First posted on December 31st 2002, last revised on November 15th 2004






External Links : Biographies to the History of the Lutheran Reformation

For links on general biographical sources, go to Biographies Main Page

Ökumenisches Heiligenlexikon (ÖH), in German; concise biographies
Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon (BBKL), in German, scholarly
Personen, from Lutherstadt Wittenberg, 24 German language biographies
Personen zur Geschichte Mitteldeutschlands (Persons in the History of Central Germany), from MDR, in German
Catherine Winkworth, Christian Singers of Germany, a site dealing with hymn singers from the 8th century to 1850
Philosophengalerie : Neuzeit, from Univ. Düsseldorf, Philosophische Fakultät, in German; brief illustrated biographies with lists of major works
The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, Vol.I : Aachen-Basilians, Vol.II : Basilica-Chambers, Vol.III : Chamier-Draendorf, Vol.IV : Draeseke-Goa, Vol.V : Goar-Innocent Vol.VI : Innocent-Liudger, Vol.VII : Liutprand-Moralities, Vol.VIII : Morality-Petersen, Vol.IX : Petri-Reuchlin, Vol.X : Reutsch-Son, Vol.XI : Son of Man-Tremellius, Vol.XII : Trench-Zwingli
Catholic Encyclopedia, 1907-1913 edition
Women of the Reformation, by Barry McWilliams
Boissard, Jean-Jacques; Bry, Theodor de: Bibliotheca chalcographica, hoc est Virtute et eruditione clarorum Virorum Imagines. Heidelberg: Clemens Ammon, 1669, collection of images of 16th century scholars, posted by BSZ, comments in German
Printed Reference : Biographies related to the History of Lutheranism

Mark Greengrass, The Longman Companion to the European Reformation c.1500-1618, Harlow (Essex): Longman 1998, pp.285-326, KMLA Lib.Sign. 274.06 GB 121




Biographies of Famous Lutherans



1500-1618

Bilney, Thomas, 1495-1531
Studied in Cambridge, was ordained a priest in 1519. Read the Greek edition of the bible (in violation to a ban on doing so); became a sympathizer of Martin Luther. Was acquainted with WILLIAM TYNDALE whom he assisted in secretly translating the bible into English. Bilney was arrested in 1527 and executed in 1531.

English language biography, from williamtyndale.com

Bora, Katharina von, 1499-1552
In 1515 she joined the Benedictine Convent of Marienthron in Nimbschen as a nun. She had stayed in the monastery since 1508/1509, and thus received an education. The nuns all were from families of the Saxonian nobility. On April 6th/7th 1523 - Luther's publications were already widely discussed, she and 11 fellow nuns fled the monastery. Nine of the nuns appeared in Wittenberg, without means to cover theie living expenses. MARTIN LUTHER had alms collected to provide for their immediate expenses and then married them off, marrying Katharina von Bora himself on June 13th 1525 (the marriage being celebrated by JOHANNES BUGENHAGEN). The couple had six children - 3 sons, 3 daughters - born between 1526 and 1534. Luther, who did not approve of women playing an active role in public life, respected her authority and effort in household and education of their children. Katharina discussed theological topics with Luther and had considerable influence on her husband. Martin Luther died in 1546. Both Katharina von Bora and the children were treated as wardens, placed under guardians - different guardians for mother and children. She had to flee Wittenberg during the SCHMALKALDIC WAR 1547 and again because of pestilence and misharvest in 1552, and even during normal times, experiencing difficulty in maintaining a moderate household. She died in Torgau in 1552.

