Johann Eck

Johann Maier von Eck (13 November 1486 – 13 February 1543), often Anglicized as John Eck, was a German Scholastic theologian, Catholic prelate, and early counterreformer who was among Martin Luther's most important interlocutors and theological opponents.

Johann Maier von Eck
Johann Maier von Eck
Born13 November 1486
Died10 February 1543 (aged 56)
OccupationGerman Scholastic theologian, Catholic prelate, and early counterreformer


Johann Eck was born Johann Maier at Eck (later Egg, near Memmingen, Swabia) and derived his additional surname from his birthplace, which he himself, after 1505, always modified into Eckius or Eccius, i.e. "of Eck".[1] His father, Michael Maier, was a peasant and bailiff, or Amtmann, of the village. The boy's education was undertaken by his uncle, Martin Maier, parish priest at Rottenburg on the river Neckar.

At the age of twelve he entered the University of Heidelberg, which he left in the following year for Tübingen. After taking his master's degree in 1501, he began the study of theology under Johann Jakob Lempp, and studied the elements of Hebrew and political economy with Konrad Summenhart.

He left Tübingen in 1501 on account of the plague and after a year at Cologne finally settled at Freiburg University, at first as a student of theology and law and later as a successful teacher where he was mentor to the prominent Anabaptist leader of Waldshut and Nikolsburg, Balthasar Hubmaier, and later retaining this relationship during their move to the University of Ingolstadt. In 1508 he entered the priesthood in Strasbourg and two years later obtained his doctorate in theology.

At Freiburg in 1506 he published his first work, Ludicra logices exercitamenta and also proved himself a brilliant and subtle orator, although obsessed by an untamable controversial spirit and unrestrained powers of invective. At odds with his colleagues, he was glad to accept a call to a theological chair at Ingolstadt in November 1510, receiving at the same time the honors and income of a canon at Eichstadt. In 1512 he became prochancellor at the university and made the institution a bulwark of Catholicism. His wide knowledge found expression in numerous writings. In the theological field he produced his Chrysopassus (Augsburg, 1514), in which he developed a theory of predestination, while he obtained some fame as commentator on the Summulae of Peter of Spain and on Aristotle's De caelo and De anima.

As a political economist he defended the lawfulness of putting out capital at interest.[2] and successfully argued his view at disputations at Augsburg (1514) and Bologna (1515), where he also disputed about predestination. These triumphs were repeated at Vienna in 1516. Through these successes he gained the patronage of the Fuggers, but they scandalized Martin Luther.[3]

A ducal commission, appointed to find a way of ending the interminable strife between rival academic parties, asked Eck to prepare fresh commentaries on Aristotle and Peter of Spain. Between 1516 and 1520, in addition to all his other duties, he published commentaries on the Summulae of Petrus Hispanus, and on the Dialectics, Physics and lesser scientific works of Aristotle, which became the textbooks of the university. During these early years, Eck was considered a modern theologian, and his commentaries are inspired with much of the scientific spirit of the New Learning. His aim, however, had been to find a via media between old and new.

Johann Eck
Portrait of Johann Eck (1717)

He championed the cause of the papacy. The result of this new resolve were his chief work, De primatu Petri (1519), and his Enchiridion locorum communium adversus Lutherum ran through 46 editions between 1525 and 1576. From 1530-35 he published a collection of his writings against Luther, Opera contra Ludderum, in 4 vols. He verabally assailed his friend, humanist and jurist Ulrich Zasius, for a doctrine proclaimed ten years before, and Erasmus's Annotationes in Novum Testamentum. Eck died at Ingolstadt on 10 February 1543.[4]

Disputations with Luther and Karlstadt

As early as the spring of 1517 Eck had entered into friendly relations with Martin Luther, who had regarded him as in harmony with his own views, but this illusion was short-lived. In his Obelisci Eck attacked Luther's theses, which had been sent to him by Christoph von Scheurl, and accused him of promoting the "heresy of the Bohemian Brethren", fostering anarchy within the Church and branded him a Hussite.[5] Luther replied in his Asterisci adversus obeliscos Eccii, while Andreas Karlstadt defended Luther's views of indulgences and engaged in a violent controversy with Eck.

