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§ 15. Literature of the German Reformation.


I. Protestant Sources:

(1) The Works of the Reformers, especially Luther and Melanchthon. See § § 17, 32. The reformatory writings of Luther, from 1517–1524, are in vol. XV. of Walch’s ed., those from 1525–1537 in vol. XVI., those from 1538–1546 in vol. XVII. See also the Erlangen ed., vols. 24–32 (issued separately in a second ed. 1883 sqq.), and the Weimar ed., vol. I. sqq.

(2) Contemporary writers:

G. Spalatin (Chaplain of Frederick the Wise and Superintendent in Altenburg, d. 1545): Annales Reformationis oder Jahrbücher von der Reform. Lutheri (to 1543). Ed. by Cyprian, Leipz., 1718.

Frid. Myconius (or Mekum, Superintendent at Gotha, d. 1546): Historia Reformationis vom Jahr Christi 1518–1542. Ed. by Cyprian, Leipzig, 1718.

M. Ratzeberger (a physician, and friend of Luther, d. 1559): Luther und seine Zeit. Ed. from MS. in Gotha by Neudecker, Jena, 1850 (284 pp.).

(3) Documentary collections:

V. E. Löscher (d. 1749): Vollständige Reformations=Acta und Documenta (for the years 1517–’19). Leipzig, 1720–’29, 3 vols.

Ch. G. Neudecker: Urkunden aus der Reformationszeit, Cassel, 1836; Actenstücke aus der Zeit der Reform., Nürnberg, 1838; Neue Beiträge, Leipzig, 1841.

C. E. Förstemann: Archiv. f. d. Gesch. der Reform., Halle, 1831 sqq.; Neues Urkundenbuch, Hamburg, 1842.

Th. Brieger: Quellen und Forschungen zur Geschichte der Reformation. Gotha, 1884 sqq. (Part I. Aleander und Luther, 1521.)

II. Roman Catholic Sources . See § 14, p. 89.


I. Protestant Historians :

Lud. A Seckendorf (a statesman of thorough education and exemplary integrity, d. 1692): Commentarius historicus et apologeticus de Lutheranismo. Francof. et Lips., 1688; Lipsiae, 1694, fol. Against the Jesuit Maimbourg.

Chr. A. Salig (d. 1738): Vollständige Historie der Augsburger Confession (from 1517–1562). Halle, 1730–’35. 3 vols.

G. J. Planck (d. 1833): Geschichte der Entstehung, der Veränderungen und der Bildung unseres protest. Lehrbegriffs bis zur Einführung der Concordienformel. Leipzig, 2d ed., 1791–1800, 6 vols. Important for the doctrinal controversies in the Luth. Church. Followed by the Geschichte der protest. Theologie von der Konkordienformel an his in die Mitte des achtzehnten Jahrh. Göttingen, 1831, 1 vol.

H. G. Kreussler: D. Mart. Luthers Andenken in Münzen nebst Lebensbeschreibungen merkwürdiger Zeitgenossen desselben. Mit 47 Kupfern und der Ansicht Wittenbergs und Eisenachs zu Luthers Zeit. Leipzig, 1818. Chiefly interesting for the numerous illustrations.

Phil. Marheinecke (d. 1846): Geschichte der teutschen Reformation. Berlin, 2d ed., 1831, 4 vols. One of the best books, written in Luther-like popularity of style.

K. Hagen: Deutschlands literar. und relig. Verhältnisse im Reformationszeitalter. Erlangen, 1841–’44, sqq., 3 vols.

CH. G. Neudecker: Gesch. des evang. Protestantismus in Deutschland. Leipzig, 1844, sq., 2 vols.

C. Hundeshagen (d. 1873): Der deutsche Protestantismus. Frankfurt, 1846, 3d ed. 1850. Discusses the genius of the Reformation as well as modern church questions.

H. Heppe (German Reformed, d. 1879): Gesch. des deutschen Protestantismus in den Jahren 1555–’85. Marburg, 1852 sqq., 4 vols., 2d ed., 1865 sq. He wrote, also, a number of other books on the Reformation, especially in Hesse.

Merle d’Aubigné’s History of the Reformation, see § 14. The first division treats of the German Reformation and is translated into German by Runkel, Stuttgart, 1848–1854, 5 vols., republ. by the American Tract society. Several English editions; London and New York.

Wilh. Gass: Geschichte der protestantischen Dogmatik. Berlin, 1854–’67, 4 vols.

G. Plitt: Geschichte der evang. Kirche bis 1530. Erlangen, 1867.

Is. A. Dorner (d. 1884): Geschichte. der protestantischen Theologie, besonders in Deutschland. München, 1867. The first Book, pp. 1–420, treats of the Reformation period of Germany and Switzerland. English translation, Edinburgh, 1871, 2 vols.

Ch. P. Krauth (d. 1882): The Conservative Reformation. Philadelphia, 1872. A dogmatico-historical vindication of Lutheranism.