English language biographies from Lutherstadt Wittenberg, 21 lines; incomplete, from My Lord Katie, illustrated, brief
German language biographies from www.luther.de, illustrated, 25 lines; from KDG Wittenberg, illustrated, detailed; from BBKL, 14 lines, bibliography
Portrait by Lucas Cranach (1526), posted on Olga's Gallery


Briconnet, Guillaume, 1470-1534
Studoied theology in Navarra; participated in the Council of Pisa 1511. Was appointed Bishop of Meaux by King Francis I. in 1516. Spent two years as roual emissary at the court of Pope Leo X. Bishop Briconnet seriously attempted to reform his diocesis. JACQUES LEFEVRE D'ETAPLES, FAREL and other persecuted French Lutherans found refuge in the diocesis of Meaux and were charged tp preach the 'pure word of God'. When Farel openly criticized Rome, Briconnet forbade him to preach. In 1525 Briconnet was accused; a commission charged by the Parliament of Paris with investigating the affair condemned d'Etaples' bible translation. Briconnet, in fear for his position, cut all ties to the Lutherans; the investigation against him was terminated. In 1528 Briconnet participated in the SYNOD OF PARIS, which condemned Lutheranism.


English language biography from Catholic Encyclopedia (scroll down for second of 3 biographies)
German language biography from BBKL


Bucer, Martin (Martin Butzer), 1491-1551
Was ordained a Dominican monk in 1506, age 15; studied at Heidelberg. An admirer of Erasmus and later of MARTIN LUTHER, whom he met in 1518. In 1521 he left the Dominican Order and became court chaplain of Count-Elector Frederick of Palatine. In 1523 he married Elisabeth Silbereisen, a former nun. In 1523 he went to Strassburg, where he became the leading reformer. He tried to mediate between Luther and HULDRYCH ZWINGLI and was instrumental in arranging the MARBURG COLLOQUY of 1529, which failed to reach a result. In 1530, Bucer wrote the Confessio Tetrapolitana (Confession of the 4 cities - Strassburg, Konstanz, Memmingen, Lindau), which, at the Reichstag of Augsburg he withdrew in favour of PHILIPP MELANCHTHON's AUGSBURG CONFESSION. Later he was involved in the phrasing of the Wittenberg Concordia of 1536 and the Augsburg Interim of 1548, two unsuccessful attempts to build up on the Augsburg Confession. In 1539, Bucer called JEAN CALVIN, then in Basel, to come to Strassburg; Calvin stayed for two years before being recalled to Geneva. In 1549, invited by Archbishop THOMAS CRANMER of Canterbury, Martin Bucer traveled to England; he was appointed professor at the University of Cambridge. Here he died in 1551. His remains were exhumed and burnt during the reign of BLOODY MARY.

English language biography from Catholic Encyclopedia, 1909 edition, 71 lines
German language biography from Martin Bucers Deutsche Schriften posted by Heidelberg Academy of Sciences, illustrated, extensive


Bugenhagen, Johannes (Doctor Pomeranus), 1485-1558
J. Bugenhagen was born in eastern Pomerania. After studying at the University of Greifswald (1502), he was ordained a priest (1509). Initially a severe critic of MARTIN LUTHER's publication On the Babylonian Captivity of the Church, he turned into an ardent supporter of the Lutheran reformation. He moved to Wittenberg (1523), where he became town priest, where he lectured at the university and where he joined the circle of close collaborators of Martin Luther. In 1525 he performed the ceremony which married Luther with KATHARINA VON BORA. Bugenhagen was instrumental in the organization of the Lutheran reformation at many places, for instance in Denmark and Sweden. He wrote many school ordinnances. In 1537 Luther was severely ill and, believing he was going to die, confessed to Bugenhagen who gave him absolution. In 1539, Bugenhagen was appointed Superintendent General for the Electorate of Saxony (ERNESTINE SAXONY). During the SCHMALKALDIC WAR (1547) he temporarily fled Wittenberg; he attended the LEIPZIG LANDTAG of July 1547, in which the delegates of (recently conquered Electoral Saxony) accepted the annexion of their territory into ALBERTINE SAXONY, in return for concessions regarding the church administration. Bugenhagen died in Wittenberg in 1558.