A mutual desire for a public disputation led to a compact between Eck and Luther by which the former pledged himself to meet Karlstadt in debate at Erfurt or Leipzig, on condition that Luther abstain from all participation in the discussion. In December 1518, Eck published the twelve theses which he was prepared to uphold against Karlstadt, but since they were aimed at Luther rather than at the ostensible opponent, Luther addressed an open letter to Karlstadt, in which he declared himself ready to meet Eck in debate.

Julius Hübner Disputation
A depiction of Luther and Eck at the Leipzig Debate from the 1860s.

The disputation between Eck and Karlstadt began at Leipzig on 27 June 1519. In the first four sessions Eck maintained the thesis that free will is the active agent in the creation of good works, but he was compelled by his opponent to modify his position so as to concede that the grace of God and free will work in harmony toward the common end. Karlstadt then proceeded to prove that good works are to be ascribed to the agency of God alone, whereupon Eck yielded so far as to admit that free will is passive in the beginning of conversion, although he maintained that in course of time it enters into its rights; so that while the entirety of good works originates in God, their accomplishment is not entirely the work of God.

Despite the fact that Eck was thus virtually forced to abandon his position, he succeeded, through his good memory and his dialectic skill, in confusing Karlstadt and carried off the victory. He was less successful against Luther, who, as Eck himself confessed, was his superior in memory, acumen, and learning. After a disputation on the supremacy of the papacy, purgatory, penance, etc., lasting twenty-three days (4 July–27 July), the arbitrators declined to give a verdict. Eck did succeed in making Luther admit that there was some truth in the Hussite opinions and declare himself against the pope, but this success only embittered his animosity against his opponents. Eck also forced Luther to declare that Ecumenical Councils were sometimes errant, as in the case when Constance (1414–1418) condemned Hus (1415). Luther now effectively denied the authority of both pope and council. Eck was greeted as victor by the theologians of the University of Leipzig.

Attacks on Luther and Melanchthon

Soon after his return to Ingolstadt, Eck attempted to persuade Elector Frederick of Saxony to have Luther's works burned in public, and during the year 1519 he published no less than eight writings against the new movement. He failed, however, to obtain a condemnatory decision from the universities appointed to pronounce on the outcome of the Leipzig disputation. Erfurt returned the proceedings of the meeting to the Saxon duke without signifying its approval, while Paris, after repeated urging, gave an ambiguous decision limited to "the doctrine of Luther so far as investigated".

Eck's only followers were the aged heretic-hunter Hoogstraten and Emser of Leipzig, together with the allied authorities of the universities of Cologne and Leuven. Luther returned Eck's assaults with more than equal vehemence and about this time Philipp Melanchthon wrote to Œcolampadius that at Leipzig he had first become distinctly aware of the difference between what he considered to be true Christian theology and the scholasticism of the Aristotelian doctors. In his Excusatio (Wittenberg? 1519?) Eck, irritated all the more because early in the year he had induced Erasmus to caution, the young theological student against precipitating himself into the religious conflict, retorted that Melanchthon knew nothing of theology.

In his reply to the Excusatio, Melanchthon proved that he was thoroughly versed in theology, and Eck fared still worse in October of the same year when he sought to aid Emser by a strongly worded tirade against Luther. Two biting satires, one by Œcolampadius and the other by Willibald Pirckheimer, stung him to a fury which would be satisfied with nothing less than the public burning of the entire literature in the market-place at Ingolstadt, an act from which he was restrained by his colleague Reuchlin.

Papal emissary and inquisitor

Eck was more highly esteemed as "the dauntless champion of the true faith" at Rome than in Germany, where he induced the universities of Cologne and Louvain to condemn Luther's writings, but failed to enlist the German princes. In January 1520, he visited Italy at the invitation of Pope Leo X, to whom he presented his latest work De primate Petri adversus Ludderum (Ingolstadt, 1520) for which he was rewarded with the nomination to the office of papal protonotary, although his efforts to urge the Curia to decisive action against Luther were unsuccessful for some time.

