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Title: The life and thought of Balthasar Hübmaier, 1485-1528
Author: Macoskey, Robert Arthur
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1956
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Dr. Balthasar Hflbmaier of Friedberg was one of the Reformation's most interesting personalities. Unlike Luther and Zwingli who were not well known prior to their conversion to Protestantism, Hflbmaier was recognised as a substantial pillar of Roman Catholicism and had a personal fame long before the moment in his life when he decided in favour of the reforming aspiration. For thirty-nine years of his life he was a medieval Roman Catholic in the truest sense of the term. He was the honoured and beloved pupil of Johannes Eck, who used his influence to raise Hflbniaier to influential positions at Freiburg and later at Ingolstadt. In 1519 he became the Domorediger of the cathedral at Regensburg and was instrumental in the expulsion of the Jewish minority which had entrenched itself in the city through a thousand years of residence. This event was the spark which ignited a fervour for pilgrimage which was seldom equalled in the history of southern Germany. Because of his devotion to Rome, Hflbmaier was respected by his colleagues and considered a man of zealous conviction ,upon whom the Church could rely for dependable decision and decisive action. In 1521 Hflbmaier began to have misgivings about the direction his religious life had taken. Having moved his field of operation to Waldshut, he began to devote a great deal of time to the study of the New Testament and the writings of the Protestant reformers. Through meetings with Vadian, Busch, Glarean, Erasmus and Zwingli, he was drawn towards Protestantism which resulted in his breaking away from various elements of Roman worship. He took part in the second disputation at Zurich in 1525 and began ecclesiastical reforms at Waldshut the following year. Until 1525 when he accepted the practical demonstration as well as the theoretical basis for believers' baptism, his relations with the Swiss reformers were harmonious. After this event he was cast off by his former Swiss friends and hunted by the Austrian state because his preaching caused division in the sympathies of the Austrian border cities. He fled to Zurich, then to Augsburg, and finally to Nicolsburg in Moravia where he organi7ed a church patterned after his own persuasion. Two years later he was captured by the Austrian government, tried, tortured, convicted, and executed at Vienna. Hflbmaier had only four years to devote to reform, but in the space of these few years he managed to publish the twenty-seven books, pamphlets, tracts and leaflets which appear in the appendices of this study. To date, the appendices of this thesis represent the only complete collection of Httbmaier's writings in Europe. This thesis purposes to clarify the obscure portions of Hflbmaier's biography and to review his thought in the light of his experience. Hflbmaier has been called an "Anabaptist", but it is doubtful whether this designation suffices to explain his life and thought. His position was a compromise between the Protestantism of Luther and Zwingli and the radical piety of mainstream Anabaptism. The world was not ready for such a compromise, and, for this reason, Hflbmaier's type of reformed Christianity died with him.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available