English language biographies from www.luther.de, illustrated, 18 lines; from Lutherstadt Wittenberg, illustrated, 19 lines; by John L. Hoh, detailed
German language biographies, from Ökumenisches Heiligenlexikon, 37 lines; from BBKL, 26 lines, bibliography


d'Etaples, Jacques Lefevre (Faber Stapulensis), c.1455-1536
Studied at the University of Paris, visited Italy in 1492, taught at University of Paris, wrote numerous theologian publications. Translated the New Testament (published in 1523) and the Old Testament (published 1528) into French. Among his students were BRICONNET, later Bishop of Meaux, and Farel. D'Etaples experienced hostility for his pro-reform stand. Was invited by his former student, Bishop Briconnet, to Meaux in 1523 in order to implement reforms. Had to flee temporarily in 1525. Emphasized the necessity of church reform. In 1526 his translation of the New Testament was condemned by a commission of the Parliament of Paris.

English language biography from Catholic Encyclopedia

Jonas, Justus (Jodokus Koch), 1493-1555
Studied law and theology at the University of Erfurt; moved to Wittenberg in 1521, where he taught at the university and was appointed provost of the church. He assisted Luther in the translation of the bible, accompanied him to the Diet of Worms and to the Marburg Colloquy. In 1541 he accepted a post in Halle, from where he was expelled because of his Lutheran belief in 1546. Then, with the help of Martin Luther, he accepted a post in Eisleben; here Martin Luther died. Jonas would move several times, until his death at Eisfeld in 1555.

English language biography, from luther.de, illustrated, 8 lines; from Christian Singers of Germany, illustrated, detailed
German language biography, from ÖH, 7 lines; from Stadtmuseum Halle, detailed, focusses on his period in Halle; from BBKL, 14 lines, bibliography


Karlstadt, Dr. (Andreas Bodenstein), 1477-1541
Was appointed assistant professor at the University of Wittenberg in 1507. In 1521, when Luther hid on the Wartburg, Karlstadt, in communication with the city council and Melanchthon, began to implement the Lutheran reformation in Electoral Saxony. In 1522 he published "Vom Abtun der Bilder", which started the iconoclastic movement in Electoral Saxony. Luther returned to Wittenberg, spoke out against iconoclasm and criticized Karlstadt for premature reforms; Dr. Karlstadt was evicted from Electoral Saxony. In 1534 he was appointed professor at the University of Basel; he died in Basel in 1541.

English language biography from Lutherstadt Wittenberg, illustrated, 15 lines
German language biography from BBKL, 39 lines, bibliography


Laurentius, Andreae (Lars Andersson), c.1470/1480-1552
Studied at Skara and Uppsala; in 1498 he taught at the University of Rostock, later at the University of Leipzig; in 1509 he visited Rome. In 1520 he was ordained Archdeacon of Strängnäs. Here he met OLAUS PETRI, who acquainted him with the teachings of MARTIN LUTHER. In 1523 in Strängnäs Cathedral Laurentius Andreae proclaimed Gustavus I. Vasa King of Sweden; the king appointed him his chancellor. Soon he was appointed Archdeacon of Uppsala and was given a seat on the Royal Council. Laurentius Andreae was instrumental in shaping the form, in which Lutheranism was declared state religion in SWEDEN in 1527.
Together with Olaus Petri, Laurentius Andreae in 1540 was accused of treason, un trumped-up charges, and sentenced to death, a sentence later commuted into a high fine. He died in 1552.

German language biography from BBKL, 18 lines, reference

Luther, Martin, 1483-1546 : go to separate file on M. Luther
English language biographies, from Catholic Encyclopedia, 1910 edtion, detailed; from Lutherstadt Wittenberg, illustrated, 19 lines, links

Melanchthon, Philip (Philipp Schwarzerdt), 1497-1560
Promoted by the Humanist Johannes Reuchlin, admitted to the University of Heidelberg at the age of 12, he received the bacherlor of arts in 1511. In 1518 he was appointed professor for Greek literature at the University of Wittenberg. He became a close friend of MARTIN LUTHER. With Luther excommunicated and banned by the Emperor, the young protestant community needed a representative who could negotiate; and this task fell upon Philipp Melanchthon. He was instrumental in formulating the AUGSBURG CONFESSION (1530), which was a compromise acceptable to both Catholics and Lutherans. Following Luther's death in 1546, Melanchthon was the speaker of Lutheranism, until his death in 1560. During the SCHMALKALDIC WAR (1547) he temporarily had to flee Wittenberg; he was among the representatives of (recently conquered) Electroral Saxony on the LEIPZIG LANDTAG of July 1547, where he and the other representatives of Electoral Saxony agreed to accept their new ruler, Duke (now Duke-Elector) Maurice, in return for concessions regarding the church administration. Melanchthon died in 1560 in Wittenberg.