In July he returned to Germany with the bull Exsurge Domine directed against Luther's writings, in which forty-one propositions of Luther were condemned as heretical or erroneous. He now believed himself in a position to crush not only the "Lutheran heretics", but also his humanist critics. The effect of the publication of the bull, however, soon undeceived him. Universities and humanists were at one in denunciation of the outrage; and, as for the attitude of the people, Eck was fortunate to have escaped from Saxony alive.[6]

At Meissen, Brandenburg, and Merseburg he succeeded in giving the papal measure due official publicity, but at Leipzig he was the object of the ridicule of the student body and was compelled to flee by night to Freiberg, where he was again prevented from proclaiming the bull. At Erfurt the students tore the instrument down and threw it into the water, while in other places the papal decree was subjected to still greater insults.

In his anger he appealed to force, and his Epistola ad Carolum V (18 February 1521) called on the emperor to take measures against Luther, an appeal soon answered by the Edict of Worms (May 1521). In 1521 and 1522 Eck was again in Rome, reporting on the results of his nunciature. On his return from his second visit he was the prime mover in the promulgation of the Bavarian religious edict of 1522, which practically established the senate of the University of Ingolstadt as a tribunal of the Inquisition. In return for this action of the duke, who had at first been opposed to the policy of repression, Eck obtained for him, during a third visit to Rome in 1523, valuable ecclesiastical concessions. He continued unabated in his zeal against the reformers, publishing eight major works from 1522-26.

Wealth and power were included in the aspirations of Eck. He appropriated the revenues of his parish of Günzburg, while he relegated its duties to a vicar. Twice he visited Rome as a diplomatic representative of the Bavarian court to obtain sanction for the establishment of a court of inquisition against the Lutheran teachings at Ingolstadt. The first of these journeys, late in the autumn of 1521, was fruitless on account of the death of Leo X, but his second journey two years later, in 1523, was successful. With great insight and courage he showed the Curia the true condition of affairs in Germany and pictured the general incapacity of the representatives of the Church in that country. Of the many heresy trials of which Eck was the prime mover during this period it is sufficient to mention here that of Leonhard Kaser, whose history was published by Luther.

Zwingli and his followers

In addition to his inquisitorial duties, every year witnessed the publication of one or more writings against iconoclasm and in defense of the doctrines of the Mass, purgatory, and auricular confession. His Enchiridion locorum communium adversus Lutherum et alios hostes ecclesiae (Landshut, 1525) went through forty-six editions before 1576. As its title indicates, it was directed primarily against Melanchthon's Loci Communes, although it also concerned itself to some extent with the teachings of Huldrych Zwingli.

At Baden-in-Aargau from 21 May until 18 June 1526 a public disputation on the doctrine of transubstantiation was held, in which Eck and Thomas Murner were pitted against Johann Oecolampadius. The affair ended decidedly in favor of Eck, who induced the authorities to enter on a course of active persecution of Zwingli and his followers (Conference of Baden).

The effect of his victory at Baden was dissipated, however, at the Disputation of Bern (January 1528), where the propositions advanced by the Reformers were debated in the absence of Eck, and Bern, Basel, and other places were definitely won for the Reformation. At the Diet of Augsburg (1530), Eck played the leading part among the Roman Catholic theologians.

Peace overtures

For the upcoming Diet of Augsburg, while still at Ingolstadt, Eck compiled what he considered to be 404 heretical propositions[7] from the writings of the reformers as an aid to Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor.

At Augsburg he was charged by the Emperor to draw up, in concert with twenty other theologians, a refutation of the Lutheran Augsburg Confession, which had been delivered to the emperor on 25 June 1530, but he had to rewrite it five times before it suited the emperor. It was known as the Confutatio pontificia, embodying the Catholic reaction to the reformers. He also was involved in the fruitless negotiations with the Protestant theologians, including Philipp Melanchthon, that took place at Augsburg; Eck with Wimpina and Cochlæus met the Lutherans in August.[8]

He was at the Colloquy of Worms in 1540 where he showed some signs of a willingness to compromise. In January 1541 he renewed these efforts and succeeded in impressing Melanchthon as being prepared to give his assent to the main principles of the reformers, e.g. Justification by faith; but at the diet of Regensburg in the spring and summer of 1541, he reasserted his opposition. Afterwards Eck clashed with Martin Bucer over the latter's published report of the diet.

Eck's German New Testament

Special mention should be made, among Eck's many writings, of his German translation of the Bible (the New Testament a revision of H. Emser's rendering) which was first published at Ingolstadt in 1537.

