Protestantism, Knowledge and the World of Science
265 Pages

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Protestantism, Knowledge and the World of Science

265 Pages

You can change the print size of this book


This volume contains a collection of papers aimed at revealing and investigating the various aspects of Protestantism throughout the centuries. Although several generations of theologians, historians, linguists, or even literary historians have sought to elucidate the complexity of Protestant ethos and its influence on social, spiritual, intelectual and economic processes in Europe.
(Des articles en anglais et en allemand)



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* * *

L’Harmattan Hongrie
C K
Collection dirigée par Enikő Sepsi

ISSN 2062-9850



C  P / A S

Edited by / Herausgegeben von
G K

Károli Gáspár University of the Reformed Church in Hungary
L’Harmattan Publishing
Budapest, 2017

Series Editor: Enikő Sepsi

Károli Gáspár University of the Reformed Church in Hungary
Kálvin tér 9.
H – 1091 Budapest

Papers Reviewed by / Aufsätze lektoriert von
omas Cooper
Róbert Hermann
Beata Kilz
Lilla Krász
Richard Major

© Authors, Editor, 2017
© Károli Gáspár University of the Reformed Church in Hungary, 2017
© L’Harmattan Publishing, 2017

ISBN 978-2-343-11864-2

Published by Károli Gáspár University of the Reformed Church in Hungary
and L’HarmattanPublishing

Publication Sponsored by Reformation Memorial Committee
Project No. REB-16-1-KONYV-0012

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J P B: Foreword 7

* * *

G I: he University of the Reformation
–he Reformation of the University: he Case of Wittenberg 11
K C: Fürstenspiegel in der protestantischen Literatur
undPädagogik 39
T F: “heProcess of the Text”
– he Reformation Hermeneutics of William Tyndale53
J Z: he Hebrew Language and Comparative
Linguisticsin the Early Centuries of Hungarian Protestantism 63
M P: “dictates to me slumbring” – Dictation and Inspiration
inParadise Lost 77

* * *

H E B: he Religious Beliefs of the Educated Classes
inGermany 87
G K: Protestantische Gelehrte und
dieVermittlung moderner Ökonomiekonzepte in Ungarn
zur Wende des 18 und 19 Jahrhunderts 131

• 5 •

Z C: Protestantische Pastoren und Lehrmeister als
Weinbauer,Gärtner und Landwirte im Ungarn der Frühen Neuzeit 159
B Z T: he Intellectual Resources of
ModernGovernance 183

* * *

J U: Auf Zwangslaufbahn – schwungvoll Das Sárospataker
ReformierteKollegium am Vorabend des ungarischen Vormärz 203
J D-D: Bildungsreisen eines protestantischen
Intellektuellenin den 1860er Jahren (Mihály Zsilinszky) 213
V S: Protestant Education in Spain before and
afterthe Constitutional Declaration of Freedom of Religion in 1869 223
H V: Hermann Lotze – Science, Belief and
theLate Nineteenth 229 Century
M H – P H: A Pioneer of Modern Pedagogy
inHungary: Sándor Karácsony (1891–1952) 237
P P: A Calvinist Apologetic from the Fiction and
Essaysof Our Time 251

List of Contributors / Autoren 257

• 6 •



his volume contains the edited papers of an international conference
organised by the Faculty of Humanities of Károli Gáspár University of the Reformed
Church in Hungary as a program ofhe Day of Hungarian Science on29-30
November 2012 In addition to the customary objective of recording and
disseminating the results of an event involving scholars from various countries,
this publication is meant to contribute to the aims of a series of workshops and
conferences, as well as commemorative events, organised under the auspices
his conference was aboutProtestantism, knowledge and the world of science
and covered religious, cultural and social developments from the sixteenth to
the twentieth century It is essential to be aware of the moral foundation of
convictions and practices, for knowledge of the tradition of the Reformation
can be very helpful to understand fundamental social, intellectual as well as
spiritual changes of early modern Europe
hen, nineteenth century Europe was undoubtedly influenced by the French
Revolution and the huge impact of the Industrial Revolution, both with very
problematic social consequences he twentieth century showed a
fundamental increase of the role of government, and the Second World War led to the
concept of the welfare state Now in the twenty-first century, people see the
necessity to think, talk and act in terms of values he financial crisis of 2008
was not only a financial crisis, it was in its essence a moral one Consequently,
private companies do seem to understand more and more that they have to
deliver value he original concept of the nation-state is fading away and being
replaced by new public-private alliances, and people are beginning to
understand and accept that it is necessary for them to seek to find long term solutions
hese choices are all connected with the role of values Sustainability is one
of them Other values are stewardship, public justice, responsibility, solidarity
he key question of this century will be how to combine new views, insights,

