KARG, GEORG (GEORGIUS PARSIMONIUS): German Lutheran theologian; b. at Heroldingen (near Harburg, 31 m. n.e. of Augsburg) 1512; d. at Ansbach (25 m. s.w. of Nuremberg) Nov. 29, 1576. He was educated at Wittenberg, and then began to preach, though unauthorized by the university to do so. He promulgated heretical doctrines, however, and in 1537 was imprisoned in the castle of Wittenberg. He soon regained the confidence of Luther and Jonas, and the former, at the request of Count Louis of Oettingen, ordained Karg minister at Oettingen, where he worked zealously for the Reformation until forced to flee in 1547. He found a welcome in the district of Ansbach and was appointed pastor in Schwabach. In 1552 he received a call to Ansbach, and was soon made superintendent for the entire district. There he gradually allowed the rites of the Roman Catholic Church to fall into abeyance, and against the wishes of the government sought to abolish all usages of the Auctuarium a sort of modified interim which had been introduced in an attempt to comply with the imperial demand. At the request of the prince, Karg took part in 1551 in the conferences of the Wittenberg theologians on the Council of Trent, and also attended the sessions of the conferences at Frankfort and Worms. His heretical tendencies had not entirely disappeared, however, and in 1557 he was involved in a discussion on the Eucharist, and later caused a commotion by his teaching concerning justification by faith, declaring that the law exacted either punishment or obedience, but not both, and that Christ had suffered passively for man, but had rendered obedience for himself. His active obedience, accordingly, was not part of his vicarious task, nor was his righteousness imputed to man in the Scriptures, Luther's interpretation of Phil. iii. 9 being incorrect. The atonement for the sins of mankind was due to the death of Christ, not to his righteousness, and he had confirmed the law, not abrogated it. The enunciation of these views resulted in a controversy, and Karg was suspended from office and obliged to make a solemn retraction before he was reinstated by Jakob Andreä (q.v.) on Oct. 31, 1570. The most important of his numerous writings was his Katechismus, which was first printed in 1564 and was still used in Ansbach in the early part of the nineteenth century.


BIBLIOGRAPHY: P. F. Karrer, in Zeitschrift für lutherische Theologie und Kirche, 1853, pp. 661 sqq.; G. Frank, Geschichte der protestantischen Theologie, i. 158 sqq., Leipsic, 1862, cf. J. J. I. Döllinger, Die Reformation, iii. 564 sqq., Regensburg, 1846.


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