Eck and the genealogy of Christ

Eck made a sermon on the genealogy of Christ, naming Mary's Mother's parents as Emerentia and Stollanus. "The renowned Father John of Eck of Ingolstadt, in a sermon on St. Anne (published at Paris in 1579), pretends to know even the names of the parents St. Anne. He calls them Stollanus and Emerentia. He says that St. Anne was born after Stollanus and Emerentia had been childless for twenty years".[9]

Eck and the Jews

In 1541 Eck published his Against the Defense of the Jews (German: Ains Juden-büechlins Verlegung). In it he opposes the position of the Nuremberg reformer Andreas Osiander, who in the pamphlet Whether It Be True and Credible That the Jews Secretly Strangulate Christian Children and Make Use of Their Blood wanted to squash medieval superstition that Jews were responsible for killing Christian children, desecrating the eucharistic Host, and poisoning wells. Eck accused Osiander of being a "Jew-protector" and "Jew-father", and no fewer than nineteen times reviled the Jews, and called them "a blasphemous race".[10]


  • Enchiridion locorum communium adversus Lutherum et alios hostes ecclesiae (in Latin), 1536.
  • Eck, Johannes; Smeling, Tilmann, Fraenkel, Pierre (ed.), Enchiridion locorum communium adversus Lutherum et alios hostes ecclesiae [Enchiridion (i.e., handbook or manual) of Commonplaces against Luther and other Enemies of the Church: with the additions by Tilmann Smeling], Corpus Catholicorum: Werke katholischer Schriftsteller im Zeitalter der Glaubensspaltung. Works of Catholic authors in the Time of the Splitting of the Faith (in Latin), 34, pp. 1525–2543.
  • Battles, Ford Lewis (transl.) (1979), Enchiridion of Commonplaces against Luther and other Enemies of the Church, Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House (Twin Brooks Series), ISBN 978-0-8010-3352-0.
  • Eck, Johann (1538), Explanatio Psalmi vigesimi, ed., Bernhard Walde, 1928, Münster in Westfalen: Aschendorff.

See also


  1. ^ Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Eck, Johann Maier" . Encyclopædia Britannica. 8 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
  2. ^ Heiko Oberman, "Masters of the Reformation", [Cambridge University Press, 1991], pp. 129
  3. ^ Walter I. Brandt, "Luther's Works", v. 45 [Muhlenberg Press, 1962], p. 305.
  4. ^ Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Eck, Johann Maier" . Encyclopædia Britannica. 8 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
  5. ^ Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Eck, Johann Maier" . Encyclopædia Britannica. 8 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
  6. ^ Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Eck, Johann Maier" . Encyclopædia Britannica. 8 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
  7. ^ Text of Dr. John Eck’s 404 Theses, or 404 Articles. Samuel Macauley Jackson, ed., Papers of the American Society of Church History, Second Series, Volume II, pp. 21-81, G. P. Putnam’s Sons, New York and London, Knickerbocker Press, 1910.
  8. ^ Wikisource-logo.svg Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Johann Eck" . Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
  9. ^
  10. ^ Ains Juden-büechlins Verlegung, fol. J 3r, quoted in Heiko A. Oberman, The Roots of Antisemitism in the Age of Renaissance and Reformation, translated by James I. Porter, (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1984), 37; cf. also pp. 4–5, 17, 36–37, 42, 46–47, 58, 72–73, 87, 91, 101, 121, 135.


Further reading

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Catholic moral theology

Catholic moral theology is a major category of doctrine in the Catholic Church, equivalent to a religious ethics. Moral theology encompasses Roman Catholic social teaching, Catholic medical ethics, sexual ethics, and various doctrines on individual moral virtue and moral theory. It can be distinguished as dealing with "how one is to act", in contrast to dogmatic theology which proposes "what one is to believe".

Christoph von Scheurl

Christoph Scheurl or von Scheurl (11 November 1481 – 14 June 1542) was a German jurist, diplomat and humanist who became famous for arranging a humanistic friendship between Johann Eck and Martin Luther.

Colloquy of Worms (1540–1541)

The Colloquy of Worms or Conference of Worms (1540–1541) was a meeting held in Worms, Germany with the objective of settling differences between Protestant Reformers and Catholics in Germany. It followed the unsuccessful Colloquy of Hagenau in 1540. Johann Eck represented the Catholics and Philip Melanchthon the Protestants. The Colloquy reached an agreement on the doctrine of original sin, but it decided to end discussions due to the calling of the Conference of Ratisbon.