English language biographies from KDG Wittenberg, illustrated, extensive; from Catholic Encyclopedia, 1911 edition, extensive; from Lutherstadt Wittenberg, illustrated, 10 lines; from Hillsdale Dept. of Philosophy and Religion, 9 lines; from www.luther.de, illustrated, 58 lines

Oekolampad, Johannes (Oekolampadius; Johannes Heussgen), 1482-1531
Studied in Heidelberg, turned toward Humanism. In contact with PHILIP MELANCHTHON, with Erasmus of Rotterdam. While preaching in Augsburg (1520), he disputed with JOHANN ECK and leant toward the teachings of Martin Luther. In 1522 he finally settled in his hometown of Basel, where he promoted the reformation ("Reformer of Basel"). He disagreed with Luther over the eucharist and was appaled by iconoclasm. He died in Basel in 1531.

German language biography, from BBKL, detailed, bibliography; from Philosophengalerie, illustrated

Petri, Laurentius, (Lars Petersson) 1499-1573
Together with his younger brother Olaus Petri, he received his education at the Carmelite monastery in Örebro and later studied under MARTIN LUTHER in Wittenberg.
In 1523 SWEDEN threw off the Danish yoke and definitely established her independence. King Gustavus I. Vasa and the Swedish Riksdag (Diet) in 1527 adopted Lutheranism as state confession. Laurentius Petri was ordained a priest that year; in 1531 he was elected Archbishop of Uppsala, with royal backing. Together with his brother Olaus Petri, he translated the bible into Swedish (published 1541). The Synod of Uppsala in 1572 adopted the CHURCH ORDINNANCE he had written; it is still in force today. Laurentius Petri died in 1573 in Uppsala.

English language biography from Hillsdale, 5 lines
Swedish language biography from Project Runeberg, extensive
German language biography from ÖH, 17 lines; from BBKL, 58 lines, reference


Petri, Olaus, 1493-1552
Together with his older brother Laurentius Petri, he received his education at the Carmelite monastery in Örebro and later studied under MARTIN LUTHER in Wittenberg. Back in Sweden he was appointed chancellor of the Bishop of Strängnäs in 1520. Together with his master, Bishop Matthias, he attended the coronation of Danish King Christian II. as King of Sweden, only to witness the successive STOCKHOLM BLOODBATH - the execution of c. 80 Swedish magnates (who had attended the coronation), among them Bishop Matthias of Strängnäs.
In 1523 SWEDEN threw off the Danish yoke and definitely established her independence. King Gustavus I. Vasa called Olaus Petri to Stockholm, where he was appointed secretary of the city. He also preached in the Lutheran way at Storkyrkan, the large church. In 1527 the Swedish Riksdag (Diet) adopted Lutheranism as state confession. Olaus Petri wrote a number of publications in the latter part of the 1520es, among which the first Swedish translation of the New Testament (1526). However, King Gustavus I. Vasa disliked the effervescent nature of Olaus Petri and had his brother Laurentius appointed Archbishop of Uppsala in 1531. In 1540, Olaus Petri even was tried for treason; after being sentenced to death, he was granted amnesty. Until his death in 1552 he served as priest at Stockholm's storkyrkan.

