Cochlaeus, Johannes (Johann Dobeneck)

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Priest, humanist, theologian, and opponent of Luther; b. Wendelstein, near Nuremberg, 1479; d. Breslau, Jan. 10, 1552. He came of peasant origin. He studied humanism first at Nuremberg and then more intensively at the University of Cologne (150407) with Ulrich Von hutten. As rector of the Latin school of St. Lawrence in Nuremberg (151015), he published noted textbooks and improved methods of instruction. He studied law at Bologna (151517), took a degree in scholastic theology at Ferrara in 1517, although he preferred the humanist method, and was ordained while in Rome (151719). At Frankfurt in 1520 he entered the reformation controversies, granting need of reform and trying, with Girolamo Aleandro, to reconcile Martin luther. When Luther spurned debate, Cochlaeus began to write the first of his many polemical tracts, to which Luther answered but once. In his nearly 200 writings Cochlaeus was always zealous and often persuasive, but too frequently his learning was inadequate or clouded with invective. Such was his Commentaria de actis et scriptis Martini Lutheri (1549), long famous among Catholics but now discredited. Valuable for reference is his Historia Hussitarum XII libri (1549). Some of his works ended on the Index, because of his argumentum ad absurdum against "Scripture alone." He gave his services to Cardinal albrecht of brandenburg (1526) and became chaplain and secretary to Duke george of saxony from 1528 to 1539. With them he attended the famous diets and helped refute the augsburg confession (1530).

Bibliography: m. spahn, Johannes Cochlaeus (Berlin 1898), a catalogue of his works. h. jedin, Des Johannes Cochlaeus Streitschrift De libero arbitrio hominis (Breslau 1927). a. herte, Das Katholische Lutherbild im Bann der Lutherkommentare des Cochlaeus, 3 v. (Münster 1943). r. bÄumer, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche ed. j. hofer and k. rahner (2d, new ed. Freiburg 195765) 2:124344. h. liebing, Die Religion in Geschichte und Gegenwart (3d ed. Tübingen 195765) 1:1842.

[j. t. graham]