Condign merit

Condign merit (meritum de condigno) is an aspect of Roman Catholic theology signifying merit with the dignity of Christ. A person born again in Christ does not merit of his own virtue but the virtues of Christ are applied to his work. Therefore, it is God crowning his works. Congruent merit is the equivalent of condign merit but applied to an unregenerated person by the goodness of God. In the first case, God has obligated himself, by his promises to reward his son's merits in his children. In the second case, God bestows his merit to those who seek him in faith not from obligation but from mercy and love. In neither case is God obligated by the human. In the first case, God is obligated by his promises to those who love him. In the second, God is obligated by his love and mercy to his creatures who obey him.

In some formulations of Calvinism, condign merit is not needed because Jesus' atonement is a congruent merit given by God.

Condign merit supposes an equality between service and return; it is measured by commutative justice, and thus gives a real claim to a reward in the name of Christ. Congruous merit, owing to its inadequacy and the lack of intrinsic proportion between the service and the recompense, claims a reward only on the ground of equity. This early-scholastic distinction and terminology, which is already recognized in concept and substance by the Fathers of the Church in their controversies with the Pelagians and Semipelagians, was again emphasized by Johann Eck, the adversary of Martin Luther.The essential difference between condign merit and congruent merit is based on the fact that, besides those works which claim a remuneration under pain of violating strict justice (as in contracts between employer and employee, in buying and selling, etc.), there are also other meritorious works which at most are entitled to reward or honour for reasons of equity or mere distributive justice, as in the case of gratuities and military decorations. From an ethical point of view the difference practically amounts to this that, if the reward due to condign merit be withheld, there is a violation of right and justice and the consequent obligation in conscience to make restitution, while, in the case of congruous merit, to withhold the reward involves no violation of right and no obligation to restore, it being merely an offence against what is fitting or a matter of personal discrimination. Hence the reward of congruous merit always depends in great measure on the kindness and liberality of the giver, though not purely and simply on his good will.

Confutatio Augustana

The Confutatio Augustana was the Roman Catholic refutation (confutation) of the Augsburg Confession, often referred to in the theological literature as simply the Confutatio.

On 25 June 1530 the Protestant Imperial States of the realm met at the Diet of Augsburg, and presented Charles V with the Augsburg Confession, largely the work of Philipp Melanchthon setting out the doctrines and practices of the church in the Protestant principalities. The emperor commissioned the papal theologians to prepare a response. An initial version of the Confutatio was rejected by the emperor, as excessively polemic and verbose. In formulating the Confutatio, the lead was taken by Johann Eck. On 3 August 1530, the final version was read at the Diet. The Confutatio clearly rejected the statements of the Augsburg Confession, and called for a return to Catholic doctrine.

In other respects, however, the Confutatio found common ground with the Augsburg Confession. Emperor Charles V refused to hand over the text to the Protestants, unless they agreed not to respond, which they refused. But the Protestants had transcribed it as it was read. Melanchthon responded with the Prima delineatio, which was rejected by the Emperor. Later Melanchthon improved this document an presented it as the Apology of the Augsburg Confession, which was signed at a 1537 meeting of the Schmalkaldic League. The Catholic side did not respond to this formally until the Council of Trent.

Corpus Catholicorum

The Corpus Catholicorum (Corp. Cath., CCath., CC) is a collection of sixteenth-century writings by the leading proponents and defenders of the Roman Catholic Church against the teachings of the Protestant reformers.

The full title of the series is: Corpus Catholicorum: Werke katholischer Schriftsteller im Zeitalter der Glaubensspaltung i.e. Body of Catholic [writings]: Works of Catholic authors in the Time of the Splitting of the Faith.

