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Clarenbach, Adolf

(149 words)

Author(s): Zschoch, Hellmut
[German Version] (before 1500, Buscher Hof near Lennep – Sep 28, 1529, Melaten near Cologne). After completing his studies in philosophy in Cologne in 1517, Clarenbach taught ancient languages in Münster, Wesel, Osnabrück and the Berg region from 1520 onward. Influenced by humanistic positions and Luther's writings, he concentrated on the exegesis of the Bible and publicly criticized the doctrine and life of the papal church. The hostility of the old believers re…

Utenhove, Jan

(194 words)

Author(s): Zschoch, Hellmut
[German Version] (1516 [?], Ghent – 1565/1566, London). Born to a patrician Flemish family, Utenhove studied at Leuven and was expelled in 1544 on account of his Protestant views. He turned to Strasbourg, where he became a follower of M. Bucer and renewed his acquaintance with J. Laski. He went with Laski to England in 1548 and translated Laski’s writings into Dutch for the Protestant exile churches they estab-¶ lished. In the interests of Reformed unity, in his role as congregational elder he visited H. Bullinger in Zürich and Calvin in Geneva in 1549. His Engli…

Henry of Zutphen

(172 words)

Author(s): Zschoch, Hellmut
[German Version] (1488/1489, Zutphen – Dec 10, 1524, near Heide). From 1520 onward, the observant Augustinian hermit Henry of Zutphen absorbed the theology of the Reformation as a student in Wittenberg and, in 1521, proceeded to expound it in a series of theses on justification and the priestly mediation of salvation. In 1522, he was appointed prior in Antwerp, but ¶ had to flee before the Inquisition in the same year. As a preacher in Bremen, he subsequently secured the implementation of the Reformation in that city. A preaching assignment in Dithmarsche…

Sadoleto, Jacopo

(280 words)

Author(s): Zschoch, Hellmut
[German Version] (Jul 12, 1477, Modena – Oct 18, 1547, Rome). In 1513 Leo X appointed Sadoleto, a Humanist famed for his linguistic skill, to the Curia for its diplomatic service; in 1517 he made him bishop of Carpentras. Sadoleto took the Reformation in Germany as a challenge to engage in his own theological work. He interpreted Pss 50 and 93 (1525/1530) with a clear interest in the moral renewal of the clergy. His commentary on Romans (1535) emphasized human free will vis-à-vis God so strongly that even Catholic theologians condemned it as semi-Pelagian. In 1536 he was appo…

Fliesteden, Peter

(141 words)

Author(s): Zschoch, Hellmut
[German Version] (von; after 1500, Fliesteden near Cologne – Sep 28, 1529, Melaten near Cologne). Fliesteden, who cannot be more precisely identified biographically, was a typical proponent of the Reformation as an anti-clerical lay movement. He was imprisoned in 1527, after he demonstratively expressed the Reformation critique of the understanding of the mass as a sacrifice in the Cologne Cathedral by spitting during the elevation of the host. In the subsequent trial, he announced his resolute re…

Gerlach Peters

(155 words)

Author(s): Zschoch, Hellmut
[German Version] (Gerlacus Petri; c. 1375, Deventer – Nov 18, 1411, Windesheim). As a member of the Windesheim Congregation, which he joined before 1400 on the advice of his spiritual teacher Florentius Radewyns, Gerlach was influential through the example of his religious life (description in the Chronicon Windeshemense by J.Busch) and through his writing. Preserved are the Latin works Soliloquium and Breviloquium in addition to two epistolary tractates addressed in middle-Dutch to his sister. In these, Gerlach combines the mysticism of Jan van Ruysbroek…

Rhegius, Urbanus

(276 words)

Author(s): Zschoch, Hellmut
[German Version] (Rieger; May 1489, Langenargen – May 27, 1541, Celle). A student of J. Eck’s, Rhegius was appointed preacher at Augsburg cathedral, but in 1521 he accepted Luther’s understanding of the gospel and lost his position. After preaching in Hall and Tirol, he returned to Augsburg in 1524, where he served as a Protestant preacher in the city’s employ. He wrote numerous works expounding the doctrine of the Reformation movement, concentrating on the message of justification of sinners and …

Voes, Hendrik

(154 words)