English language biographies from Hillsdale, 7 lines
Swedish language biographies from Project Runeberg, 22 lines, links; by Elisabeth Lund, extensive
German language biographies from
ÖH, 23 lines; from BBKL, 91 lines, reference


Sachs, Hans, 1494-1576
Writer, who lived in Nürnberg (Nuremberg). He wrote over 6000 titles, 4200 of them song lyrics (Meistersänger von Nürnberg). Among his works "Funeral Sermon for Martin Luther" (1546).
German language biography, from Bibliotheca Augustana, illustrated


Schwenckfeld, Caspar von, 1489-1561
Silesian reformer; first he tended toward Lutheranism. Tending toward enthusiasm, he later experienced the hostility of all major confessions. In Moravia, among Hussites, he found a small community of supporters, named Schwenckfeldians; in the early 18th century, the Schwenckfeldians were expelled from Moravia.
German language biography, from Philosophengalerie, illustrated

Spalatin, Georg (Georg Burkhardt), 1484-1545
Ordained a priest in 1508, appointed priest, confessor and chancellor of Duke FREDERICK THE WISE in 1516, he became an intimate friend of Martin Luther (their extensive correspondence has been preserved). Since 1525 he was priest in Altenburg. JOHN FREDERICK, Duke-Elector since his father's death in 1525, often called upon his mentor (Spalatin) for advice.

English language biography, from www.luther.de, illustrated, 27 lines; from EB 1911 54 lines, text garbled
German language biography, from ÖH, 16 lines; from BBKL, 33 lines, bibliography


Tausen, Hans (Jans Anders Vedel Tavsen, Tausonius), 1494-1561
In 1515 he entered the Order of St. John, Antvorskov convent; he studied at Leuven and Cologne, where he learned avout Luther's writings. In 1523 he secretly visited Luther in Wittenberg; he was recalled by his monastery in 1524; soon after, he was expelled from his monastery and banned from the island of Sjælland, in 1526 dismissed from the Order of St. John. King Frederick I., who sympathized with Lutheranism, placed Tausen under his protection; he was appointed chaplain in Viborg (1528). In 1529 he was called to preach at St. Nicolai in Copenhagen (København). Tausen supported the translation of the bible into Danish. In 1530 the diet decided to tolerate Lutheranism in Denmark. King Frederick died in 1532; the new King Christian III., in 1536, declared Lutheranism state confession. Tausen was involved in the formulation of the Danish Church Ordinnance.

English language biographies, from EB 1911, 62 lines
Swedish language biographies, from Nordic Authors, 1 line, links
German language biographies, from BBKL, in German, 25 lines, bibliography


Tyndale, William, 1494-1536
Studied at Oxford, was ordained in 1515, secretly translated the bible (the Vulgata) into English; in 1525 he unsuccessfully tried to have printed the English translation of the New Testament in Cologne in 1525; had it printed in Worms in 1526; then translated the bible from the Greek. Copies were smuggled into England; Bishop Tunstall ordered the copies to be bought and burnt. Tyndale moved constantly from place to place, on the Continent, to avoid being sought out by English agents. In 1535 he was arrested in Antwerp, in 1536 executed in Brussels.

williamtyndale.com



1618-1870

Bach, Johann Sebastian, 1685-1750, composer
J.S. Bach was born in Eisenach. He was briefly in the service of Duke Johann-Ernst of Saxony-Weimar (1703), then he was appointed organist in Arnstadt (1703-1707), then in Mühlhausen (1707-1708), in Weimar (1708-1717), as conductor in Köthen (1717-1723) and finally in Leipzig (1723-1750). Bach composed, his music intended to be (Lutheran) church music. The father of 12 children, of whom 4 survived childhood.

English language biography, from the J.S. Bach Homepage
German language biography, from Preussen Chronik, illustrated, detailed


Bengel, Johann Albrecht (1687-1752)
Son of Lutheran minister and hymn writer Albert Bengel; studied in Tübingen; visited Francke's Pædagogium in Halle in 1713. Became a teacher in his native Württemberg, concerned with the education of priests. He is ragarded the father of SWABIAN PIETISM. In 1747 he was elected delegate to the Württemberg Landtag, where he criticized (Catholic) Duke Karl Eugen's economic maladministration.

