Major, Georg (Maier)

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Lutheran theologian; b. Nuremberg, April 25, 1502;d. Wittenberg, Nov. 28, 1574. He studied under Martin luther and Philipp melanchthon. After eight years as rector in Magdeburg (152937), he served as court preacher in Wittenberg till 1545, when he became a professor of theology there. In 1546 he took part in the Conference of Regensberg, where he was befriended by Martin bucer. After brief intervals in Magdeburg as a refugee from the Schmalkaldic War and in Merseburg for church affairs, he was back in Wittenberg in 1547. In 1548 his support of Melanchthon's concessions involved him in the Interim controversy which became more heated when he ceased opposing Maurice of Saxony and favored state measures against anti-Interimists (see interims). For his Interimism he received a princely favor of the superintendency at Eisleben (1552). Because the Gnesiolutherans opposed any conciliatory interpretations of pure Lutheranism, Major was compelled to make a public defense of himself, and this led to his having to flee to Wittenberg the same year. There he remained as a foremost leader of philippism, and also as dean of the theological faculty from 1558 till his death.

Bibliography: Opera, 3 v. (Wittenberg 156970), incomplete. o. ritschl, Dogmengeschichte des Protestantismus, 4 v. (Leipzig 190827) v. 2. r. bring, Das Verhältnis von Glauben und Werken in der lutheranischen Theologie (Munich 1955). h. w. gensichen, Damnamus: Die Verwerfung von Irrlehre bei Luther und im Luthertum des 16. Jahrhunderts (Berlin 1955). r. bÄumer, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. j. hofer and k. rahner, 10 v. (2d, new ed. Freiburg 195765) 6:130708. f. lau, Die Religion in Geschichte und Gegenwart, 7 v. (3rd ed. Tübingen 195765) 4:617.

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