Danish Church reformer; b. Birkende, Fyn Island, Denmark, 1494; d. Ribe, Denmark, Nov. 11, 1561. Of his peasant parents nothing is known beyond their names, Markvard (Marcus) and Catherina. Tausen entered the Order of St. John of Jerusalem and spent his youth in the priory in Antvorskov. Later he studied at the universities of Rostock (1516–19), Copenhagen (1521), Louvain (1522), and Wittenberg (1523–24), where he became acquainted with Martin Luther's ideas. He was transferred to the Johannite convent at Viborg (c. 1525), and there he started preaching lutheranism and gathering the first Lutheran congregation of Denmark. Almost immediately after his expulsion from his convent, King Frederik I gave him a letter of protection (Oct. 23, 1526). During the next three years several Franciscan and Dominican priory churches were placed at the disposal of the Lutherans of Viborg. In 1529 the king appointed Tausen preacher of the church of St. Nicholas in Copenhagen. There he gathered a large Lutheran congregation and participated in the formulation of the 43 evangelical articles produced at the meeting of the Council of the Realm in July 1530. After the death of his patron, King Frederik I (1533), Tausen entered into a compromise with the bishop of Roskilde, Joachim Rønnow, that apparently ruined his reputation among Danish Lutherans. When the Catholic bishops were arrested and replaced by evangelical superintendents (1536), Tausen was passed over, and not until 1542 was he appointed bishop of Ribe. This post he held until his death. His place in the early history of Protestantism in Denmark has earned him the title "The Danish Luther."
Bibliography: p. rØn, Sciagraphia Lutheri Danici (Copenhagen 1757). Dansk biografisk leksikon 23 (1944) 367–379. m. christensen, Hans Tausen (Copenhagen 1942). w. gÖbell, Die Religion in Geschichte und Gegenwart, 7 v. (3rd ed. Tübingen 1957–65) 6:662.
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