I saw a movement between 1919 and 1924 for a free Rhenish state. The term “separatism” replaced older ones such as Sonderbündelei (“special clustering,” after Sonderbund, “special federation,” used in the 19th century by R…

Reform Councils

(1,721 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Hans
1. Term and Prior History The term “reform councils” in the broad sense refers to all councils that dealt with the matter of reform in the church and that made reforming decisions. In the narrow sense it refers to the 15th-century councils of Pisa, Constance, Pavia-Siena, and Basel, which viewed it as their chief aim to reform the church “in head and members.” All through the Middle Ages church reform had been linked to councils and synods. Already in the Merovingian age reforming synods had sought to restore the law of God and the church’s order. In the 11…

Antimodernist Oath

(150 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Hans
In 1910 Pope Pius X (1903–14) required all Roman Catholic priests to take the Antimodernist Oath (Motu proprio Sacrorum antistitum) in rejection of the errors of modernism. It also had to be taken before taking higher order (Consecration) or institution to office. Non-Catholics viewed its introduction as evidence of Roman Catholic backwardness and intolerance. In the long run, the oath could not suppress the problems raised by modernism. In 1967 a new Professio fidei became obligatory, replacing the oath with a general confession of the church’s teaching. Hans SchneiderBibliography…

Councils of the Church

(4,143 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Hans
1. Term “Council,” as well as the originally synonymous “synod” (from Lat. concilium and Gk. synodos, both meaning “assembly”), refers to gatherings of church representatives for the purpose of discussing matters of faith and order, reaching decisions, and issuing decrees. The Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church use the term “council” mainly for gatherings of bishops. Modern usage, which distinguishes national and provincial synods from ¶ general councils, developed at a later date, with its beginnings in the Middle Ages. The Orthodox Church recognizes only the s…


(429 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Hans
Since the debate about papal infallibility in the 19th century, the term “Gallicanism” has been used for the theological doctrines and political practice of the state church in France (Church and State). In the late Middle Ages national and ecclesiastical interests (Conciliarism), joining forces in opposition to the universal claims of the papacy and curial centralism, had secured a wide measure of autonomy for the French church. Les libertés de l’Église gallicane (The freedoms of the Gallican church; 1594), compiled by P. Pithou, and the Preuves (Evidences; 1639) of P. Dupuy gai…


(659 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Hans
The name “Huguenots” for French Protestants at home and abroad derives from the transferring of a local story from Tours concerning Hugh Capet (d. 996) to the Protestants who met by night. It does not derive etymologically from Iguenots (= Eidgenossen, “confederates,” i.e., part of the Swiss Confederation) but is a diminutive of Hugo. It was used by others from about 1555 and adopted by the Protestants, especially emigrants, as a term for themselves after 1685. The rise of the party name marks the transition from the Protestant movement to a church that, under the inf…

Marburg, University of

(1,101 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Hans
[German Version] Founded by Philip of Hesse in 1527 as the first Protestant university in Germany, the University of Marburg (renamed the Philipps-Universität in the 20th cent.) was a product of the Reformation in Hesse; it also met a territorial need and served to consolidate Philip's sovereignty. The establishment of a studium universale, without the customary papal privilege, took place in the context of an educational program promoting Humanism and the Reformation. Imperial approval – and hence recognition of university status – had to wait u…


(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…

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…

Martin V, Pope

(177 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Hans
[German Version] (Odda Colonna; born 1368; pope Nov 11, 1417 – Feb 20, 1431), protonotary apostolic, made cardinal in 1405. His election (under special pro-¶ visions) as pope at the Council of Constance ended the Great Western Schism (I) (Papacy: II). Martin's efforts to reform the church (concordats; expert advice on reform) and inhibit conciliarism (Conciliar theory) and Gallicanism served to increase papal authority. He efficiently reorganized the disordered Papal States and pursued the rebuilding of Rome. His campai…


(184 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Hans
[German Version] This is a movement within the 17th-18th century mystical Spiritualism. The Philadelphian Society was founded in London between 1670 and 1694 by the visionary J. Leade with other English followers of Jacob Böhme. Applying the seven letters of Revelation to seven periods of church history, they believed that the time of “Philadelphia” (Rev 3:7ff.) was now beginning, with the gathering of the true children of God into the eschatological community. The Phila-¶ delphians kept a “non-party” distance from religious parties (confessions) and their teachings (…

