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Roman Catechism

(297 words)

Author(s): Müller, Gerhard
[German Version] ( Catechismus Romanus). At the end of the Council of Trent in 1563, the fathers of the Council transferred to Pius IV work not yet concluded, including material for a catechism (II). The pope had the text revised. Pius V set up a new working group, and in 1566 published its results under the title Catechismus, ex decreto Concilii Tridentini, ad parochos. As early as 1567, the title was expanded by the addition of Romanus. In four sections (faith, sacraments, precepts, and prayer), those responsible for pastoral care ¶ were provided with guidelines for instruction and …

Communion of Saints

(1,296 words)

Author(s): Müller, Gerhard Ludwig | Track, Joachim
[German Version] I. Catholic Understanding – II. Protestant Understanding I. Catholic Understanding The expression “communion of saints” ( Communio sanctorum ) is attested in the writings of Nicetas of Remesiana ( Explanatio symboli 10) as an addendum to the Apostles' Creed (DH 19) and signifies an interpretation of the concept of the church. In its very essence, the “Holy Catholic Church” is to be seen in three interwoven ¶ levels of meaning: the common participation of all the baptized in Christ's gifts of salvation; the personal unity of all in faith,…

Seripando, Girolamo (Hieronymus)

(327 words)

Author(s): Müller, Gerhard
[German Version] (c. Oct 16, 1492, Naples – Mar 17, 1563, Trent). After a good Humanistic education, Seripando joined the Augustinian Hermits in 1507. After studying philosophy and theology, he was ordained to the priesthood in 1512 and advanced rapidly within his order. He was influenced by Platonism and Neoplatonism but also by Thomas Aquinas and Giles of Rome. In response to the Reformers’ theology, he dealt with the doctrine of justification, supporting himself primarily on Augustine of Hippo.…

Saints/Veneration of the Saints

(4,185 words)

Author(s): Bergunder, Michael | Köpf, Ulrich | Müller, Gerhard Ludwig | Ivanov, Vladimir | Barth, Hans-Martin | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies In comparative religious studies, veneration of saints generally refers to the posthumous cultic veneration of a holy person more or less identifiable as a historical individual; it is centered at the place that preserves the saint’s mortal remains, thought to have miraculous powers. Occasionally veneration of living individuals is subsumed under the same category, but this extension results in a dubious diminution of terminological precision, since to this day no one …


(1,338 words)

Author(s): Müller, Gerhard
[German Version] I. Definition – II. History – III. Present I. Definition Henry the Lion (1129/1130–1188) made the town of Braunschweig (Brunswick) the center of his Saxon duchy. He promoted its improvement, chartered it as a city in 1166, and saw to the building of the church in which he was buried. When his heirs partitioned the duchy in 1267, the city remained t…


(1,253 words)

Author(s): Müller, Gerhard | Ehmer, Hermann | Wallmann, Johannes
[German Version] 1. Andreas (Dec 14 or 19, 1496 or 1498, Gunzhausen – Oct 17, 1552, Königsberg [today Kaliningrad, Russia]), Reformer of Nuremberg (Nürnberg) and center of a violent controversy over his doctrine of justification. Osiander matriculated at Ingolstadt in 1515, where he learned Greek and Hebrew and was influenced by Humanism and especially by J. Reuchlin and the Kabbalah. In 1520 he was ordained to the priesthood; in the same year, he was employed to teach Hebrew by the Augustinian Herm…

Aleander, Girolamo

(301 words)

Author(s): Müller, Gerhard L.
[German Version] (Feb 13, 1480, Motta di Livenza, Friaul – Feb 1, 1542, Rome), the son of a physician, was educated in Motta, Prodenone, Venice, and Padua; early on he learned Greek in addition to Latin; he also studied Aramaic and Syriac. In humanistic circles, Aleander was well-known and respected. Erasmus paved the way to France for him in 1508. In 1514, he…

Bugenhagen, Johannes

(601 words)

Author(s): Müller, Gerhard
[German Version] (Jun 24, 1485, Wollin, Pomerania – Apr 20, 1558, Wittenberg), a notable exegete and influential church organizer. He began his studies in Greifswald in 1502 and became rector of the school in Treptow in 1504. In 1509, he was ordained to the priesthood. His humanistic interests and disinclination toward scholasticism soon became evident. On the…

Clement VII, Pope

(325 words)

