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Helmstedt, University of

(623 words)

Author(s): Mager, Inge
[German Version] On Oct 15, 1576, the Academia Julia was founded as the first Protestant university in northern Germany and on the sole basis of an imperial privilege granted by Duke Julius of Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel (1568–1589). It was shut down by Jérôme Bonaparte in the spring of 1810. Until 1634, the quite generously endowed university stood under the patronage of Wolfenbüttel, becoming an institution of the Guelphs from 1635 to 1745, thereafter belonging to the newly founded house of Brauns…

Calixtus, Georg

(544 words)

Author(s): Mager, Inge
[German Version] (Dec 14, 1586, Medelby, Schleswig – Mar 19, 1656, Helmstedt). The son of the country clergyman Johannes Callisen, a Lutheran controversial theologian, irenicist and adherent of the early Enlightenment, Calixtus spoke out in favor of an ecumenical Christianity. Having grown up without the Formula of Concord or the notion of ubiquity (Omnipresence), he came to Helmstedt in 1603 as a student shaped by the ideas of Melanchthon. Calixtus acquired his knowledge ¶ of theology as an autodidact under the influence of J. Caselius and C. Martini. After receiving his Magister (16…

Conring, Hermann

(174 words)

Author(s): Mager, Inge
[German Version] (Nov 9, 1606, Norden – Dec 12, 1681, Helmstedt) was a philosopher, historian, scholar in diplomatics, legal historian, political scientist, physician, and author of theological writings. Having studied in Helmstedt and Leiden, he became professor of natural philosophy (1632), medicine (1637), and politics (1650) in Helmstedt; he also officiated as private physician and adviser at the courts of several princes (including Wolfenbüttel, Mainz, Paris, Copen…

Caselius, Johannes

(134 words)

Author(s): Mager, Inge
[German Version] (v. Kessel; May 18, 1533, Göttingen – Apr 9, 1613, Helmstedt) came from a Dutch family of refugees. He studied in Wittenberg and Leipzig from 1551 onward, became professor of rhetoric and princely tutor in the service of Mecklenburg in 1563, and earned his doctorate in law in Pisa in 1566. Having no strict confessional attachment, Caselius accepted an appointment as professor of philosophy, rhetoric and ethics at the University of Helmstedt in 1589, whe…


(445 words)

Author(s): Müller, Hans Martin | Mager, Inge
[German Version] 1. Bernhard (Apr 25, 1856, Medebach – Oct 13, 1934, Hannover) served as pastor in Gielde (from 1883) and in Hannover-Kleefeld (St. Peter, 1891–1923). As a preacher and author of theological works, he was an important representative of moderate liberalism. Through his sermons, composed in simple language and incorporating the concerns of daily life, he was also able to reac…

Syncretistic Controversy

(895 words)

Author(s): Mager, Inge
The syncretistic controversy was the longest and last theological debate in the so-called confessional period (Catholic Reform and Counterreformation 1.2). In it, doctrinal views traceable to Philipp Melanchthon (1497–1560, positions polemically labeled Philippism or crypto-Calvinism), coupled with the attempt to search for the truth held in ¶ common by all three Christian churches in order to arrive at a fundamental minimum common ground, collided with a strict Lutheranism that was faithful to the Formula of Concord, uncompromising in defen…

Corpora doctrinae

(644 words)

Author(s): Mager, Inge
Corpora doctrinae (collections of teaching) are proclamations or collections of creeds and confessions. These corpora, which included ancient and modern statements, some of which were local and others that were accepted more universally, together document the continuity of confession and functioned to safeguard the confessional status of various territories and cities in eastern, central, and northern Germany between 1560 and 1580. Preliminary stages are the Doctrinalia and teaching rules in the church orders from 1535. The idea of corpus doctrinae comes from P. Melanchtho…