Author(s): Zschoch, Hellmut
[German Version] (Vos; c. 1500, ’s-Hertogenbosch – Jul 1, 1523, Brussels), Augustinian Hermit in the Antwerp convent of Henry of Zutphen. After Henry’s flight, on Oct 6, 1522, 16 members were arrested on suspicion of heretical views. Three of them refused to recant: Voes and Jan van Esschen were burned at the stake, while Lambert Thorn (died Sep 1528) remained imprisoned for the rest of his life. The fate of the two Dutch martyrs inspired Luther’s “Letter to the Christians in the Netherlands” (WA …

Monheim, Johannes

(149 words)

Author(s): Zschoch, Hellmut
[German Version] 1509, Clausen near Barmen – Sep 9, 1564, Düsseldorf), Humanist teacher. After his own studies in Münster and Cologne, Monheim taught first in Essen and Cologne; c. 1545 he became director of the Düsseldorf Gymnasium recently founded by Duke William V of Jülich-Kleve-Berg (1539–1592). He edited writings of Erasmus of Rotterdam for school use, wrote textbooks and school regulations, and made his school into a center of Humanist education. His 1560 catechism, structured as a series o…

Florentius Radewyns

(172 words)

Author(s): Zschoch, Hellmut
[German Version] (c. 1350, Leerdam, The Netherlands – Mar 24, 1400, Deventer). Following his studies in Prague (1375–1378) and ordination to the priesthood (1377), Florentius was won over by G. Groote to the latter's ideal of piety. After 1380, the first Brothers and Sisters of the Common Life lived in his vicarage in Deventer. After the death of Grootes in 1384, he acted as the leading spiritual authority of the Devotio moderna (influencing, e.g. Gerlach Peters, Thomas à Kempis, G. Zerbolt), which he organized into its non-monastic (establishing…

Wessel Gansfort, Johann

(288 words)

Author(s): Zschoch, Hellmut
[German Version] (c. 1419, Groningen – Oct 4, 1489, Groningen), a reform-oriented theologian. As a pupil and teacher of the Brothers and Sisters of the Common Life in Zwolle from 1432, Gansfort adopted the spirituality of the devotio moderna, which made a lasting impression on him. In 1449, he began to devote himself to intensive theological studies in Cologne, Heidelberg and Paris, in the course of which he turned to nominalism and, having learned Greek and Hebrew, laying the basis for an intensi…

Veluanus, Johannes Anastasius

(147 words)

Author(s): Zschoch, Hellmut
[German Version] (Jan Gerritsz Versteghe; c. 1520, Stroe, Gelderland – 1570 Steeg, near Bacherach). As a priest in Garderen (from 1544), Veluanus was arrested in 1550 for preaching the Reformation. In 1553 he succeeded in escaping to the Rhineland, where he became pastor in Palatine Steeg in 1554/1555; in 1561 he was appointed superintendent for Bacharach and Kaub. In his popular works, including Der Leken Wechwyser (“Guide for the Laity,” 1554) and his Kurzer Wegweiser (publ. anonymously 1564), he encouraged an undogmatic Christianity based on the Bible; he combined …

Augustine, Rule of Saint

(288 words)

Author(s): Zschoch, Hellmut
[German Version] The first Western monastic rules originated in the circle around Augustine; the influence of Eastern examples (Pachomius, Basil the Great) is evident. Transmitted as Augustinian texts are: (1) the “Praeceptum,” consisting of 12 chapters, which may have been written by Augustine himself c. 397, (2) the “Regularis informatio,” an addendum to (Pseudo?-) Augustine's Ep. 211, an adaptation for women's convents first attested in the 6th century, and (3) the “Ordo monasterii,” a brief order for external cloistered life from the 5th/6th century. From the 11th century, …

Groote, Geert

(402 words)

Author(s): Zschoch, Hellmut
[German Version] (Gerardus Magnus; Oct, 1340, Deventer, The Netherlands – Aug 20,1384, Deventer) was the founder of the Devotio moderna . From an affluent patrician family, Groote became a canon in Aachen (1368) and in Utrecht (1371) after extended and wideranging studies (beginning in 1355, primarily in Paris). Under the influence of Henry of Kalkar, he converted in 1373, which initially took the form of turning away from secular sciences and lifestyle and turning to the duties of his church pos…

Prierias, Silvester Mazzolini

(181 words)

