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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…

Quistorp

(489 words)

Author(s): Kaufmann, Thomas
[German Version] 1. Johann, the Elder (Aug 18, 1587, Rostock – May 2, 1648, Doberan), son of a Rostock tawer and founder of a Mecklenburg scholarly dynasty whose influence lasted into the second half of the 18th century. After schooling in Rostock (Nathan Chytraeus; P. Tarnow) and Berlin, he began his studies in 1603 in Frankfurt an der Oder but returned to Rostock in 1604 (M.A. 1613). In 1615 he took over one of the municipal chairs of theology at the University of Rostock; in 1616 he was also app…

Brès, Guido de

(281 words)

Author(s): Kaufmann, Thomas
[German Version] (Guy de Brès/de Bray; 1522, Bergen/Mons – May 31, 1567, Valenciennes) was the definitive reformer of the southern Low Countries. Under unknown circumstances, the learned glass painter was won to the Reformation cause in the 1540s. In 1548 he fled into exile in London for religious reasons; he returned in 1552 to preach in Rijssel/Lille. He use…

Dathenus, Petrus

(274 words)

Author(s): Kaufmann, Thomas
[German Version] (1531/1532, Cassel near Hazebrouck, Flanders (now France) – Mar 17, 1588, Elbląg [Elbing], Poland) joined the Reformation as a young Carmelite monk (Ypres) and fled to England in 1550. In 1555, he became the leader of the Dutch exile community in Frankfurt am Main. After the eucharistic controversy between Calvin and J. Westphal, Dathenus and some 60 families took refuge in the monastery of ¶ Frankenthal. He moved to the Netherlands in 1566, but fled once again to the Electoral Palatinate (Kurpfalz) in 1567 …

Curcellaeus, Stephanus

(157 words)

Author(s): Kaufmann, Thomas
[German Version] (Etienne de Courcelle; May 2, 1586, Geneva – May 20, 1659, Amsterdam) was, alongside S. Episcopius, J. Clericus and P. van Limborch, one of the most important representatives of 17th century Arminian theology (Arminians). He studied in Zürich, Basel, Heidelberg, and was pastor in Fontainebleau, Amiens and Vitry from 1614; he moved to Amsterdam, where he was professor of theology in the Arminian Seminary after 1643. His position, following J. Acon…

Kortholt, Christian

(180 words)

Author(s): Kaufmann, Thomas
[German Version] (Jan 15, 1633, Burg on Fehmarn Island – Apr 1, 1694, Kiel) studied theology in Rostock, Jena, Leipzig, and Wittenberg, was awarded a Dr.theol. and appointed professor of Greek in Rostock (1665), then professor of theology in Kiel (1665; pro-chancellor in 1666). Kortholt is regarded as the pioneer of Pietism in Schleswig-Holstein. Strongly influenced by the devotional theology of J. Arndt, J. Lütkemann, and H. Müller, he supported P. Spener's Pia desideria, initially in his writings, though without embracing its specific innovations (conventicles, hop…

Elert, Werner

(351 words)

Author(s): Kaufmann, Thomas
[German Version] August Friedrich Immanuel (Aug 19, 1885, Heldrungen/Thüringen – Nov 21, 1954, Erlangen), one of the most prominent and controversial theologians of the 20th century, studied theology, history and philosophy from 1906 to 1910 in Breslau, Erlangen, and Leipzig. After service in World War I as a field chaplain, Elert became director of the Theological Seminary of th…

Nadere Reformatie

(232 words)

Author(s): Kaufmann, Thomas
[German Version] The term nadere reformatie denotes a movement in the Netherlands Reformed tradition (Reformed churches), under personal (W. Ames) or literary Puritan influence, tending toward a “second Reformation,” “reaching further” and “more closely” into believers' personal way of life. Its aim was to deepen and take further the renewal of doctrine achieved in the “first Reformation,” in the direction of ethically binding devotional practice of ascetic stamp. The term nadere reformatie occurs in reform proposals of the Utrecht Consistory of 1665, influenced by…

Thirty Years War

(4,245 words)