Author(s): Müller, Gerhard
[German Version] (Nov 19, 1523 – Sep 25, 1534; Guilio de' Medici, born May 26, 1478, Florence). As a member of the most distinguished Florentine family, Clement was eminently qualified for advancement, although his illegitimate birth did represent a drawback. He nonetheless became archbishop of Florence in 1513. His cousin Leo X made him cardinal in 1513 and vice-¶ chancellor in 1517. He was soon reckoned among the partisans of Charles V, but also sought contact with Francis I of France at an early date, thereafter oscillating between the …

Contarini, Gasparo

(430 words)

Author(s): Müller, Gerhard
[German Version] (Oct 16, 1483, Venice – Aug 24, 1542, Bologna). Born into a patrician family in Venice, the diplomat and church reformer Gasparo Contarini began studying law in Padua in 1501. His interest in religious matters was awakened by friends. In 1511, he came to realize that his salvation depended on Christ alone, and not on his own merits (Jedin: Contarini's “tower experience”). Contarini remained a layman, but devoted himself to theology as an autodida…

Disputations, Religious

(2,700 words)

Author(s): Müller, Gerhard | Koschorke, Klaus
[German Version] I. Europe – II. Asia, Africa, Latin America I. Europe 1. Concept The term “religious disputations” (or “[inter-]-religious conversations,” Ger.: Religionsgespräche) encompasses discussions concerning religion, in particular Christianity, both between representatives of different religions and between Christians of different confessions (see also dialogue). They may involve the …

Spina, Bartolomeo de

(152 words)

Author(s): Müller, Gerhard
[German Version] (c. 1475, Pisa – Apr 3, 1547, Rome). After joining the Dominicans in 1493, Spina taught in Modena, Bologna, and Padua. He had contacts with S.M. Prierias but nevertheless harshly attacked T. de Vio Cajetan for not correctly teaching the immortality of the soul. He served as an inquisitor and also considered the prosecution of witches essential. He did not agree with the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception. In 1542 Paul III appointed him Magister Sacri Palatii, an office that ena…

Morone, Giovanni

(187 words)

Author(s): Müller, Gerhard
[German Version] (Jan 25, 1509, Milan – Dec 1, 1580, Rome); 1529–1550 and 1564–1571 bishop of Modena, 1553–1560 bishop of Novara, 1542 cardinal; one of the most important 16th-century diplomats of the Roman curia; served several times in Germany, also in Italy and France. At the Disputation of Regensburg (Ratisbon Conference) in 1542, Morone worked for a rapprochement. Under the influence of G. Contarini and R. Pole he worked for reform of the church. Suspected of supporting the Reformation, under Paul IV he was charged and incarcerated. Rehabilitated…

Wittenberg Concord

(425 words)

Author(s): Müller, Gerhard
[German Version] The debate over the Lord’s Supper (Eucharist: II, 3) between Luther, Zwingli, and others weakened the political influence of German Protestantism. Beginning with the Marburg Colloquy (Disputations, Religious) in 1529, therefore, there were efforts to reach an understanding. Among the theologians, M. Bucer played a leading role. The introduction of the Reformation in Württemberg required an accommodation between Lutheran theology and the South German theology that had been develope…

Paul III, Pope

(435 words)

Author(s): Muller, Gerhard
[German Version] (Alessandro Farnese, born Feb, 1468, probably in Canino; pope Oct 13, 1534 – Nov 10, 1549). Paul III initiated the reform of the Roman Catholic Church and the Counter-Reformation. Although made a cardinal at the age of 25 by Alexander VI, despite ties to Julius II and Leo X he was not elected pope until he was 66, being considered politically neutral and qualified to put an end to the vacillating policies of his predecessor, Clement VII. He endeavored to achieve an understanding b…


(1,315 words)

Author(s): Ohst, Martin | Müller, Gerhard L.
[German Version] I. History – II. Modern Catholicism I. History Indulgences ( indulgentia as a fixed technical term since the early 13th cent.; previously also remissio, relaxatio, or absolutio generalis) are rooted in the early medieval system of scheduled penances (Repentance: IV), which allowed fixed forms of satisfaction to be replaced by other acts (“commutation”) or payment of a monetary sum (“redemption”), all meant to be equivalent. The new element in indulgences was the discontinuation of this required equivalenc…

Augsburg Interim

(531 words)