• 7 •

solutions, technologies with convictions about the moral quality of society I am
convinced that more attention will be given to the moral dimension of social
issues It is essential and inevitable
At the same time I am convinced that the tradition of Protestantism can
and should be a guiding force in this era of radical changes he relationship
between God and the human being, the inspiration of Christian values and
their significance for reflection on social developments are instrumental in
building a better society
Protestantism can be a source of inspiration even in the twenty-first century
his brings me to the meaning of a man, Dr Abraham Kuyper, who played
such an important role in Dutch society in the second half of the nineteenth
and the beginning of the twentieth century Kuyper was a brilliant student in
theology and wrote his Dh thesis when he was a young man He started as a
minister in the Protestant State Church in the village of Beesd here he
noticed that ordinary people had an enormous knowledge of the Bible and very
strong convictions He then really understood the meaning of Calvinism hese
experiences changed his convictions and his whole life Christian values and
Calvinism became his foundation He was convinced that God was sovereign in
all domains of life His deeply-rooted Christian belief was not only a matter of
religious consciousness and theology,but also a fundamental source of
inspiration, both for his developing views on society, and for taking action He founded
a Christian newspaper,De Standaard, in 1872; the first political party in the
Netherlands, the Anti-Revolutionary Party (against the anti-Christian
principles of the French Revolution), in 1879; the Free University in Amsterdam (with
a strong focus on Sphere Sovereignty), in 1880; and the Reformed Churches
in the Netherlands in 1892 In 1891 he gave a fundamental speech about the
relationship between the big social issues of those days and the Christian
religion at the first Christian Social Congress In 1901 he became Prime Minister
he central element in Kuyper’s thinking and acting were Christian values
and convictions He demonstrated this clearly in his famous Stone Lectures
in 1898 at Princeton Seminary in the USA hese lectures were about the
significance of Calvinism for philosophy of life,religion, politics, science, art and
the future Kuyper did show how inspirational and deeply rooted convictions
can be used as constructive means of criticism in both the cases of theology
and of society
Protestantism, knowledge and the world of science are connected his book
is not only an analysis of history, it is also a source of inspiration for the future
hat was the real meaning of this conference
Jan Peter Balkenende

• 8 •


* * *


G I

T F  W U (1502–1508)

Founded in 1502, Wittenberg University obviously predates the movement of
which it became a crucial venue and vehicle It was not until 1527 that a



Research for this paper was supported by the Bolyai János Research Scholarship of the
Hungarian Academy of Sciences An earlier version was presented at the Perkins School of
heology, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas My paper has benefited much from the
responses there, and from my research at Bridwell Library I am grateful to the Dean and
faculty who participated in the discussion and especially to William J Abraham, who was
instrumental in making my visit possible
App. Appendix‘Verzeichnis der Professuren an der Philosophischen Fakultät mit
chronologischen Listen ihrer Inhaber (1502–1817)’ in H. Kathe,Die Wittenberger
Philosophische Fakultät 1502–1817,Köln – Weimar – Wien, Böhlau, 2002. 455–470,
cited by the identification number of the professorship.
UBWUrkundenbuch der Universität Wittenberg,2 vols., W. Friedensburg (ed.),
Magdeburg, Historische Kommission, 1926–1927.
TREheologische Realenzyklopädie,36+5 vols., G. Müller – G. Krause (gen. eds.), Berlin
– New York, De Gruyter, 1976–2007.
WA BrD. Martin Luthers Werke: Briefwechsel,18 vols. Weimar, Böhlau, 1930–1985.
Of the rich literature on the early history of Wittenberg University and its faculties, see esp
F, Walter,Geschichte der Universität Wittenberg, Halle (Saale), Niemeyer, 1917;
F, Johannes (ed ),Liber Decanorum: Das Dekanatsbuch der theologischen Fakultät zu
Wittenberg, Halle (Saale), Niemeyer, 1918–1923; B, Karl,Die Wittenberger Universitätstheologie
und die Anfänge der deutschen Reformation, Tübingen, Mohr, 1928; A, Kurt – H,
Hans – K, Rolf (eds ),Wittenberg: 1502–1817, vol 1 of450 Jahre Martin-Luther-Universität
Halle-Wittenberg, 3 vols , Halle (Saale), Martin-Luther-Universität, 1952; J, Helmar,
Wittenberg als Lutherstadt, Berlin, Union, 1979 esp 51–59 and 102–105; B, Martin,
Martin Luther, 3 vols , J L Schaaf (trans ), Minneapolis, Fortress, 1985–1993, vol 1 , 107–123
and 275–297, vol 2 , 239–250, and vol 3 , 115–134; N, Vivian, Wittenberg Anatomy, in
O P Grell – A Cunningham (eds ),Medicine and the Reformation, London – New York,
Routledge, 1993, 11–32; S, Heinz, Aristoteles und die Wittenberger Universitätsreform:

• 11 •

G I

ormation university as such was established in Marburg, and that school was
not recognised by the Emperor until 1540 Wittenberg University, by contrast,
came into being as a late medieval institution of higher learning
Its foundation was necessitated by the 1485 division of the House of Wettin
Undivided Saxony had one of the oldest universities in Germany,but when
Leipzig fell to the Albertine line at the time of the division, the Electoral lands
remained without a school of higher education Elector Frederick the Wise
(1463, 1486–1525), succeeding his father, Ernest (1441, 1464–1486) the
following year, sought to rectify that situation from the beginning of his reign
His efforts came to fruition in the opening years of the sixteenth century
Wittenberg University was effectively founded in 1502, when it received
im5 6
perial recognitionfrom Maximilian I (1459–1519) Five years later (1507) it
was also recognised by the Pope,which was a crucial step for the financial
security of the school, as a considerable number of teaching positions were
supplied by church endowments or the religious orders settled in the
Electoral capital he process was completed the next year (1508), when Frederick






