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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 ch…

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 January 1, 1484, in Wildhaus in the Toggenburg valley in eastern Switzerland. He left his home early to stay under the care of his uncle, a priest, in the small city of Wesen, where he began his school education. He attended Latin schools in Basel (from 1494) and Vienna (from 1496). His university education course in the liberal arts was completed in Vienna and Basel (1498–1506). Following several months of theological study, Zwingli was ordained as a priest in 1506 and took …

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…

Fecht, Johann

(243 words)

Author(s): Kaufmann, Thomas
[German Version] (Dec 25, 1636, Sulzburg – May 5, 1716, Rostock) gained his most important and long-lasting theological experiences from 1655 on in Straßburg (J.K. Dannhauer). He studied in Tübingen, Heidelberg, Jena, Wittenberg and Leipzig, and received the

Terministic Controversy

(373 words)

Author(s): Kaufmann, Thomas
[German Version] The terministic controversy in Lutheran Protestantism was sparked by a common practice based on CA 12 (Augsburg Confession): at death’s door, after confession and communion (Eucharist) eternal bliss (Blessedness) was promised regardless of whether the person dying had lived a recognizably Christian life. In response Pi…

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/…

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 …

Curcellaeus, Stephanus

(157 words)

Author(s): Kaufmann, Thomas
[German Version] (Etienne de…

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…

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 contex…

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 con…

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 hea…

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 framework conditio…

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…
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