K. F. A. Kahnis (d. 1888): Die deutsche Reformation. Leipzig, vol. I. 1872 (till 1520, unfinished).

G. Weber: Zur Geschichte des Reformationszeitalters. Leipzig, 1874.

Fr. v. Bezold: Gesch. der deutschen Reformation. Berlin, 1886.

The Elberfeld series of biographies of the Lutheran Reformers, with extracts from their writings, 1861–1875. It begins with C. Schmidt’s Melanchthon, and ends with Köstlin’s Luther (the large work in 2 vols., revised 1883).

Schriften des Vereins für Reformationsgeschichte. Halle, 1883 sqq. A series of monographs on special topics in the Reformation history, especially that of Germany, published by a Society formed in the year of the Luther celebration for the literary defence of Protestantism against Romanism. Kolde, Benrath, Holdewey, Bossert, Walther, are among the contributors. The series includes also an essay on Wiclif by Buddensieg (1885), one on the Revocation of the edict of Nantes by Theod. Schott (1885), and one on Ignatius of Loyola by E. Gothein (1885).

Of Secular histories of Germany during the Reformation period, comp. especially, Leopold von Ranke: Deutsche Gesch. im Zeitalter der Reformation (6th ed., 1881, 6 vols.), a most important work, see § 14. Also, Karl Ad. Menzel (d. 1855): Neuere Geschichte der Deutschen seit der Reformation. Berlin, 2d ed., 1854 sq., 6 vols. Wolfgang Menzel (d. 1873): Geschichte der Deutschen, 6th ed., 1872 sq., 3 vols. L. Stacke: Deutsche Geschichte. Bielefeld u. Leipzig, 1881, 2 vols. (Vol. II. by W. Boehm, pp. 37–182.) Gottlob Egelhaaf (Dr. Phil., Prof. in the Karls-Gymnasium at Heilbronn): Deutsche Geschichte im Zeitalter der Reformation. Gekrönte Preisschrift des Allgemeinen Vereins für Deutsche Literatur. Berlin, 1885. In the spirit of Ranke’s great work on the same topic, with polemic reference to Janssen. It extends from 1517 to the Peace of Augsburg, 1555. (450 pages.)

II. Roman Catholic Historians. See the Lit. in § 14.

Ignatius Döllinger (Prof. of Ch. Hist. in Munich, since 1870 Old Catholic): Die Reformation, ihre innere Entwicklung und ihre Wirkung im Umfange des Luther. Bekenntnisses. Regensburg, 1846–’48, 3 vols.; 2d ed., 1853. A learned collection of testimonies against the Reformation and its effects from contemporary apostates, humanists, and the Reformers themselves (Luther and Melanchthon), and those of their followers who complain bitterly of the decay of morals and the dissensions in the Lutheran church. The author has, nevertheless, after he seceded from the Roman communion, passed a striking judgment in favor of Luther’s greatness.

Karl Werner: Geschichte der kathol. Theologie in Deutschland. München, 1866.

Joh. Janssen: Geschichte des deutschen Volkes seit dem Ausgang des Mittelalters. Freiburg, i. B. 1876–’88, 6 vols. (down to 1618). This masterpiece of Ultramontane historiography is written with great learning and ability from a variety of sources (especially the archives of Frankfurt, Mainz, Trier, Zürich, and the Vatican), and soon passed through twelve editions. It called out able defences of the Reformation by Kawerau (five articles in Luthardt’s "Zeitschrift für kirchliche Wissenschaft und Kirchl. Leben," 1882 and 1883), Köstlin, Lenz, Schweizer, Ebrard, Baumgarten, and others, to whom Janssen calmly replied in An meine Kritiker, Freiburg, i. B., tenth thousand, 1883 (227 pp.), and Ein Wort an meine Kritiker, Freib. i. B., twelfth thousand, 1883 (144 pp.). He disclaims all "tendency," and professes to aim only at the historical truth. Admitted, but his standpoint is false, because he views the main current of modern history as an apostasy and failure; while it is an onward and progressive movement of Christianity under the guidance of Divine providence and the ever present spirit of its Founder. He reads history through the mirror of Vatican Romanism, and we need not wonder that Pope Leo XIII. has praised Janssen as "a light of historic science and a man of profound learning."

Janssen gives in each volume, in alphabetical order, very full lists of books and pamphlets, Catholic and Protestant, on the different departments of the history of Germany from the close of the fifteenth to the close of the sixteenth century. See vol. I. xxvii.-xliv.; vol. II. xvii.-xxviii.; vol. III. xxv.-xxxix.; vol. IV. xviii.-xxxi.; vol. V. xxv.-xliii.

For political history: Fr. v. Buchholz: Ferdinand I. Wien, 1832 sqq., 9 vols. Hurter: Ferdinand II. Schaffhausen, 1850 sqq.

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