Author(s): Zschoch, Hellmut
[German Version] (1456, Prierio – 1523 or 1527, Rome), Dominican, Thomist university teacher, papal court theologian ( magister sacri Palatii) from 1515. In the spring of 1518 Prierias wrote, at the behest of Leo X, his Dialogus de potestate papae, a theological assessment of Luther’s theses on indulgences, emphasizing in connection with his dissent from church authority (Primacy, Papal): “Whoever . . . says that the Roman church should not do what it actually does is a heretic” (Fabisch & Iserloh, 56). After Luther’s Responsio (WA 1, 644–686) there followed Replica (late 1518) and the Ep…

Bünderlin, Hans

(194 words)

Author(s): Zschoch, Hellmut
[German Version] (Hans Wunderl[e], Hans Vischer; born circa 1500 in St. Peter near Linz – died after 1539). After studying art in Vienna, Bünderlin worked as pastor to a Protestant-minded upper Austrian noble and joined the Linz Anabaptist congregation around 1527. He escaped persecution by moving to Nikolsburg and Strasbourg, thereafter living an unsettled it…

Pfeffinger, Johann

(157 words)

Author(s): Zschoch, Hellmut
[German Version] (Dec 27, 1493, Wasserburg am Inn – Jan 1, 1573, Leipzig), Reformation theologian, a pupil of Luther and Melanchthon. As the first Protestant superintendent (from 1540) and professor of theology (from 1544) in Leipzig, Pfeffinger played a decisive part in the introduction of the Reformation in Albertine Saxony. Both in theological teaching and in church policy (in 1548/1549 he helped to implement the Augsburg Interim in Ernestine Saxony), he was guided by Melanchthon. When Pfeffinger developed the latter’s idea of the active participation of the human ¶ will in the p…

Augustinian Hermits

(495 words)

Author(s): Zschoch, Hellmut
[German Version] In the papal interests of incorporating the religious poverty movement into the centralized discipline of the Roman church, Innocent I began in 1243 to combine smaller hermit groups under the Rule of St. Augustine (Augustine, Rule of). This unification into the “Ordo Eremitarum Sancti Augustini” (OESA) was completed under Alexander IV in 1256 with the bull “Licet ecclesi…

Jonas, Justus

(271 words)

Author(s): Zschoch, Hellmut
[German Version] (originally Jodocus Koch; Jun 5, 1493, Nordhausen – Oct 9, 1555, Eisfeld), Reformer. Around 1519, this jurist, who had been won for Humanism by H.E. Hessus and K. Muth, heeded the advice of Erasmus and turned to theology. At the same time, as rector of the University of Erfurt (II), he advocated a humanistic reform of the curriculum. Jonas joined the Reformation in 1521 when he accompanied Luther to the Diet of Worms. Appointed provost of the Wittenberg Allerheiligenstift in the s…

Karg, Georg

(78 words)

Author(s): Zschoch, Hellmut
[German Version] ( Parsimonius; 1512/1513, Heroldingen – Nov 27, 1576, Ansbach) was a theologian of the Reformation. As superintendent of the Margraviate of Brandenburg-Ansbach, Karg was highly instrumental in the organization of its Protestant church from 1552 onward (catechism, 1564); between 1567 and 1570, ¶ internal Lutheran doctrinal disputes arose over his divergent doctrine of the imputation of Christ's passive obedience, only, in the act of justification. Hellmut Zschoch Bibliography H.-M. Weiss, Vom notwendigen Verstand der Lehre, 1991.

Protestation at Speyer (1529)

(560 words)

Author(s): Zschoch, Hellmut
[German Version] Until a council could settle the controverted theological issues, the first Diet of Speyer in 1526 had left it to the discretion of the territorial authorities in their responsibility toward God and the emperor to enforce the terms of the Edict of Worms (1521) against Luther and his followers. This decision provided the evangelical princes and cities a basis for institutionalizing the Reformation within the framework of a polity that put governance of the church in the hands of th…

Pupper, Johannes

(170 words)

Author(s): Zschoch, Hellmut
[German Version] (of Goch; c. 1415, Goch – Mar 28, 1475, Thabor, near Mechelen), reforming theologian. As a sometime member of the Brothers and Sisters of the Common Life in Amersfoort, he was influenced by the devotio moderna; he combined a nominalism that is associated with his name and Augustinianism, emphasized the authority of the Bible as the basis of Christian discipleship inspired by grace, and rejected any special merit associated with monastic vows. His writings, little noticed in the 15…