The series, intended as a counterpart to the Corpus Reformatorum, was conceived by Professor Joseph Greving (1868–1919) of the University of Bonn in 1915, and was announced that same year in the Theologische Revue as a "Plan für ein Corpus Catholicorum" or "Plan for a Corpus Catholicorum"

Diet of Worms

The Diet of Worms 1521 (German: Reichstag zu Worms [ˈʁaɪçstaːk tsuː ˈvɔɐms]) was an imperial diet (assembly) of the Holy Roman Empire called by King Charles V. It was held at the Heylshof Garden in Worms, then an Imperial Free City of the Empire. An imperial diet was a formal deliberative assembly of the whole Empire. This one is most memorable for the Edict of Worms (Wormser Edikt), which addressed Martin Luther and the effects of the Protestant Reformation.

It was conducted from 28 January to 25 May 1521, with the Emperor Charles V presiding.Other imperial diets took place at Worms in the years 829, 926, 1076, 1122, 1495, and 1545, but unless plainly qualified, the term "Diet of Worms" usually refers to the assembly of 1521.


Johann, typically a male given name, is the Germanized form of the originally Hebrew language name יוחנן (Yohanan) (meaning "God is merciful"). It is a form of the Germanic and Latin given name "Johannes." The English language form is John. It is uncommon as a surname.

Leipzig Debate

The Leipzig Debate (German: Leipziger Disputation) was a theological disputation originally between Andreas Karlstadt, Martin Luther, and Johann Eck. Karlstadt, dean of the Wittenberg theological faculty, felt he had to defend Luther against Eck's critical commentary on the 95 theses. So he challenged Johann Eck, a professor of theology at Ingolstadt university, to a public debate concerning the doctrines of free will and grace. The Leipzig Debate took place in June and July 1519 at Pleissenburg Castle in Leipzig, Germany. Its purpose was to discuss Martin Luther's teachings, and was initiated and conducted in the presence of George, Duke of Saxony, an opponent of Luther. Eck, considered the master debater in Germany, was concerned about clerical abuses, but his life's work had been dedicated to the defence of Catholic teachings and combating heresy.Eck invited Luther to join the debate, and when Luther arrived in July he and Eck expanded the terms of the debate to include matters such as the existence of purgatory, the sale of indulgences, the need for and methods of penance, and the legitimacy of papal authority. Eck's debating skills led to Luther's open admissions of heresy in order to not be defeated. Luther declared that sola scriptura (scripture alone) was the basis of Christian belief, that the Pope had no power as he was not mentioned in the Bible, and condemned the sale of indulgences to the laity to reduce their time in purgatory, as there was no mention of purgatory in the Bible. Also, Luther's position on burning heretics (during the debate this was in reference to Jan Huss was later summarized as "Haereticos comburi est contra voluntatem Spiritus" (It is contrary to the Spirit to burn heretics) as one of the statements specifically censured in Exsurge Domine.The debate led Pope Leo X to censor Luther and threaten him with excommunication from the Catholic Church in his June 1520 papal bull, Exsurge Domine, which banned Luther's views from being preached or written. There was much opposition to the bull, especially in north west Germany where sympathies for Luther were strongest.

A joint verdict on the outcome of the debate was to be issued by the University of Erfurt and the University of Paris, but the theological faculty of Erfurt recused itself. The faculty in Paris delivered a negative verdict on Luther's writings in 1521, but made no direct reference to the debate in Leipzig itself.

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Paolo Riccio

Paolo Riccio (1480 - 1541) was a German Jewish convert to Christianity in the first half of the sixteenth century. He became professor of philosophy in the University of Pavia; subsequently he was physician to Emperor Maximilian I.

Riccio was inclined to astrology and the Cabala, and had a controversy with Johann Eck about the existence of life on the stellar bodies. Erasmus thought very highly of Riccio, who defended him and his followers against the attacks of Stephen the Presbyter. Like most converts from Judaism, Riccio attempted to convince the Jews of the truth of the Gospels. He, moreover, advised the Christian nations to unite against the Turks, who were at that time the terror of Europe.

Riccio was a prolific writer and, as Heinrich Graetz says, "turned to good account the small amount of Jewish knowledge which he brought with him to Christianity". His best-known work is his De Porta Lucis R. Josephi Gecatilia (Augsburg, 1516), which is a free translation of a part of the Kabbalistic work Sha'are Orah by Joseph Gikatilla. Jerome Riccio (Hieronymus Ricius), Paulo's son, sent a copy of this work to Johann Reuchlin, who utilized it in the composition of his De Arte Cabbalistica.