Zum Quellenwert von Lutherbriefen, in M Beyer – G Wartenberg (eds ),Humanismus und
Wittenberger Reformation: Festgabe anläßlich des 500. Geburtstages des Praeceptor Germaniae
Philipp Melanchthon am 16. Februar 1997, Leipzig, Evangelische Verlagsanstalt, 1996, 123–144;
S, Heinz,Melanchthon: Eine Biographie, München, Beck, 1997, 28–56; L, Heiner
(ed ),Martin Luther und seine Universität: Vorträge anläßlich des 450. Todestages des
Reformators, Köln – Weimar – Wien, Böhlau, 1998; D, Irene –W, Günther (eds ), Die
heologische Fakultät Wittenberg 1502 bis 1602: Beiträge zur 500. Wiederkehr des
Gründungsjahres der Leucorea, Leipzig, Evangelische Verlagsanstalt, 2002; K, Heinz,Die Wittenberger
Philosophische Fakultät 1502–1817Köln – Weimar – Wien, Böhlau, 2002;A, Sames (ed.),
500 Jahre heologie in Wittenberg und Halle 1502–2002: Beiträge aus der heologischen Fakultät
der Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg zum Universitätsjubiläum 2002, Leipzig,
Evangelische Verlagsanstalt, 2003; L, Heiner, Wittenberg, Universität, in TRE vol 36, 2004,
232–243; K, Hans heodor, Die Wittenberger Medizinische Fakultät (1502–1652): Ein
biobibliographischer Überblick, in S Oehmig (ed ), Medizin und Sozialwesen in Mitteldeutschland
zur Reformationszeit,Leipzig,Evangelische Verlagsanstalt, 2007, 289–348; S, Heinz,
Die Philosophische Fakultät der Universität Wittenberg von der Gründung bis zur Vertreibung
der Philippisten,Archiv für Reformationsgeschichte98 (2007), 7–44
S, Hans, Marburg, Universität, in TRE vol 22, 1992, 68–75, here 68–69
Second only to Heidelberg in today’s Germany, the University of Leipzig was founded in 1409,
when German students and faculty withdrew from Prague after the John Hus affair and the
Decree of Kutná Hora, which granted three votes to the Czech nation against the one
combined vote of the three other nations, including the Germans (cf S, Matthew,John Hus:
A Biography, Princeton, Princeton University Press, 1968, 94–100)
UBW 1:1–3 (No 1)
He was German King from 1486 andde factoEmperor after the death of his father (Frederick
III, 1415, 1452–1493), but the Pope only recognised him as Emperor-elect in 1508, and he was
never crowned
UBW 1:17 (No 19)

• 12 •

T U   R

issued the first statutes for the whole university and each of the faculties he
Leucorea, as the university was called from the Greek translation of the city’s
name meaning ‘white hill’ (Weißenberg), was thus a young school at the time of
the Reformation’s beginning It was a prestige undertaking for the Elector, who
was therefore committed to its continued existence and success
he main goal of the whole enterprise was to secure a steady supply of
welltrained clerics for the government, which can be seen in the strength of the law
school But in typical late medieval fashion, the university had four faculties: an
undergraduate college and three graduate schools (theology, law, medicine) as
we would call them today Universities offered a complex set of academic
degrees whose conferral presupposed the fulfilment of a number of requirements,
mostly classes taken or, in case of advanced degrees, offered Education was
largely lecture-based, and lectures in turn were based on textbooks, which led
to a great flourishing of the commentary as an academic genre While perhaps
the most successful academic textbook of all times has been Peter Lombard’s
Sentences, a mainstay of Western cultural history for over 400 years, upon
which virtually all significant medieval theologians commented, arguably the
greatest intellectual achievement of the Middle Ages was the rediscovery of
Aristotle, roughly at the same time as the growth of universities Hence ‘the
Philosopher,’ as Aristotle was often reverently called, became vitally important
in (and for) medieval higher education Schools of interpretation – notably the
homist, Scotist, and Ockhamist traditions – developed around his oeuvre,
and some of their disagreements, such as the nominalist/realist debates, deeply
divided the academic world
his general climate helped shape the particular features of Wittenberg
University as well he early years were marked by much change and fluctuation,
but on the whole the Leucorea was characterised by a moderate Scotistvia
antiquaapproach Humanism was on offer at the level of course listings, but




UBW 1:18–58 (Nos 22–26) hat the statutes were issued by the lord of the land rather than
the university itself shows that Wittenberg followed Tübingen’s lead rather than the example of
the Italian schools Several high-ranking officials, including Johann von Staupitz (1460–1524),
Dean of the Faculty of heology and Vicar-General of the German Congregation of
Augustinians, were responsible for the Swabian connection
For the broader cultural historical developments briefly summed up in this paragraph, cf
G, Paul F ,he Universities of the Italian Renaissance, Baltimore, Johns Hopkins
University Press, 2011, and L, Ulrich G ,Einführung in die scholastische heologie, Paderborn
etc Schöningh, 1995
Witness, e g , the developments at Prague in the early fifteenth century, already alluded to (cf
n 4, above) Sachiko Kusukawa, however, offers a helpful reminder that the conflict of theviae
was not inevitable K, Sachiko,he Transformation of Natural Philosophy: he Case of
Philip Melanchthon, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1995, 12

