2016-05-06Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.1515/jemc-2016-0005
Lutheran Exiles of Christ in the Sixteenth Century
During the sixteenth century Lutheranism experienced expulsion and exile also within the Holy Roman Empire though considerably different from Calvinist or other Protestant experiences of exile. In Lutheranism mainly the theologically educated elite was concerned: professors, parsons, deacons or school assistants. Aside from transconfessional clashes with Catholic or Calvinist authorities conflicts with Lutheran authorities escalated severely thus resulting in the dismissal or resignation of the theologians concerned. With the self-identification as Exul (Christi), that appeared around 1550 and that was still in use until the late eighteenth century, a great number of Lutherans in exile articulated – and claimed – their right to be regarded as upright confessors and living martyrs of the true (Lutheran) doctrine. The focus of this essay is on the cultivation of the experience of exile by these Exules who were an exceptionally belligerent group of theologically educated Lutherans who developed a new understanding of martyrdom in Lutheranism drawing on a theology of the little flock.
This publication is with permission of the rights owner freely accessible due to an alliance licence and a national licence (funded by the DFG, German Research Foundation) respectively.