Johannes Brenz

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Brenz, Johannes (14991570)

A German theologian and reformer, Brenz was born in the town of Weil and educated at Heidelberg. He became at magister, or master teacher, in 1518, and was known far and wide for his lectures on the Bible and on Christian theology. He was ordained as a priest in 1520 but by 1523 was no longer celebrating traditional Mass. Brenz supported the reform efforts of Protestant Church founder Martin Luther, whom he accompanied at Luther's famous disputation at Heidelberg in 1518. In 1525 Brenz published the Syngramma Suevicum, in which he supported the idea that Christ was physically present in the Christian sacramental offerings of bread and wine. In 1530 he attended the Diet of Augsburg. When the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V took up arms against the Protestant Schmalkaldic League, Brenz was forced to flee for his life from the city of Hall. He took refuge in the castle of Hohenwittlingen, under the protection of Duke Ulrich of Württemberg, where he became a leading supporter of the Protestant Reformation. In 1552 he attended the Council of Trent, and in 1554 became provost of the cathedral of Stuttgart.

See Also: Luther, Martin; Reformation, Protestant

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Johannes Brenz (yōhän´əs brĕnz), c.1522–67, German Protestant reformer. After coming under the influence of Johannes Oecolampadius and Martin Luther, Brenz stopped celebrating Mass (1523) and gave himself over to biblical exposition. He defended Luther's doctrine of the real presence of Jesus during the sacramentarian controversy (1525) in his Syngramma Suevicum. During the Schmalkaldic War (see Schmalkaldic League) he sought protection under Duke Ulrich of Württemberg, and became the leader of the Reformation in Württemberg.