• 13 •

G I

was hardly represented in terms of examination requirements For those who
wanted to graduate, it remained in a sense optional, while scholastic learning
was requisite and quite generously supplied
It is from these beginnings that Wittenberg developed into the foremost
academic centre of the Reformation—a transition that required time and initiative
In reviewing the complex processes of change, I will concentrate on structures
rather than individuals My primary focus will be on faculty positions as an
indicator of the institution’s intellectual profile, including its theological
orientation, rather than on the incumbents Given its size, the availability of sources,
and the nature of developments, the Faculty of Arts will receive special
attention, but I will also discuss the transformation of the higher faculties

A L M U E (1507–1508)

In the spring of 1507, 38 lecturers, including bachelors, masters and doctors,
offered altogether 45 regular and occasional courses (ordinarii et extraordinarii)
at Wittenberg University In that year, the number of the All Saints’
Collegiate Church’s canonries (Allerheiligenstift) was raised to twelve, and their
incumbents were required to assume teaching responsibilities at the
univer13 14
sity Five masterstaught the undergraduates while three of the seven doctors
were assigned to the Faculty of heology and four to the law school hese
professors received no extra pay for their work at the university, thereby greatly
reducing the strain the institution placed on the Electoral treasury In a
similar fashion, the Augustinian order also staffed two teaching positions hey
provided a doctor for the Biblical chair in the theology faculty and a magister






his can be clearly seen in our most important sources, the Rotulus of 1507 – the earliest
extant course catalogue of the university, UBW 1:14–17 (No 17) – and the statutes of 1508
(cf n 8, above)
Z, Walter, Herausbildung und Weiterentwicklung der Wissenschaftsgebiete an der
Universität Wittenberg bis zum Ende der Lutherzeit (unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der
Artistenfakultät), in H Lück, (ed ),Martin Luther, 117–132, here 121 Cf UBW 1:14–17 (No
UBW 1:17 (No 19)
At least in principle One of them, Johann Rachals (fl 1507–1523) was exempted from those
duties throughout his life (UBW 1:84, No 63)
K,Philosophische Fakultät, 26 Scheible’s reconstruction differs, but his different
versions are not strictly coherent with each other either (cf Melanchthon, 30vs 55; Aristoteles,
130–131) Cf UBW 1:15 (No 17), where four law faculty members are listed with endowed
ecclesiastical positions

• 14 •

T U   R

to read ethics in the college,and the Franciscans also covered a chair in
theology herest of the appointments had to be funded by the university or
the Elector
In 1507, four sets of lectures were read both in a Scotist and a homist way in
the Faculty of Arts hey included Aristotle’s (1) logic; (2) natural philosophy,
physics andDe anima; (3)De coelo et mundo,De generatione et corruptione,De
meteorisandParva naturaliaas well as (4) the logic of Petrus Hispanus (13
c ) Groupedwith these were courses on moral philosophy, later briefly taught
by Luther, metaphysics, and grammar Except for the latter, using the work of
the Italian Humanist Johannes Sulpitius Verulanus (c 1430–after 1490), and the
lesser logic, all lectures were based on Aristotelian texts A smaller collection
of four classes were offeredin humanis litteris: on Virgil and Valerius Maximus,
Suetonius, Sallust, and a contemporary poem in praise of Wittenberg A more
even distribution among the extraordinary instructors, five listed for
‘philosophy’ and five for ‘secular letters,’ could achieve little to balance the overall
picture Scholasticism was the order of the day with Humanism relegated to a
secondary position (Table 1)
Of the higher faculties,medicine was the weakest It had only a single
regular professorship in 1507 In the law school, the predominance of canon
law was tangible in the early years of the university he Rotulus of 1507 lists
six full professors, all doctors, of church law, and only two, one a doctor, of
Roman law Unfortunately, their fields are only given for the Roman lawyers
Altogether five instructors offered classes in theology, one of them apparently
as anextraodrinarius heir fields are again left unnamed (Table 2)








Martin Luther (1483–1546) was recruited for Wittenberg through this system: first as a Master
lecturing on theNicomachean Ethics, later as von Staupitz’s successor in Biblical studies
UBW 1:15 (No 17), 1:37 (No 23)
UBW 1:15–16 (No 17)
Peter’s identity and hence the actual dates of his life, are debated, cf S, Joke, Peter of
Spain, (rev entry), in E N Zalta (ed ),Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, (Winter 2012
edition), online: http://plato stanford edu/entries/peter-spain/ (last accessed 30 May 2013)
UBW 1:14–15 (No 17)
In fact, Lück notes that in the earliest years only canon law was taught and civil law was
introduced with some delay L, Heiner, Die Wittenberger Juristenfakultät im Sterbejahr
Martin Luthers, in id , (ed ),Martin Luther, 73–93, here 76n
For helpful overviews of the fields of law in the Middle Ages and the early modern period, see
G,Universities, ch 13, esp 434–435, and L, Die Wittenberger Juristenfakultät,

• 15 •

G I

Table 1 Regular courses in the Faculty of Arts (1507)
Greater logic
Greater logic
Natural philosophy, physics andDe anima
Natural philosophy, physics andDe anima
Lesser logic
Lesser logic
De coelo et mundo, De generatione et corruptione,
De meteorisandParva naturalia
De coelo et mundo, De generatione et corruptione,
De meteorisandParva naturalia

14 b)
14 b)
14 b)
14 b)
3 a)