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 …

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…

Haug, Johann Friedrich

(316 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Hans
[German Version] (often erroneously called Heinrich; Apr 17, 1680, Strasbourg – Mar 12, 1753, Berleburg). While still a theology student in his hometown, Haug was already involved in a fierce controversy concerning Pietist-Philadelphian conventicles. Following his banishment (1705) and a two-year sojourn in Esslingen that also ended with his expulsion ( Zeugnuß der Liebe an die Inwohnere der Stadt Straßburg und Eißlingen [Testimony of love to the inhabitants of the city of Strassburg and Eißlingen] (1708), Haug settled with his father David and his brothe…

Arnold, Gottfried

(552 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Hans
[German Version] (Sep 5, 1666, Annaberg, Saxony – May 30, 1714, Perleberg, Altmark), the son of a Latin teacher, studied at Wittenberg from 1685 to 1689; there he came under influence of the polyhistor Conrad Samuel Schurtzfleisch (1641–1708). He turned from orthodox scholastic theology to Pietism under the influence of the writings…

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 …

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 …

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…

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…

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 …

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…

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…

Müller, Jakob Aurelius

(179 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Hans-Otto
[German Version] (Nov 14, 1741, Sibiu [Ger. Hermannstadt] – Oct 7/13, 1806, Biertan [Ger. Birthälm], Transylvania, Romania). The son of a goldsmith, Müller studied in Jena; in 1767 he became a teacher at the secondary school in his home town, and in 1776 its rector; in 1785, pastor in Guşteriţa (Ger. Hammersdorf), and in 1792 bishop of the Protestant church of the Augsburg Confession in Transylvania ¶ with seat in Biertan. As (co-)author of the anonymously published Die Siebenbürger Sachsen. Eine Volksschrift hg. bey Auflebung der für erloschen erklärten Nation (1790), and a Freemas…


(429 words)

Author(s): Klueting, Harm | Schneider, Hans
[German Version] 1. Johannes (1515, Grave, Brabant – Feb 24, 1588, Tecklenburg), physician, occultist, and demonologist. Weyer was a disciple of H.C. Agrippa of Nettesheim. ¶ After studying in Paris, he served as personal physician to Duke William the Rich of Jülich-Kleve-Burg from 1550 to 1578. He attacked the Hexenhammer (first publ. 1487) of the Dominicans Jakob Sprenger and Heinrich Institoris and sought – against strong resistance (including from J. Bodin) – to unmask belief in witches (II) as a delusion, but he was no more successful tha…

Bible Societies

(1,397 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Hans | Rhodes, Erroll F.
1. Bible societies are organizations for the distribution of the Bible. The foundations of the Bible society movement may be traced to the Reformation understanding of the Bible as the sole authority in matters of faith and to the concept of the priesthood of all believers. This understanding led to Luther’s translation of the Bible into German and to similar undertakings for other languages. The demand of Pietism for the wider circulation of the Word of God (P. Spener) spurred increased distrib…

Conciliar Theory

(1,651 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Hans | Wohlmuth, Josef | Birmelé, André | Becker, Hans-Jürgen
[German Version] I. Church History – II. Dogmatics – III. Church Law I. Church History Conciliarism (conciliar theory) is the doctrine that the general council is the highest ecclesial authority such that even the pope is subject to its supremacy. Its roots lie primarily in the discussions of medieval canon law concerning the relationship between papal immunity and responsibility. A discussion concerning the relationship of the infallibility of the church promised Peter (Matt 16:18) to …


(4,467 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof | Schneider, Hans | Schneider, Bernd Christian | Puza, Richard | Neuner, Peter
[German Version] I. Church History – II. Church Law – III. Dogmatics I. Church History 1. Early Church Council (Lat. concilium, Gk σύνοδος [Lat. synodum]; the two terms were first differentiated in modern usage; see also synod) are meetings of bishops from various communities for binding clarification of disciplinary, organizational, or doctrinal questions, whose decisions, as inspired by the Holy Spirit, are not in principle revisable and claim validity for the whole church r…
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