Wimpfeling, Jakob

(309 words)

Author(s): Zschoch, Hellmut
[German Version] (Jul 25, 1450, Schlettstadt [Sélestat] – Nov 17, 1528, Schlettstadt), Humanist (Humanism). After studying philosophy, law, and theology at Freiburg, Erfurt, and Heidelberg (where he was rector of the university in 1481/1482), he served as cathedral vicar in Speyer from 1484 to 1498, then occupied a chair of poetry and rhetoric at Heidelberg until 1501 and finally worked as a teacher and writer in Straßburg (Strasbourg) and Schlettstadt. He championed a renewal of education based on the Latin writers and poets of antiquity, the patristic period, and the Middle Ages ( Sty…

Laski, Jan

(302 words)

Author(s): Zschoch, Hellmut
[German Version] (à Lasco; 1499, Łask – Jan 8, 1560, Pińczów). The scion of high Polish nobility, Laski received a broad Humanistic education as a young man. A period of study with Erasmus of Rotterdam in Basel in 1525 left an indelible impression on him. Political circumstances prevented a career in the church hierarchy of Poland. Contacts with Melanchthon in 1537 and A. Hardenberg in 1539 indicated his sympathy for the Reformation, which was recognized in 1542 when he was appointed superintenden…

Pigge, Albert

(161 words)

Author(s): Zschoch, Hellmut
[German Version] (Pigghe, Pighius; c. 1490, Kampen – Dec 29, 1542, Utrecht), Roman Catholic controversialist (Controversial theology). After a curial career begun in 1522 under Hadrian VI, his former teacher at Leuven, Pigge devoted himself in the 1530s to stabilizing the papal church in the Netherlands. In his most important work, Hierarchiae ecclesiae assertio (1538), he vigorously developed the theme of papal infallibility as a secure basis for the church’s teaching. In 1540/1541 he attended the disputations in Worms and Regensburg as papal obs…

Dietrich, Veit

(344 words)

Author(s): Zschoch, Hellmut
[German Version] (Dec 8, 1506, Nuremberg – Mar 25, 1549, Nuremberg) came to Wittenberg as a student in 1522; from 1528, he lived in Luther's household and became his secretary and conversation partner. Dietrich accompanied Luther to the Colloquy of Marburg (1529; Disputations, religious) and to Castle ( Veste) Coburg (1530). In 1535, he accepted an appointment as pastor at the church of St. Sebald in his hometown, where he devoted himself to the organization of the Reformed church and to the dev…

Henry of Ahaus

(173 words)

Author(s): Zschoch, Hellmut
[German Version] (c. 1370, Schöppingen – Feb 14, 1439, Münster, Westphalia). A few years after his ordination to the priesthood and shortly after the death of Florentius Radewyns, Henry of Ahaus came to Deventer in 1400, where he became acquainted with the religious life of the Brothers of the Common Life. Convinced that their spiritual way of life was the genuine priestly lifestyle, and resuming earlier efforts, he henceforth devoted himself to establishing this way of life in the Westphalian-Low…

Thomas of Strasbourg

(162 words)

Author(s): Zschoch, Hellmut
[German Version] (late 13th cent., Hagenau – 1357, Vienna), OESA. Thomas studied in Padua c. 1316, ¶ then served as lector at the house of studies of the Augustinian Hermits in Strasbourg; in 1337 he earned his doctorate in theology at Paris. In 1343 he became the provincial of the Augustinians’ province of Rhineland-Swabia and in 1345 prior general of the order; in that office, he augmented the constitutions of 1290. His commentary on the Sentences, first printed in 1490, earned him a reputation as a comprehensible and incisive theological teacher. As a rule, he adopt…

Hegius, Alexander

(158 words)

Author(s): Zschoch, Hellmut
[German Version] (c. 1439/1440, Burgsteinfurt – Dec 1498, Deventer, Netherlands). Hegius studied the artes liberales in Rostock beginning in 1456. As the director of schools affiliated with the Brothers and Sisters of the Common Life (1469 Wesel, 1474 Emmerich, after 1476 Deventer), Hegius placed pedagogy in the service of Humanism (friendship with R. Agricola from 1479) by teaching a method to approach Greek and Latin which is schooled in the ancient sources ¶ and observes the rules of rhetoric. Hegius exerted a strong influence on 16th-century German and Dutch Huma…