Text (Author)
Petrus Hispanus
Petrus Hispanus


Virgil & Valerius
Silius Italicus &

Table 2 Regular professorships in the higher faculties (1507)
Faculty SpecificationFunding No.of chairs
heologyNot givenAugustinians 1
heologyNot givenElector 1
heologyNot given1All Saints’
heologyNot givenFranciscans 1
Law Canonlaw AllSaints’ 4
Law Canonlaw Elector2
Law Romanlaw Elector2
MedicineNot givenElector 1
Total 13
* Codex and Institutiones






he stipulations of the 1508 statutesdiffered somewhat in detail from the
1507 status quo, but they confirmed the general tendency In most fields they

Kathedoes not list the course It should be logically grouped under history (the text expounded
was theJugurthine War), but the instructor, Balthasar Vach or Phacchus (c 1480–1541), is
listed, in addition to Latin poetry, for rhetoric
UBW1:56 (No 26)

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established fewer chairs than had been available in the previous year, but the
scholastic orientation was now codified In the Arts faculty, they provided for
Aristotelian logic and natural philosophy (includingDe anima) as well as the
logic of Petrus Hispanus to be read in three ways (viae) each heir
expositors should represent Scotism, homism, and the school of Gregory of Rimini
(c 1300–1358) It is probably a sign of the strength of the Augustinians’
influence at Wittenberg that the thirdviais tied to a prominent member of their
order rather than, as might be expected, to the father of nominalism,
liam of Ockham (c 1287–c 1347) A chair in ethics and metaphysics, one in
mathematics, and a third in grammar were added Finally, space was made for
three Humanist lectureships, although their actual content remained entirely
unspecified (Table 3)

Table 3 Regular professorships established in the Faculty of Arts (1508)
Chair Text(Author)
Greater logicAristotle
Greater logicAristotle
Greater logicAristotle
Natural philosophyAristotle
Natural philosophyAristotle
Natural philosophyAristotle
Lesser logicPetrus Hispanus
Lesser logicPetrus Hispanus
Lesser logicPetrus Hispanus
Ethics and metaphysicsAristotle
MathematicsNot specified
GrammarNot specified
+ 3 unspecified chairs

14 c)
14 c)
14 c)
3 a) & 13
[2, 20]


In the faculty of theology, five teaching positions were established in 1508
hree sponsored by the Collegiate Church and one each by the Augustinians
and the Franciscans Graduate students were also given a number of time slots
in which to offer classes he law school was given seven professorships
Usually, we do not learn from the document which were tied to the All Saints’
endowment On the other hand, in all but one case we are informed of the
actual field With three chairs in canon law and three in Roman law, the picture

Onthe philological debates surrounding this somewhat unexpected precedent, see S,
Aristoteles, 129 , and literature cited there
UBW1:37 (No 23)
UBW1:45 (No 24)

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G I

is now much more balanced than the year before In the medical faculty, one
full professorship is established in practical medicine, but a junior position is
also created in speculative medicine(Table 4)

Table 4 Regular professorships established in the higher faculties (1508)
Faculty ChairFunding or branch of law
heologyNot specifiedAugustinians
heologyNot specifiedFranciscans
heologyNot specifiedAll Saints’
LawNot specifiedAll Saints’
Law Codexand DigestRoman law
Law SixthBook and ClementinaeCanon law
Law InstitutionesRoman law
Law DecretalsCanon law
Law DecretumCanon law
Medicine Practicalmedicine Elector
Medicine Speculativemedicine Elector

No. of chairs

he 1508 proposal, however, remained to some extent just that It was more
grandiose than a university of about 200 students would warrant It
nevertheless gives an accurate picture of the founders’ vision for the university and,
together with the actual facts of 1507 recorded in the Rotulus, reveals a fairly
typical late medieval institution of higher learning

O  E   R (1516)

In 1516, Wittenberg University employed twenty-two permanent faculty
bers, half of them in the Faculty of Arts Law professors had much higher
salaries than members of the other faculties: typically twice as much as the
professor of medicine, and up to eight times as much as lecturers in the Arts
faculty hisis also an indication of the leading role assigned to the law school
he ambitious plan of the 1508 statutes was never fully realised here were
only two sets of lectures – a Scotist and a homist – on the core subjects of

UBW1:49 (No 25) he teaching plans for both lectureships are worked out in great detail
(ibid p 50), but their discussion would lead us too far afield he second position was not filled
until 1518 (cf UBW 1:86–87, Nos 65, 67)
UBW1:77–78 (No 57) On thetwelvelectureships at the Arts faculty, see below
UBW1:77–78 (No 57) Cf K,Philosophische Fakultät, p 28 See alsoTable 5andTable 6

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logic and natural philosophy, which should have been covered threefold he
institutionalisation of the nominalist way did not come into being Four of the
six extant lectureships, all three Scotist coursesand the homistlogica minor,
were covered by canons of the Collegiate Church he rest of the lectures were
not in principle bound to particular schools hey included ethics,
metaphysics (in actual fact independent rather than combined as proposed in 1508),
and, from 1514, mathematicsas well as Latin grammar and classics he first
three courses were based on Aristotle’s works in medieval translation While
the latter two appointments covered three lectureships, since Vach was
lished to teach both Latin poetry and rhetoric,of the Humanist courses only
grammar was a degree requirement Taken together, all but three of the twelve
lectureships (counting Vach’s dual appointment as two) in 1516 were scholastic
in nature, and they included all of the relatively well-funded (endowed) chairs
At this stage, Humanism played a decidedly auxiliary role (Table 5)
In terms of academic orientation, scholasticism was also the order of the day
in the theology faculty In addition to the disputations, there were only three
regular theological lecture courses on offer in 1516 he Augustinians’
Biblical professorship was outnumbered by those of their scholastic colleagues, and
the bulk of the courses, including graduate students’ required exposition of the
Sentences, also represented the high medieval tradition Nor should the
Biblical chair be considered, in and of itself, any evidence for a ‘Fore-Reformation’
drive; it was a regular arrangement Before Luther, there seems to have been
no significant impulse to reform theology at Wittenberg In the same year,
there was still only one chair in medicine(Table 6)







