Faber, Johannes

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Theologian, bishop, opponent of Luther and Zwingli; b. Leutkirch (Swabia),1478; d. Vienna, May 21, 1541. He is sometimes confused with others of the same name. Faber (Heigerlin) studied Canon Law at Tübingen and received a doctorate in theology at Freiburg. Thereafter he was rector at Lindau and Leutkirch, canon at Basel, and vicar-general for Constance (1518). After 1524 he became chaplain and confessor to Archduke Ferdinand and then bishop of Vienna in 1530. At Basel he had been friendly with Erasmus, favored reform of abuses (especially indulgences), and until 1519, sympathized with Zwingli, Oecolampadius, and Melanchthon. From 1522 he opposed Luther with writings such as Malleus in haeresim Lutheranam (1524). Representing the bishop of Constance, he debated unsuccessfully against Zwingli at Zurich (1523), and, as an imperial councilor, helped organize a Swiss Catholic party (1526). He attended several imperial diets, including Augsburg (1530), where he examined the augsburg confession. As bishop of Vienna he preached, worked, and wrote zealously against Protestantism; held regular conferences with his clergy; and provided scholarships for students for the priesthood. He wrote much on doctrinal questions, such as faith and good works, the Mass, and the Eucharist, and also polemics on Hus, Luther, Zwingli, and the Anabaptists.

Bibliography: l. helbling Die Religion in Geschichte und Gegenwart 3 2:856. Allgemeine deutsche Biographie 14:435441.

[j. t. graham]