Zell, Katharina and Matthäus

(290 words)

Author(s): Zschoch, Hellmut
[German Version] (Katharina, née Schütz: 1497/1498, Straßburg [Strasbourg] – Sep 5, 1562, Straßburg; Matthäus: 1477, Kaysersberg – Jan 9, 1548, Straßburg). Matthäus, from 1518 a priest in Straßburg, became the city’s first clergyman to preach the Reformation in 1521; in 1523 he published his Christliche Verantwortung to justify his actions against ¶ accusations of heresy made by the bishop. He was an eloquent preacher, but as a theologian he stood in the shadow of M. Bucer, W. Capito, and K. Hedio. Late in 1523, he married Katharina Schütz, the d…

Emser, Hieronymus

(179 words)

Author(s): Zschoch, Hellmut
[German Version] (Mar 16 or 26, 1478, Weidenstetten near Ulm – Nov 8, 1527, Dresden). The human-¶ istically educated Emser, from 1505 in the service of Duke George of Saxony, distinguished himself after the Leipzig Disputation (1519) as a Catholic controversial theologian. In the dispute with Luther (1519–1521 exchange of polemical writings, then only publications by Emser), he fought against A.B. v. Karlstadt and Zwi…


(473 words)

Author(s): Zschoch, Hellmut
[German Version] (cf. Augsburg Confession; Augsburg Interim; Augsburg, Peace of). For a Christian community in the Roman colony Augusta Vindelicorum there is no certain evidence; not until 565 is the characteristic local cult of the martyr Afra attested. Augsburg was certainly an episcopal see from the 8th century. The close connection between bishop and kingd…

Spee (Spe) von Langenfeld, Friedrich

(291 words)

Author(s): Zschoch, Hellmut
[German Version] (Feb 25, 1591, Kaiserswerth – Aug 7, 1635, Trier), joined the Jesuits in 1610 and worked for the order as a theological teacher in support of the Counter-Reformation; in 1629 he was appointed professor of theology in Trier. He owes his importance not to his role as an academic theologian but to his unique combination of piety, literary talent, and active commitment to the suffering. His major religious works, the Güldenes Tugend-Buch and Trutz-Nachtigall, published posthumously in 1649, influenced confessional Roman Catholic religiosity through literat…

Sleidanus, Johannes

(159 words)

Author(s): Zschoch, Hellmut
[German Version] (Philippson; 1506, Schleiden, Eifel – Oct 30, 1556, Straßburg [Strasbourg]). After a Humanistic education, Sleidanus began working in the French diplomatic service. Prior to 1530, Melanchthon’s writings had already won him to the cause of the Reformation. Personal contact with the Protestant theologians at the religious disputations in Hagenau (Haguenau) and Regensburg in 1540/1541 inspired him to write historical attacks on the papacy. In 1545 he entered the service of the Schmal…

Corvinus, Antonius

(308 words)

Author(s): Zschoch, Hellmut
[German Version] (Feb 27 or Apr 11, 1501, Warburg – Apr 5, 1553, Hannover). Dismissed from the Cistercian abbey in Riddagshausen in 1523 because of his sympathies for Luther, Corvinus taught himself Reformation theology. In 1528, he obtained a preaching post in Goslar, in 1529, a pastorate in Witzenhausen, Hessen. On the commission of Landgrave Philip of Hessen, he disputed in 1535/36 with the imprisoned Anabaptists in Münster. In 1537, Corvinus signed the Schmalkaldic Articles ; in 1541, he participated as an auditor in the Regensburg religious …

Maria Laach

(296 words)

Author(s): Zschoch, Hellmut
[German Version] Maria Laach, Benedictine abbey on the Laacher See in the Eifel range. The abbey was founded around 1093 by the count palatine of the Rhine Heinrich II as a family foundation; in 1111 or 1112 it was made a priory of Affligem Abbey (Flanders) and thus became associated with the ordo cluniacensis (Cluny). It was made an abbey between 1135 and 1138. The Romanesque church, consecrated in 1156 and largely still in its original form, is a basilica with three naves and a double choir. Its monumental simplicity ideally expresses the self-u…
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