Author(s): Kaufmann, Thomas
[German Version] I. Introduction Already referred to as the “Thirty Years War” by contemporary witnesses, the military conflicts subsumed under this name were waged between 1618 and 1648 in Central Europe and especially on the territory of the Holy Roman Empire. They represent a historically new phenomenon on the threshold to European modern times, notably in terms of the length and geographical scope of the military engagements, of the magnitude of material expenditures, of technological and strate…

Orthodoxy

(11,720 words)

Author(s): Slenczka, Notger | Hünermann, Peter | Wallmannb, Johannes | Kaufmann, Thomas | Morgenstern, Matthias | Et al.
[German Version] I. Terminology – II. Christianity – III. Judaism – IV. Islam I. Terminology The term orthodoxy derives from Greek ὀρϑός/ orthós, “right, true, straight,” and δόξα/ dóxa, “opinion, teaching.” The word and its derivatives appear in pre-Christian literature (Liddell & Scott, s.v.) but acquired their specifically religious sense only in the context of Christianity, where confession of Jesus as Lord or Christ plays a constitutive role in religious practice (Rom 10:10; Matt 10:32f.) and the need appeared early on to identify a…

Brakel

(184 words)

Author(s): Kaufmann, Thomas
[German Version] 1. Theodorus à (Dirk Gerrits; 1608, Enkhuizen– Feb 14, 1669, Makkum), the mystic Reformed theologian involved in the “Nadere Reformatie,” who was more interested in contemplation than in pressing for church reform and was active as a parish pastor in the north of the Netherlands. In his writings Brakel developed a path for the ascension of the soul to complete communion with Christ based on his own mystical experience. Bibliography A. Ritschl, Geschichte des Pietismus, I, 1880 (repr. 1966), 268–276 W. Goeters, Die Vorbereitung des Pietismus …

Heussi, Karl

(200 words)

Author(s): Kaufmann, Thomas
[German Version] (Jun 16, 1877, Leipzig – Jan 25, 1961, Jena). Heussi studied theology, history and philosophy in Leipzig, Berlin and Marburg and received the Dr.phil. (Leipzig) in 1903, the Lic.theol. (Heidelberg) in 1911, and the Dr.theol. h.c. (Gießen) in 1919. Between 1904 and 1924 Heussi worked as headmaster and then professor at the Gymnasium in Leipzig; after 1924, he taught in Jena as professor of church history. Published in many revised editions since 1907, his Kompendium der Kirchengeschichte [Compendium of church history] (181991) which was originally conceived for…

Westphalia, Peace of

(1,680 words)

Author(s): Kaufmann, Thomas
[German Version] I. Background The Peace of Westphalia is the name given the treaty documents that ended the Thirty Years War on Oct 24, 1648, hoping to establish a pax universalis among the Christian states of Europe. It comprised two separate treaties: one, the Instrumentum Pacis Osnabrugense (IPO), between the emperor, Sweden, and the German estates, framed in Osnabrück, the other, the Instrumentum Pacis Monasteriense, between the emperor as imperial head of state and France, concluded in Münster. Both were the result of negotiations over the European fra…

Chyträus, David

(346 words)

Author(s): Kaufmann, Thomas
[German Version] (Kochhaf[e]; Feb 26, 1530, Ingelfingen, Hohenlohe – Jun 25, 1600, Rostock). The son of Matthäus Kochhaf, a pastor from the entourage of J. Brenz, Chyträus was enrolled at the University of Tübingen before the age of 10. Receiving his M.A. in 1544, he then moved to Wittenberg. He was decisively influenced by both Melanchthon and Luther, whose lectures on Genesis he attended. The not entirely unproblematic bonds to his two Wittenberg teachers remai…

Eucharist/Communion

(26,590 words)

Author(s): Hahn, Ferdinand | Markschies, Christoph | Angenendt, Arnold | Kaufmann, Thomas | Koch, Ernst | Et al.
[German Version] I. New Testament – II. Church History – III. Dogmatics – IV. Liturgical History – V. Practical Theology – VI. Missiology I. New Testament 1. Background Sacred meals are common to all religions. Before examining them in the context of the NT, it is necessary first to inquire into their background in the OT and in Judaism, whereupon it becomes evident that sacrificial meals play no role in them. Only the dai…

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, …
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