Theologian of the Catholic Reformation; b. c. 1499;d. Cologne, Jan. 12, 1557. Having entered the Carmelite Order at Cologne in 1513, he received a doctorate in theology and was professor (1540–52) and dean (1545–46) of the theology at the faculty of Cologne. A zealous defender of the Catholic faith, he was deeply concerned with the internal reform of the Church and his order, as well as with the urgent questions raised by the Reformation. Hermann von Wied, the Archbishop of Cologne, used him as theological consultant for the question of reform and sent him as his representative to the religious discussions held at Hagenau (1540) and at Worms and Regensburg (1540–41). However, when Hermann himself joined the Reformation forces (1542–43) and took the reformer Martin Bucer into his archdiocese, Billick at once sharply opposed him. During the struggle for the preservation of the Catholic faith in the Archdiocese of Cologne, he became, with J. Gropper (d. 1559), the center of resistance to Protestantism. His importance as a theologian shows in his polemical and controversial writings: Judicium deputatorum universitatis et secundarii cleri Coloniensis de doctrina et vocatione M. Buceri ad Bonnam (Cologne 1543); Judicii universitatis et cleri Coloniensis defensio (Cologne 1545); De ratione summovendi praesentis temporis dissidia (Cologne 1557); and De dissidiis Ecclesiae componendis (Cologne 1559), as well as in his participation as the emperor's representative at the negotiations for reconciliation at Regensburg (1546) and Augsburg (1548) and in his appointment (1551–52) as the theologian of Adolf von Schaumburg, archbishop of Cologne, at the Council of Trent.
Bibliography: a. postina, Der Karmelit Eberhard Billick (1901), v. 2.2–3 of Erläuterungen und Ergänzungen zu Janssens Geschichte des deutschen Volkes, 4 v. (Freiburg im Br. 1899–1902). p. ferdinand, Dictionnaire d'histoire et de géographie ecclésiastiques, ed. a. baudrillart et al. (Paris 1912–) 8:1480–81. h. jedin, "Die deutschen Teilnehmer am Trienter Konzil," Theologische Quartalschrift 122 (1941) 252–253. Neue deutsche Biographie (Berlin 1953–) 2:238–239.