Given the stability and financial security of these endowed positions, this is a clear sign of the
general pre-eminence of Scotism at Wittenberg
UBW 1:73–74 (No 54)
hat is clear not only from the longevity of his double coverage (1503–1521, after which he
continued to teach poetry for another twenty years), but also from his increased salary whereby
for the two classes he received time and a half the usual remuneration for masters in the Arts
faculty, which was supplemented by the university to bring it to a full double salary (UBW
1:77, No 57) He in fact held two lectures a day, poetry at 8 am and rhetoric at 4 pm (ibid ) he
same arrangement, including lecture times and salary, was confirmed in 1517 (UBW 1:84, No
63) By contrast, Bonifatius Erasmi de Rode, a k a Master Zörbig (c 1480–1560) did not receive
dual income for his coverage of astronomy and mathematics (UBW 1:78, No 57) Indeed he
only delivered a single lecture a day, at 2 pm (ibid )
UBW 1:77 (No 57)
B,Luther, vol 1, 120–121; cf S, Aristoteles, 126
UBW 1:77 (No 57)

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G I

Table 5 Regular professorships in the Faculty of Arts (1516)
App. ChairText (Author)Orientation
11 Greaterlogic* AristotleScotist
11 Greaterlogic* Aristotlehomist
14 Naturalphilosophy** AristotleScotist
14 Naturalphilosophy** Aristotlehomist
11 Lesserlogic* PetrusHispanus Scotist
11 Lesserlogic* PetrusHispanus homist
3 a)Ethics** AristotleScholastic
13 Metaphysics**Aristotle Scholastic
1 & 12Astronomy /Mathematics**Aristotle Scholastic
6 Grammar*Sulpitius Humanist
2 Latinpoetryboth coveredLatin classicsHumanist
by B. Vach
20 RhetoricLatin classicsHumanist
* Required for BA Supplement from the Electoral treasury
**Required for MA Including supplement from the university

All Saints’
Elector (20 fl.)
All Saints’ + 20 fl.
Elector (20 fl.)
All Saints’
All Saints’ + 20 fl.
University (20 fl.)
Elector (20 fl.)
Elector (20 fl.)

Elector (40 fl.)

Table 6 Regular professorships in the higher faculties (1516)
Faculty ChairOrientation or branchFunding
heology Disputations*Scholastic AllSaints’
heology ScriptureBiblical Augustinians
heologyNot specifiedNominalist (G. Biel)All Saints’
Law DecretalsCanon lawAll Saints’
Law InstitutesRoman lawAll Saints’ + 20 fl.
Law CodexRoman lawElector (100 fl.)
Law SixthBook Canonlaw AllSaints’
Law Olddigest Romanlaw Elector(160 fl.)
Law Newdigest Romanlaw Elector(80 fl.)
Law DecretumCanon lawAll Saints’
MedicineNot specifiedNot specifiedElector (70 fl.)
* Same person also held a homist lecture course voluntarily, free of charge
Supplement from the Electoral treasury

With seven chairs, the Faculty of Law was obviously the flagship of the
university he tendencies we noticed earlier continued: Roman law was on the rise
By 1516, the balance was tipped in its favour with four professorships over the
three remaining in canon law (Table 7)

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Table 7 Overview of the number of regular professorships in the higher faculties
Faculty 15071508 (proposed)1516
heology 45 3
Law (Roman)2 34
Law (Canon)6 43
Medicine 12 1
Total 1314 11

In 1507 four canonries of the Collegiate Church had been dedicated to teaching
ecclesiastical law, but by 1516 one canon had switched to civil law, as had
Wolfgang Stähelin, whose salary came from the state treasury Christoph Scheurl,
the other regular professor of canon law on the Elector’s payroll in 1507, moved
to Nuremberg in 1511, and the new appointment, filled by Christian Beyer, was
in Roman law In other words, whereas the Elector funded two professorships
each in canon law and civic law in 1507, by 1516 he instead supported three
Roman lawyers at the university, and a position in the same branch formerly
financed by the treasury – lectureship on theInstitutiones– was now largely
covered from the income of an endowed canonry (Table 6)
What we see on the eve of the Reformation in Wittenberg is, then, a fairly
typical late medieval university But there are signs of the changing times
Kenneth G Appold identified the rise of early modern universitiesex
gio, as opposed to the more purely medieval traditionex consuetudine Many
of the identifying marks – deliberate foundation by a territorial ruler; a more
public and secular (rather than quasi-monastic) character; decreased
internationality; or a more effective exercise of influence by the local sovereign, often
governed by pragmatic considerations (clearly visible in the refashioning of
the law school) – certainly apply to the Leucorea Other traits, however, betray
a more traditional side he university depended, in a medieval fashion, on
church endowment guaranteed by papal decree for more than half of its
operating costs (Table 8) he area where the traditionalism of Wittenberg was most
visible is the educational content it offered he Leucorea was clearly scholastic
in orientation even if its intellectual climate included a significant Humanist
component But there was a constant push for more of the latter

