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Melanchthon, Philipp

(901 words)

Author(s): Kaufmann, Thomas
Philipp Melanchthon (1497–1560) was the most significant German reformer after Martin Luther. Melanchthon was born in Bretten, Palatinate, as the son of the armorer George Schwarzerdt. After attending the distinguished Pforzheim Latin School, he matriculated in Heidelberg in 1509 at the early age of 12. (That year also his surname was changed from Schwarzerdt to the Greek equivalent, Melanchthon [black earth].) He received his bachelor of arts in 1511 and from 1512 studied in Tübingen, where he …

Calvin, John

(1,439 words)

Author(s): Kaufmann, Thomas
Born July 10, 1509, at Noyon in northern France, John Calvin became one of the most influential of the second generation of Reformers. His work was of significance throughout Europe and beyond. His theological development, confessional importance, ecclesiastical consolidation, and international training of reformers were lasting impulses throughout his life and for ages to come. The son of a notary in the bishop’s secretarial service who was excommunicated for financial conflicts with the church in 1528, Calvin was at first destined for a career in …

Bucer, Martin

(909 words)

Author(s): Kaufmann, Thomas
Modern research has rightly come to see in Martin Bucer (1491–1551) one of the main leaders of the Reformation. Educated at the famous Schlettstadt grammar school, he became the reformer of the imperial city of Strasbourg. Having first made an intensive, Thomistically oriented study of Scholastic theology, he then came under the lasting influence of the humanism of D. Erasmus (1469?-1536). His crucial experience, however, was his encounter with M. Luther (1483–1546) at the Heidelberg Disputation…

Zwingli, Ulrich

(936 words)

Author(s): Kaufmann, Thomas
Ulrich (Huldrych, Huldreich) Zwingli (1484–1531), a Zurich reformer, was perhaps the most important figure in German Switzerland and southwest Germany for the initial phase of the early Reformation. His theology, distinctively formed above all in the theological argument with Martin Luther and related particularly to the urban experience, represents a specific interpretation of the Reformation message and forms an essential theological-historical element of the development of the Reformed confession, which had been evolving since the late 1520s. Zwingli was born on Janua…

Müntzer, Thomas

(785 words)

Author(s): Kaufmann, Thomas
Little is known about the early life of the radical reformer and theologian Thomas Müntzer (ca. 1489–1525), who was born in Stolberg, Thuringia. The first reliable witness to his life is his 1506 matriculation entry at the University of Leipzig. He was definitely enrolled in the University of Frankfurt an der Oder in 1512, from which he probably graduated. After ordination in the Halberstadt Diocese, he was active as a minister in Brunswick, though he also had a sinecure in Aschersleben. He apparently studied…

Konfessionalismus

(1,086 words)

Author(s): Kaufmann, Thomas
1. Begriff und BegriffsgeschichteIn seiner umgangssprachlichen Verwendung – auch im angloamerikan. Sprachraum ( confessionalism) – häufig etwa gleichbedeutend mit Konfessionalisierung verwendet (»Zeitalter des K.« für Konfessionelles Zeitalter oder Epoche der Konfessionalisierung), ist der Begriff K. zumeist negativ konnotiert; er dient der Bezeichnung von Verhaltensweisen und Haltungen, die in einem als ungebührlich, unzeitgemäß oder ökumenisch inakzeptabel empfundenen Maße konfessionelle Standpunkte mit dem Ansp…
Date: 2020-11-18

Konfessionalisierung

(4,850 words)

Author(s): Kaufmann, Thomas
1. Konzept und Forschungsstand 1.1. Grundlagen, Erkenntnisinteressen und AbgrenzungenDer Begriff der K. bezeichnet ein Interpretationskonzept der frühnzl. Staats-, Politik- und Gesellschafts-Geschichte, das, ausgehend von den Arbeiten der Historiker Wolfgang Reinhard [30]; [31] und v. a. Heinz Schilling [36]; [37], seit den 1980er Jahren zu einem maßgeblichen Deutungsmodell für die Erforschung der europ. Geschichte weiterentwickelt worden ist. Das traditionelle Epochen-Gefüge einer an die vornehmlich modernisierungstheoretisch gedeutete Reformation anschließ…
Date: 2020-11-18

Confessionalization

(5,441 words)

Author(s): Kaufmann, Thomas
1. Concept and state of research 1.1. Basics, epistemological interests, and boundariesThe term  confessionalization denotes a concept used for interpreting the history of the state, politics, and society (Society [community]) at the beginning of the early modern period. Building on the works of the historians Wolfgang Reinhard [30]; [31] and especially Heinz Schilling [36]; [37], since the 1980s it has been developed into a leading interpretive model for the investigation of European history. The traditional  epochal structure (Epoch) of an e…
Date: 2019-10-14

Confessionalism

(1,131 words)

Author(s): Kaufmann, Thomas
1. Definition and historyThe term  confessionalism is commonly treated as roughly synonymous with confessionalization (“Age of Confessionalism” for the Confessional Age or the Era of Confessionalization), usually with negative connotations; it serves to denote modes of behavior and attitudes that champion confessional positions, claiming their contemporary validity to a degree felt to be improper, anachronistic, or ecumenically unacceptable. The German term  Konfessionalismus was first used around 1830 as a pejorative battle cry of liberal theologians …
Date: 2019-10-14

Crypto-Calvinists

(352 words)

