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Brenz, Johann


Lutheran reformer of Württemberg; b. Weil der Stadt, 1499; d. Stuttgart, Sept. 11, 1570. Brenz saw Luther at Heidelberg in 1518 and became his follower. For 24 years he served as an evangelical minister in Schwäbisch-Hall, writing a small catechism for youth in 1529, composing an influential order of service, and publishing sermons and scriptural commentaries. In the Sacramentarian controversy with the Swiss reformed churches, he held to the doctrine of the real presence of Christ, his Syngramma suevicum being one of the best statements of the Lutheran doctrine. As the Protestant reformer of Württemberg he assisted Duke Ulrich, after his restoration in 1534, and his successor Duke Christopher. Brenz fled to Switzerland during the Schmalkaldic War when the imperial chancellor Antoine Perrenot De granvelle put a price on his head. In Württemberg he established schools, orphanages, homes for the poor, and proseminaries; helped reform Tübingen University; and developed a church order (1559), used as a model in other parts of the empire. He even composed a "Swabian Confession" for the Council of Trent, which was, however, flatly rejected.

Bibliography: j. hartmann and k. jÄger, Johann Brenz, 2v. (Hamburg 184042). g. bayer, Johannes Brenz, der Reformator Württembergs (Stuttgart 1899). a. brecht, Johannes Brenz (Stuttgart 1949). w. kÖhler, Bibliographia Brentiana (Berlin 1904; repub. Nieuwkoop 1963). h. fausel, Die Religion in Geschichte und Gegenwart (Tübingen 195765) 1:140001.

[l. w. spitz]

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