Riccio relates that he was ordered by Emperor Maximilian to prepare a Latin translation of the Talmud. All that has come down of it are the translations of the tractates Berakot, Sanhedrin, and Makkot (Augsburg, 1519), which are the earliest Latin renderings of the Mishnah known to bibliographers.

The most important of his other works is De Cælesti Agricultura, a large religio-philosophical work in four parts, dedicated to Emperor Charles V and to his brother Ferdinand (Augsburg, 1541; 2d ed., Basel, 1597). His Opuscula Varia, which contains a treatise on the 613 commandments, a religio-philosophical and controversial work aiming to demonstrate to the Jews the truths of Christianity, and an introduction to the Cabala followed by a compilation of its rules and dogmas, went through four editions (Pavia, 1510; Augsburg, 1515; ib. 1541; and Basel, 1597).

Riccio wrote besides these works about ten others, all in Latin, on various religious, philosophical, and cabalistic subjects, which appeared in Augsburg in 1546 and were reprinted in Basel in 1597.

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He gave the opening Latin oration at the 1519 Leipzig Disputation between Johann Eck and Martin Luther.

Protestant Reformers

Protestant Reformers were those theologians whose careers, works and actions brought about the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century.

In the context of the Reformation, Martin Luther was the first reformer (sharing his views publicly in 1517), followed by people like Andreas Karlstadt and Philip Melanchthon at Wittenberg, who promptly joined the new movement. In 1519, Huldrych Zwingli became the first reformer to express a form of the Reformed tradition.

Listed are the most influential reformers only. They are listed by movement, although some reformers (e.g. Martin Bucer) influenced multiple movements.

For a full and detailed list of all known reformers, see List of Protestant Reformers.


Terminism is the Christian doctrine that there is a time limit for repentance from sin, after which God no longer wills the conversion and salvation of that person. This limit is asserted to be known to God alone, making conversion urgent. Among pietists such as Quakers, permitted the co-existence, over the span of a human life, of human free will and God's sovereignty.


The Ubiquitarians, also called Ubiquists, were a Protestant sect that held that the body of Christ was everywhere, including the Eucharist. The sect was started at the Lutheran synod of Stuttgart, 19 December 1559, by Johannes Brenz (1499–1570), a Swabian. Its profession, made under the name of Duke Christopher of Württemberg and entitled the "Württemberg Confession," was sent to the Council of Trent in 1552, but had not been formally accepted as the Ubiquitarian creed until the synod at Stuttgart.

University of Freiburg

The University of Freiburg (colloquially German: Uni Freiburg), officially the Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg (German: Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg), is a public research university located in Freiburg im Breisgau, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. The university was founded in 1457 by the Habsburg dynasty as the second university in Austrian-Habsburg territory after the University of Vienna. Today, Freiburg is the fifth-oldest university in Germany, with a long tradition of teaching the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences. The university is made up of 11 faculties and attracts students from across Germany as well as from over 120 other countries. Foreign students constitute about 18.2% of total student numbers.Named as one of elite universities of Germany by academics, political representatives and the media, the University of Freiburg stands amongst Europe's top research and teaching institutions.The University of Freiburg has been associated with figures such as Martin Heidegger, Hannah Arendt, Rudolf Carnap, David Daube, Johann Eck, Hans-Georg Gadamer, Friedrich Hayek, Edmund Husserl, Friedrich Meinecke, Max Weber, Paul Uhlenhuth and Ernst Zermelo. As of October 2018, 21 Nobel laureates are affiliated with the University of Freiburg as alumni, faculty or researchers, and 15 academics have been honored with the highest German research prize, the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize, while working at the university.

University of Freiburg Faculty of Theology

The Freiburg Faculty of Theology is one of the constituent faculties of the University of Freiburg located in Freiburg, Baden-Württemberg in Germany. It was one of the four founding faculties of the university in 1457. A Roman-Catholic faculty, approximately 700 students are enrolled as candidates for priesthood, as graduate theologists for service in the church, or in order to achieve graduate teaching qualifications. The Faculty of Theology has been home to influential theologians such as Thomas Murner, Johann Geiler von Kaisersberg, the critic of Protestant Reformation Johann Eck. The most famous personality of the faculty is undoubtedly Desiderius Erasmus, who was a member of the faculty from 1529 on, although he did not engage in teaching.

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