German language biography, from BBKL

Francke, August Hermann, 1663-1727, theologian
Professor at the University of Leipzig since 1684, he became interested in PIETISM (Spener's Pia Desideria). Had to leave Leipzig, soon afterward Erfurt. At Spener's invitation he settled in Glaucha outside of Halle, where he founded an orphanage, which later evolved into a school for the poor. He taught the more talented children Latin and sciences. With donations coming in, he founded a Latin School, a boarding school and a teachers' seminary. Combined, they became known as FRANCKESCHE ANSTALTEN (Francke's Institutes). He established also a printers' shop, a drugstore and in 1702 even founded an East India Mission Society.

German language biographies, from Preussen Chronik, illustrated, detailed; from ÖH, illustrated

Gerhardt, Paul, 1608-1676
Studied theology in Wittenberg 1628-1642; in 1651 ordained as minister in the city of Brandenburg, in 1657 appointed minister at St. Nicolai in Berlin. He was deposed by Duke-Elector Frederick William of Brandenburg in 1666, because he, a devote Lutheran, refused to refrain from attacks on Calvinism in his sermons (while the Hohenzollern Dynasty of Brandenburg was Calvinist, the country was Lutheran). He wrote more than 130 hymns, many of which are still printed in German Lutheran hymnbooks.

English language biography, from Hillsdale College Dept. of Philosophy and Religion
German Language biography, from Preussen Chronik, illustrated, detailed
Links, from Project Wittenberg


Spener, Philipp Jakob, 1635-1705
Born in Rappoltsweiler in Upper Alsace in 1635; studied at Strassburg, tutored two princes of the Palatinate, studied at Basel, Tübingen and Geneva (1659-1662), returned to Strassburg, then to be called to preach at the (Lutheran) main church of Frankfurt/Main (1666). Spener is regarded the founder of PIETISM; his main works were published in Frankfurt. He is also regarded the founder of the genealogy.

English language biography, from infoplease; from EB 1911
German language biography, from BBKL


Zinzendorf, Nikolaus Ludwig Graf von, 1700-1760
Count, Lutheran-Pietist theologian, minister (since 1734). In 1727 he founded the community soon to be known as MORAVIAN BRETHREN or HERRNHUT community, the latter name after the place where it was founded - Berthelsdorf in Upper Lusatia, on the foot of the Hutberg, the former after Moravian refugees (Schwenckfeldians) who were permitted to settle there. The Herrnhut community became a model pietist community, which was organized on an egalitarian basis. The Herrnhut community then entered in missionary activity (Greenland, Lapland, Siberia, Suriname, Georgia, Cape Province, Ceylon, Pennsylvania etc., as well as among the Jews). New Herrnhut communities were established on Ronneburg (1736), in Herrnhag (1738).

German language biographies, from BBKL; from TU Dresden, 17 lines


Since 1870

Barth, Karl, 1886-1968
Studied theology in Bern and Berlin, Tübingen and Marburg. Minister since 1911, in various Swiss communities. Joined the Social Democracy in 1915. He published theological studies and won the critics' acclaim; in 1921 he began lecturing at the University of Göttingen. In 1930 he was called to lecture at the University of Bonn. Barth was an outspoken critic of Nazi rule in Germany, and was a co-founder of the BEKENNENDE KIRCHE (Confessing Church) in 1934. He was fired in 1934; in 1935 he accepted a call to the University of Basel, where he taught until emerited in 1962.

German language biography, from BBKL

Bodelschwingh, Friedrich von, 1831-1910
Protestant theologian, founder of the BODELSCHWINGHSCHE ANSTALTEN (orphanage, asylum for mentally disabled etc.); was engaged in caring for poor migrant workers, in mission abroad, especially in GERMAN EAST AFRICA.

German language biography, from BBKL

Bonhoeffer, Dietrich, 1906-1945
Studied Lutheran theology at Tübingen and Berlin; tended toward the theology of KARL BARTH. When the Nazis took power in 1933, Bonhoeffer joined the BEKENNENDE KIRCHE (Confessing Church). Lead an illegal priests' seminary 1935-1937, travelled abroad repeatedly (Denmark 1934, USA 1939, Sweden 1942), was barred from holding speeches since 1940, arrested by GeStaPo in 1943. Was hanged at Flossenbürg on April 8th 1945.

