Carlstadt, Andreas Rudolf Bodenstein von

▪ German bishop
Carlstadt also spelled  Karlstadt 
born c. 1480, Carlstadt, bishopric of Würzburg [Germany]
died December 24, 1541, Basel, Switzerland

      German theologian and early supporter of Martin Luther (Luther, Martin) who later dissented from Lutheran views by pressing for more extensive reforms in theology and church life.

      Educated at Erfurt and Cologne, Carlstadt was appointed professor at the University of Wittenberg in 1505. There he assisted his colleague Martin Luther in reforming theological studies, emphasizing “the old Fathers,” particularly Augustine (Augustine, Saint), and philology.

      Carlstadt supported his colleague Luther during the indulgence controversy, in which Luther opposed the elaborate Roman Catholic system for pardoning sinners and exempting them from purgatorial punishment. Carlstadt defended Luther against Johann Eck (Eck, Johann) in the Leipzig disputation of July 1519. The papal bull issued by Leo X in 1520, threatening Luther with excommunication, also mentioned Carlstadt. In 1521 Carlstadt went to Denmark at the request of King Christian II, but he returned to Germany after his efforts at reform failed. He published numerous tracts on clerical celibacy, private masses, and Holy Communion by both bread and wine, so that by the end of 1521 he had gained a reputation as a forceful Reformer. On Christmas Day in 1521, without vestments and with an abridged service, he administered Holy Communion to the laity.

      At Wittenberg in January 1522, the magistrates carried through practical reforms stemming in part from Luther's ideas and Carlstadt's initiative. But, because of his iconoclastic tract Von Abtuhung der Bylder (1522; “On the Rejection of Images”), Carlstadt was called in February by the elector Frederick the Wise (Frederick III) to account for his part in the prevailing ferment. Luther, who during the turmoil had been at Wartburg Castle, came out of hiding to urge restraint. In a series of masterful sermons stressing the need for care of the weaker brethren, Luther disputed Carlstadt's impatience for further reform.

      Carlstadt soon fled and began to dress as a peasant, calling himself “Brother Andreas” and denouncing all academic degrees and distinctions. In 1523 he moved to Orlamünde, where he introduced his own program for reform. Influenced by the mystic Johann Tauler (Tauler, Johann), he published a stream of pamphlets full of mystical notions. He dramatically encountered Luther at Jena in August of the next year, when Luther tossed a golden coin at him in token of an open feud. As Luther left, Carlstadt preached against him amid pealing bells.

      Carlstadt was promptly expelled from Saxony, but not before he published a series of tracts asserting the belief in the symbolic presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Carlstadt's work Ob man gemach faren soll (1524; “Shall We Go Slowly?”) was eagerly read by all those for whom reform came too slowly. Luther, nevertheless, provided refuge for Carlstadt in Wittenberg (1525–29) after Carlstadt made certain retractions. After short stays in Holstein, Friesland, and Zürich, Carlstadt became professor of Old Testament at Basel in 1534. There he became involved in a controversy by demanding that the local clergy submit to university discipline and earn doctoral degrees in order to improve their credentials. Thus, in supporting the position of the university, Carlstadt reversed his earlier opposition to academic discipline and a learned ministry. A man of theological insights but eccentric personality, Carlstadt persisted in his intense style until his death during an outbreak of the plague.

Additional Reading
Ronald J. Sider, Andreas Bodenstein von Karlstadt: The Development of Thought, 1517–1525 (1974), analyzes his successive theological positions. Calvin Augustine Pater, Karlstadt As the Father of the Baptist Movements: The Emergence of Lay Protestantism (1984), thoroughly argues the revisionist theory that Carlstadt was the first to postulate a Baptist theology.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Andreas Karlstadt — Andreas Bodenstein Portrait de Andreas Bodenstein Andreas Rudolf Bodenstein, ou encore Andreas Rudolff Bodenstein von Karlstadt, (* 1480 à Karlstadt sur le Main, † 24 décembre 1541 à Bâle) est un réformateur allemand du XVIe siècle. Il est le… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Andreas Bodenstein — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Karlstadt. Portrait de Andreas Bodenstein Andreas Rudolf Bodenstein, ou encore Andreas Rudolff Bodenstein von Karlstadt, (* 1480 à …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Luther, Martin — born Nov. 10, 1483, Eisleben, Saxony died Feb. 18, 1546, Eisleben German priest who sparked the Reformation. The son of a miner, he studied philosophy and law before entering an Augustinian monastery in 1505. He was ordained two years later and… …   Universalium

  • Protestantism — /prot euh steuhn tiz euhm/, n. 1. the religion of Protestants. 2. the Protestant churches collectively. 3. adherence to Protestant principles. [1640 50; PROTESTANT + ISM] * * * One of the three major branches of Christianity, originating in the… …   Universalium

  • Protestant Heritage — Introduction       Protestantism originated in the 16th century Reformation, and its basic doctrines, in addition to those of the ancient Christian creeds, are justification by grace alone through faith, the priesthood of all believers, and the… …   Universalium

  • Academia Fridericiana Halensis — Martin Luther Universität Halle Wittenberg Gründung 1502 (Wittenberg) und 1694 (Halle) Trägerschaft …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Alma mater halensis — Martin Luther Universität Halle Wittenberg Gründung 1502 (Wittenberg) und 1694 (Halle) Trägerschaft …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Friedrichs-Universität Halle-Wittenberg — Martin Luther Universität Halle Wittenberg Gründung 1502 (Wittenberg) und 1694 (Halle) Trägerschaft …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • MLU Halle-Wittenberg — Martin Luther Universität Halle Wittenberg Gründung 1502 (Wittenberg) und 1694 (Halle) Trägerschaft …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Martin-Luther-Universität — Halle Wittenberg Gründung 1502 (Wittenberg) und 1694 (Halle) Trägerschaft …   Deutsch Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.