A,Kenneth G , Academic Life and Teaching in Post-Reformation Lutheranism, in R
Kolb (ed ),Lutheran Ecclesiastical Culture: 1550–1675, Leiden, Brill, 2008, 65–115, here 66–75;
cf L in TRE vol 36, 232

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G I

Table 8 Overview of the number of regular professorships by faculty and source of
funding (1516)
Funding heologyLaw MedicineArts Total
All Saints’2 4410
Augustinians 11 2
Elector/University 31 711
Total 37 112 23

H R  T A (1518–1520)

he breakthrough came in the winter semester of 1517–1518 In the spring
40 41
of 1518,the Elector established seven new chairs in the Faculty of Arts
hree of them were given to the study of Aristotletextualiter secundum novam
translationem, and the stipulated new translations were those of Humanist
scholarship he three lectureships include (1) logic, (2) physics and
metaphysics, and (3) zoology he latter is to be read in yearly alternation with Quintilian
Our sources are rather reticent Physics and metaphysics were surely meant in
tandem, butDe animalibusand Quintilian may have been intended as two
independent chairs in principle, although they werede factocombined in the first
appointment Metaphysics,physics, and natural philosophy had already been
included in the curriculum, the latter two read in both a homist and a Scotist
way, although metaphysics was not bound to avia What is now established,
however, is not a new scholastic way, e g the missing nominalistviaspecified
in the 1508 statues, but a Humanist alternative
he remaining four positions confirm the same Two of them, also filled
in the spring of 1518, were assigned to thepedagogium, to teach elementary






Counting Vach’s two chairs separately In the literature, professorships are usually treated
by the number of incumbents hat would reduce this figure by one, bringing the total to
11 for the faculty and to 22 for the university Note that Andreas Bodenstein von Carlstadt
(c 1480–1541), professor of theology, was also absent in 1516, and his lectureship was covered
by Nicolaus von Amsdorf (1483–1565), who also delivered his regular classes on Aristotelian
logicsecundum viam Scoti(UBW 1:77, No 57) hose two positions are self-evidently
differentiated in the literature
On the Humanist reforms of Wittenberg University, see, in addition to sources cited in n 2
above, O, Steven,he Age of Reform, 1250–1550: An Intellectual and Religious History
of Late Medieval and Reformation Europe, New Haven – London, Yale University Press, 1980,
For the dating to the end of March or April, see S, Aristoteles, 131n
UBW 1:85–86 (No 64)
he Aristotelian half of the chair was discontinued after 1521 as it was made redundant by the
lectureship on Pliny’s zoology (UBW 1:100, No 82, 1:118, No 109; cf K,Philosophische
Fakultät, 56 and App 17, 18, 21)

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classical languages (Latin, Greek, and Hebrew) to incoming students he other
two professorships, again in Greek and Hebrew, were, with God’s help, to be
filled soon (Table 9) his emphasis on languages is a clear indication of
Humanist influence To the Greek chair a young Tübingen scholar by the name
of Philip Melanchthon was invited in the summer, who arrived with a reform
programme, boldly announced in his inaugural speech It took a few more
years before those proposals could be implemented, and the intervening time
left its mark on the project

Table 9 New Humanist professorships in the Faculty of Arts (1518)
App. ChairText (Author)
11 LogicAristotle (new translation)
16 & 13Physics and metaphysicsAristotle (new translation)
21 & 18Zoology and RhetoricAristotle and Quintilian
7 Greek[Language and literature]
8 Hebrew[Language and literature]
15 ElementaryLatin/Greek/Hebrew [Language]
15 ElementaryLatin/Greek/Hebrew [Language]


What we see here is an addition of new faculty positions to the already extant
pool and, hence, an enrichment of the course offerings in the spirit of
ism Whatwe do not see is a cancellation of the conventional late medieval
teaching material or a change in the examination system he formal
requirements remained scholastic hat was not for a lack of initiative, but institutional
change needs time here was pressure mounting both from professors, under
Luther’s leadership, and students to do away with requirements that were
creasingly felt outdated and detrimental to the study of theology Yet we know
that scholastic courses continued unbroken into the early 1520s as did the
conferral of degrees Heinz Scheible identified this first stage of reform of the





K,Ralph (trans ), On Correcting the Studies of Youth’ inA Melanchthon Reader, New York
etc , Peter Lang, 1988, 47–57
All of the chairs established in 1518 were filled by 1520 (UBW 1:99–100, No 82)
Cf WA Br 1:160, No 66 (31 March 1518, to Staupitz); 1:174, No 75 (18 May 1518); 1:196, No
90 (2 Sep 1518); 1:262, No 117 (9 Dec 1518); 1:325, No 144 (7 Feb 1519, all four letters to
Spalatin), 1:349–350, No 155 (23 Feb 1519, to Frederick the Wise); 1:359, No 161 (13 March
1519, to Spalatin) Georg Spalatin (1484–1545), court chaplain and secretary to the Elector
since 1512 as well as an early and influential supporter of Luther’s cause, was the key contact
person at the court for those pushing for university reform
his can be clearly documented from the sources (cf e g UBW 1:89–118, Nos 71–109), and
the reconstruction has been carefully done by K,Philosophische Fakultät, 70–71 and
App , esp Nos 1, 3, 11, 13, 14), and S, Aristoteles, 133–138 See alsoTable 10, below