German language biography, from BBKL

Gollwitzer, Helmut, 1908-1993
Studied philosophy and Lutheran theology in München, Erlangen, Jena and Bonn 1928-1932. When the Nazis took power in 1933, Gollwitzer sided with the Nazism opposing BEKENNENDE KIRCHE (Confessing Church); he served in various capacities within the church. During World War II he served as a medical orderly on the eastern front. 1945 taken prisoner by the Soviets, he returned in 1949. He wrote an account of his imprisonment (as a P.O.W.) in which he described his experience of communism (... und führen, wohin du nicht willst ?; .. and lead to where you don't want to go ?), which was translated into several languages. He lectured Lutheran theology in Bonn 1950-1957

German language biography, from BBKL

Müller, Johann Heinrich Ludwig, 1883-1945
Studied Protestant theology in Halle and Bonn 1902-1905; ordained a minister in 1908; tended toward the theology of Adolf Stoecker which emphasized a subservient attitude of the church toward the state. Served in World War I; blamed the Jews for Germany's defeat in 1918. Leaned toward the NSDAP from 1927, joined the party in 1931.In 1933 he was appointed Landesbischof of Prussia, soon afterward Reichsbischof; he lead the administration of the German Lutheran church according to the FÜHRERPRINZIP. In 1934 he ordered Lutheran priests not to speak out against Nazism (MAULKORBERLASS, literally muzzle edict), and, by his undiplomatic action, caused the formation of an opposition within the Lutheran church (BEKENNENDE KIRCHE, Confessing Church). Already in 1934, Müller was disempowered when Hitler appointed Hans Kerrl REICHSKIRCHENMINISTER (minister of church affairs). In 1941, Mü offered his demission, and even to leave the Lutheran church; at Hitler's request he refrained from doing so.

German language biography, from BBKL

Niemöller, Martin, 1892-1984
During World War I he served in the German Navy (in 1918 commander of a u-boat); regarded the German Revolution of 1918 as the collapse of ethical standards. Studied Lutheran theology in Münster 1919-1923, was ordained minister in 1924. Originally he approved of the NSDAP, for which he had voted since 1924; when the Nazis interfered in the church administration, he joined the opposition within the Lutheran church. Sided with the BEKENNENDE KIRCHE (Confessing Church, since 1934) against the official line of the Lutheran church, which tended toward compromising with the NS state administration. In 1937 he was arrested and sentenced to imprisonment; in 1939 his offer to volunteer to serve in the army was rejected. In 1941 he was transferred to the Dachau Concentration Camp. Disappointed with the position the Lutheran church administration took toward Nazism, he temporarily contemplated to convert to Catholicism. After being liberated by American troops, Niemöller stood by his early support for Nazism; some time passed until he could return to Germany. By that time key decisions had been made; Niemöller's plan to abolish the LANDESKIRCHE system was no longer viable. He participated in the reorganization of the Lutheran church in Hessen and Nassau (1946), served as the president of the Hessen & Nassau church 1950-1964.

German language biography, from BBKL

Söderblom, Nathan, 1866-1931
Studied theology at Uppsala University; was ordained a priest in 1893. Participated in the 1890 Christian Student Conference in New England, From 1894 to 1907 he preached in Paris, August Strindberg and Alfred Nobel members of his congregation; Söderblom held the memorial service for Alfred Nobel in San Remo in 1897. From 1901 to 1912 S. held a chair for theology at the University of Stockholm, from 1912 to 1914 at the Univ. of Leipzig. In 1914 he was elected archbishop of Uppsala. He worked for the cooperation of protestant churches worldwide. The Stockholm Conference of 1925 was attended by Protestant, Anglican and Orthodox delegates. In 1921 he was elected a member of the Swedish Academy; in 1930 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

English language biography, from Nobel e-Museum, (130 lines, reference)
German language biography, from OeH, 4 lines




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