Author(s): Müller, Gerhard L.
[German Version] is the designation for a decree by Charles V of Germany that provided a preliminary solution to the religion issue in Germany between (“interim”) the Augsburg Reichstag (Imperial Diet) of 1547/48 and the Council of Trent. Despite his victory over the Schmalkaldic League, the …

Soto, Pedro de

(169 words)

Author(s): Müller, Gerhard
[German Version] (c. 1495, Alcalá – Apr 20, 1563, Trent), Catholic controversialist. He joined the Dominicans in 1518 and supported the reform of his order. In 1542 he was appointed confessor to Charles V, an office from which he resigned in 1548 because he thought the imperial court was not attacking the Reformation vigorously enough. He played a role in founding the University of Dillingen, where he lectured in theology from 1549 to 1555. In 1555 he accepted a posting to England but remained onl…

Trinity/Doctrine of the Trinity

(11,509 words)

Author(s): Oberdorfer, Bernd | Theobald, Michael | Müller, Gerhard Ludwig | Plank, Peter | Küster, Volker | Et al.
[German Version] ¶ I. Terminology To an unusual degree, the theology of the Trinity is characterized by a strained combination of narrative biblical language and speculative philosophical language. The word trinitas was first used by Tertullian ( Prax. 2.1–4), as a translation of Greek τριάς/ triás (orig. “threeness”). To denote the divine unity (God: V, 1), the 4th-century debates showed that the term οὐσία/ ousí (“Essence”; see also Divine essence) borrowed from Greek philosophy was theologically legitimate. The term ὑπόστασις/ hypóstasis (Hypostasis) was sometimes used i…


(324 words)

Author(s): Müller, Gerhard
[German Version] 1. Lorenzo (1474, Milan – Jul 20, 1539, Rome) became professor of law at Bologna in 1500, was ordained priest in 1511, made bishop in 1512 and cardinal in 1517. He achieved fame through his positions as nuncio: in 1511, Julius II sent him to Emperor Maximilian I; Leo X gave him the same assignment (1513–1517). Campeggio established cordial relations with Maximilian and Charles V, as well as with Henry VIII of England. In 1524/1525, Clement VII com…

Lambert, Franz

(411 words)

Author(s): Müller, Gerhard
[German Version] (1487, Avignon – Apr 18, 1530, Frankenberg an der Eder), Reformer in Hessen, author of numerous works in which he demonstrated independence, but repudiated Humanism and finally Lutheranism. After becoming a Franciscan in 1501, he became an itinerant preacher expounding biblical texts. In 1522 he went to Switzerland and discussed theology with Zwingli. Their conversation led him to go to Wittenberg to work at the center of the Reformation. Though initially hesitant, Luther accepted…


(1,422 words)

Author(s): Müller, Gerhard Ludwig | Felmy, Karl Christian | Hofhansl, Ernst W. | Germann, Michael
[German Version] I. Catholic Church – II. Orthodox Church – III. Protestantism – IV. Canon Law I. Catholic Church The term consecration is used to render various liturgical and canon law terms: ordinatio, dedicatio, consecratio, benedictio. This demonstrates that the content of the notion of consecration extends broadly. Common is the conviction of faith that an object of earthly reality is connected in a particular way with God and the saving work in Christ. This connection is related to the theology of …

Julius III, Pope

(200 words)

Author(s): Müller, Gerhard
[German Version] Feb 8, 1550 – Mar 23, 1555 (Giovanni Maria del Monte, b. Sep 10, 1487, Rome). After studying jurisprudence, Julius became chamberlain to Julius II, archbishop of Siponto (1513), and cardinal (1536). From 1545 to 1548, he was one of the presidents of the Council of Trent. Elected pope after a difficult conclave, he struggled to find his way between the political parties. In 1551, under pressure from Charles V of Germany, he reconvened the council. In 1552, he founded the Collegium …

Philip of Hesse

(873 words)

Author(s): Müller, Gerhard
[German Version] (landgrave of Hesse; Nov 13, 1504, Marburg – May 31, 1567, Kassel), most politically active German Protestant prince of the 16th century. Having been declared of age in 1518, he attended the Diet of Worms (Imperial Reform) in 1520/1521, and spoke there with Luther. During the uprising of F. v. Sickingen he supported the princes who were under attack. In 1523 he married Christine, a daughter of George the Bearded of Saxony. In the Peasants’ War (1524–1525) he supported his father-i…
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