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G I

university as Humanistic in character, and distinguished it from the
Reformation renewal proper In the former regard, Wittenberg was no trend-setter,
but rather followed the example of other leading institutions such as Vienna,
Ingolstadt, Erfurt, Heidelberg, Tübingen and Leipzig
It is important to note at this point that Melanchthon himself was brought to
the Saxon capital by this first wave of university reform When he announced
his Aristotelian programme upon arrival, it perfectly blended in with changes
already afoot at Wittenberg Luther was also well impressed with his new
colleague’s inaugural speech and saw in him an ally He by no means perceived
Melanchthon’s proposal as hostile to or compromising his own efforts In fact,
whatever his commitment to educational reform within his own institution,
he had not yet publicly articulated a vision hat he did for the first time in
the 1520 treatiseTo the Christian Nobility, where the twenty-fifth reform
posal called for a renewal of higher education here he advocated an almost
complete rejection of Aristotle, whom he called a ‘damned, conceited, rascally
heathen […] sent […] as a plague upon us for our sins ’Indeed, here we are in
many ways at the height of Luther’s critique of the late medieval ecclesiastical
system Melanchthon also came under his senior colleague’s sway and
temporarily abandoned his plan to renew the study of the Philosopher His critique
of Aristotle was at times no less sharp than Luther’s
he stakes were much higher in these tumultuous years than mere
educational reform at home Luther was travelling throughout Germany, debating or
being interrogated he indulgence controversy propelled him to international
fame, and as he was forced to work out the implications of his initial position,
his attack widened to include the very foundations of late medieval theology
and church authority Yet the push for reform also continued As students
flocked to the Saxon university,their interest in traditional courses slackened






S, Heinz, Die Reform von Schule und Universität in der
Reformationszeit,Lutherjahrbuch66 (1999) 237–262, here 259–260
L, Martin, An Open Letter to the Christian Nobility of the German Nation: Concerning
the Reform of the Christian Estate, in C M Jacobs (trans ),he Works of Martin Luther: With
Introduction and Notes, repr of the Philadelphia Edition, 6 vols , Grand Rapids, Baker, 1982,
vol 2, 87–164, here 146–153 His famous letter to Jodocus Trutfetter (c 1460–1519) on 9 May
1518 is considered a private expression in this context (WA Br 1:170, No 74)
L, To the Christian Nobility, 146
S, Aristoteles, 141–142 and evidence cited therein
he number of matriculations rose rapidly from 242 in 1517 to 579 in 1520 Surely, it was
sharply reduced thereafter and reached as low as 73 in 1527 T, Martin, Die Leucorea
zwischen Tradition und Erneureung: Erwägungen zur frühen Geschichte der Universität
Wittenberg, in H Lück (ed ),Martin Luther, 31–51, here 48 Nevertheless, new student enrolment
continued unbroken to be the highest among all German universities until the mid-1570s, at

• 24 •

T U   R

T C   O W (E 1520)

he old system finally caved in around the time of Luther’s exile in the
Wartburg Scholastic lectures became deserted and were discontinued Scotist
natural philosophy had ended in 1519 as had the homist greater logic in 1520
he next year saw the termination of their counterparts, homist natural
losophy and Scotist greater logic(Table 10)

Table 10 Discontinuation of old professorships in the Faculty of Arts
Greater logic (novia) (App. 11)
Elements of logic and rhetoric (App. 11)
Elements of logic and rhetoric (App. 11)
Discontinued(Pliny, App. 17)
Elements of logic and rhetoric (App. 11)
Elements of logic and rhetoric (App. 11)
Discontinued(reorganised in 1535)
Elementary Latin/etc. (App. 15)
Logic (Dialectic) (App. 11)

14 c)
14 c)
3 a)

Natural phil. (Scotist)
Greater logic (homist)
Greater logic (Scotist)
Natural phil. (homist)
Logic (new translation)
Zoology (Aristotle)
Lesser logic (homist)
Lesser logic (Scotist)
Ethics (Nicomachean)
Greater logic (novia)
Physics (new translation)
Latin Grammar


1522 or earlier

After intensive negotiations between the Elector and the university in June
1521, the lecture rota was heftily redefined Further lectures were
discontinued or reshaped Aristotle’s zoology and logic (based on a new translation)
as well as Vach’s rhetoric chair were all eliminated in the process New classes
were also introduced he logic of theviae, slowly dying out, was replaced in
1520 by a new lectureship on the same topic not bound to any school,to which
now a new course was added on the elements of logic and rhetoric, substituting
for the Humanist course established in 1518 Greek grammar was offered on




least on the average of half-decade figures J,Wittenberg¸fold-out diagram after 224
Cf L, Juristenfakultät, 78
Cf n 46, above What Kathe (Philosophische Fakultät, 71 , and App 11) takes to be a new chair
in greater logic after the discontinuation of the Scotist lectureship (cf UBW 1:100, No 82),
Scheible (Aristoteles, 134–135 ) interprets as a continuation of the homist lectureship he
sources are not specific enough to settle the matter I follow Kathe here
UBW 1:111–119 (Nos 103–109)
Cf n 52, above

• 25 •