JOANNES OECOLAMPADIUS

1482 - 1531

 

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Joannes Oecolampadius - a name Latinised, according to the fashion of the age, from the German Johann Hausschein - one of the most eminent of the coadjutors of Zwingli in the Swiss Reformation, born in 1482 at Weinsberg, in Swabia. His father destined him for the profession of the law, and he studied for it in Heidelberg and Bologna; but yielding to his own strong inclination, he relinguished this study for that of theology, which he prosecuted at Heidelberg. He then became tutor to the sons of the Elector Palatine, and subsequently preacher in Weinsberg. This office he resigned in order to study the Greek language under Reuchlin at Stuttgart. He also learned Hebrew from a Spanish physician, Matthew Adrian. Being appointed preacher at Basel, he formed the acquaintance of Erasmus, who highly appreciated his classical attainments, and employed his assistance in his edition of the New Testament. In 1516, Oecolampadius left Basel for Augsburg, where he filled the office of preacher, and where he entered into a convent. But Luther's publications exercised so great an influence on him, that he left the convent, and became chaplain to Franz von Sickingen, after whose death he returned to Basel in 1522, and in the capacity of preacher and professor of theology, commenced his career as a reformer. He held disputations with supporters of the Church of Rome in Baden in 1526, and in Bern in 1528. In the controversy concerning the Lord's Supper, he gradually adopted more and more the views of Zwinglii, and at last maintained them in 1525, in a treatise, to which the Swabian ministers replied in the Syngramma Suevicum. In 1529 he disputed with Luther in the conference at Marburg. He died at Basel, 23d November 1531, not long after the death of his friend Zwinglii. He was remarkable for his gentleness of character. His treatise, De Ritu Paschali, and his Epistola Canonicorum Indoctorum ad Eccium, are the most noted of his works. - See Herzog, Das Leben des Joh. Oecolampadius (1843); and Hagenbach's Oecolampadius (1859).

 

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UPDATED: 18 April 2014

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