Author(s): Kaufmann, Thomas
[German Version] is the name that was once given to those persons who originated from or were active in the areas dominated by the Lutheran confession and who, according to the judgment of confessionally Lutheran theologians of the late 16th century, advocated doctrinal views or practical approaches that were intented to undermine the status of the Lutheran denomination by secretly bringing it closer to Reformed or Calvinist positions. In scholarly publications, …

Dort, Synod of

(782 words)

Author(s): Kaufmann, Thomas
[German Version] The General Synod of the Reformed Congregations of the Netherlands, meeting between Nov 1618 and May 1619 in Dort (Dordrecht) for the first time since 1586 (The Hague) ended theological and church-political disputes that had erupted in the 1580s. These disputes were centered on the doctrine of predestination, the binding force of the doctrinal confessions, and th…

Dreier, Christian

(207 words)

Author(s): Kaufmann, Thomas
[German Version] (Dec 22, 1610, Stettin – Aug 3, 1688, Königsberg) studied in Jena, Wittenberg, Rostock, and Copenhagen. From 1638, he taught in the faculty of philosophy at the University of Königsberg; in 1644, Dreier, who enjoyed the special favor of the Prince Elector of Brandenburg, Frederick William I, was called, despite the objection of professors of theology Johannes Behm and C. …

Dorsche, Johann Georg

(241 words)

Author(s): Kaufmann, Thomas
[German Version] (Dorsch, Dorsch[a]eus; Nov 13, 1597, Straßburg – Dec 25, 1659, Rostock) received the M.A. in 1617 after attending the Gymnasium illustre in his home city; he studied theology (1619–1621) in Rinteln and Tübingen. In 1622, Dorsche assumed a pastorate in Ensisheim near Straßburg. After receiving his doctorate from Straßburg, he assumed a dual office as cathedral pre…

Confessional Age

(424 words)

Author(s): Kaufmann, Thomas
[German Version] In its original usage by E. Troeltsch the term “confessional age” designated the 16th and 17th-century period of European history, distinct from the Middle Ages and the modern era, in which the “power of ecclesial culture,” in principle broken by Protestantism or the Reformation, continued to shape culture and society in the form of three “mutually exclusive and restrictive infallible churchdoms” ( HZ 1906, 29; 1911, 46); in the process of the “relative pulverization” ( ibid.) of the three confessions, the “modern world” arose. The concept of the …

Arminius, Jacobus

(343 words)

Author(s): Kaufmann, Thomas
[German Version] (Jacob Hermansz/Harmensen/ Hermanszoon; Oct 10, 1560, Oudewater aan de IJssel, Holland – Oct 19, 1609, Leiden). The significance of Arminius lies especially in his denial of the doctrine of supralapsarian predestination (Infralapsarianism) of nascent orthodox Calvinism, which had become systematized as a specific point of doctrine in confessio…

Bogerman, Johannes

(162 words)

Author(s): Kaufmann, Thomas
[German Version] (1576, Uplewert, East Frisia– Sep 11, 1637, Franeker). The son of a pastor, Bogerman was a vigorous exponent of Reformed orthodoxy in the Netherlands. After studying at major centers with important teachers of orthodox Reformed theology (Franeker [1591], Heidelberg [1596: D. Pareus, D. Toussain], Geneva [T. Beza…

Gustav II Adolf

(813 words)

Author(s): Kaufmann, Thomas
[German Version] (Dec 19, 1594, Stockholm – Oct 16 [Old Style Oct 6], 1632, battlefield near Lützen), king of Sweden (1611; coronation 1617), was the son of the imperial administrator (1593) and the king of Sweden (Karl IX, 1587 and 611), Duke Karl of Södermannland and Princess Christine of Holstein-Gottorp. Sweden's rise over the course of a century to become one of Europe's leading Protestant powers is linked to the reign of the brilliant military leader and political strategist, Gustav II Adolf…

König, Johann Friedrich

(329 words)

Author(s): Kaufmann, Thomas
[German Version] (Oct 16, 1619, Dresden – Sep 15, 1664, Rostock). After studying philosophy and theology in Leipzig (M.A.,1639) and Wittenberg (1644; adjunct to the faculty of philosophy), König entered Swedish service in 1649 as the court chaplain of Count Magnus Gabriel de la Gardie. König was appointed assistant professor of theology in Greifswald in 1651. In 1656, he accepted a call from the duke of Mecklenburg, Adolf Friedrich, to be superintendent of Mecklenburg and Ratzeburg. In 1663, he al…

Counter-Reformation

(3,371 words)

Author(s): Kaufmann, Thomas
[German Version] I. Terminology – II. Political and Legal Aspects; Spread – III. Characteristics I. Terminology The term was originally used mostly in the plural to denote individual legal and political measures taken against the Protestants by Roman Catholic rulers on the basis of the ius reformandi . In the singular, as Gegenreformation (cf. Fr. contreréforme, Ital. controriforma) in L. v. Ranke's Deutsche Geschichte im Zeitalter der Reformation (1839–1847), it underwent a major historiographical transformation, becoming the designation of the perio…

Ames, William

(222 words)

Author(s): Kaufmann, Thomas
[German Version] (Amesius, Guilelmus; 1576, Ipswich, Suffolk – 1633, Rotterdam), the most important single theological figure for the early connection of English Puritanism and the Dutch “Nadere Reformatie”. In Cambridge Ames became familiar, through W. Perkins, with deeply puritanical appropriation of the theology of Calvin. After a …
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