Originally Husschyn, Hussgen, or Heussgen, theologian and reformer of Basel; b. Weinsberg in the Palatinate, 1482; d. Basel, Nov. 24, 1531. By 1515, when he first came to Basel after years of education in Bologna, Heidelberg, Stuttgart, and Tübingen, his philological erudition in Latin, Greek, and Hebrew was prodigious. As a proofreader for the publisher Froben, he worked on Erasmus' editions of the New Testament and St. Jerome, and throughout his life he prepared numerous editions and translations of the Greek fathers. In 1520, weary of his ecclesiastical labors, he abruptly entered a Briggitine monastery in Bavaria, only to withdraw just as abruptly two years later. In November of 1522 he returned to Basel and was appointed a professor at the university in 1523. Thereafter, he ceaselessly promoted the cause of reform in the city through extensive lectures and sermons, in the Minster as well as in St. Martin's Church. Elsewhere in Switzerland he promoted it through his publications, notably in the Eucharistic controversy, and his participation in theological disputations such as those in Baden (1526) and Bern (1528), and the Colloquium in Marburg (1529), where he defended the Eucharistic doctrine of his close friend, Huldrych zwingli. After the city council on Feb. 8, 1529, ordered the removal of images and the abolition of the Mass, Oecolampadius directed and supervised the reform of the Basel church until his death, employing the monumental reforming ordinance of April 1, which he prepared.
Bibliography: k. r. hagenbach, Johann Oekolampad und Oswald Myconius (Leben und ausgewählte Schriften der Väter und Begründer der reformirten Kirche 2; Elberfeld 1859) 3–306. e. staehelin, Das theologische Lebenswerk Johannes Oekolampads (Quellen und Forschungen zur Reformation-geschichte 21; Leipzig 1939); ed., Briefe und Akten zum Leben Oekolampads, 2 v. (ibid. 10, 19; 1927–34); Oekolampad-Bibliographie (Nieuwkoop, Neth.1963). l. cristiani, Dictionnaire de théologie catholique (Paris 1903–50) 11.1:947–951. h. r. guggisberg, Die Religion in Geschichte und Gegenwart (Tübingen 1957–65) 4:1567–68. e. iserloh, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche (Freiburg 1957–65) 7:1125–26. f. l. cross, The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (London 1957) 976.
[c. garsidÉ, jr.]
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