Skip to main content

Theologia Germanica


The title given to an anonymous treatise written by a priest of the Teutonic Order at Sachsenhausen toward the end of the 14th century. The first printed edition was made under the direction of Martin Luther, who was influenced by it in the early phases of his career and who found its opposition to good works and its doctrine on individual religion favorable to his own convictions. The book enjoyed considerable favor among Protestants; it was paraphrased in Latin by S. Franck and later was much admired by the pietists. Its English translation by Susanna Winkworth brought it some popularity in Great Britain. Among Catholics Luther's praise of the work caused it to be viewed with some suspicion. The work is not regarded as unorthodox, its few misleading expressions susceptible of pantheistic interpretation being of a kind not uncommon in mystical literature. The treatise's 54 chapters set forth an introduction to Christian perfection; it is in the Dionysian tradition as represented by Meister eckhart and J. tauler, and proposes poverty of spirit and abandonment to God as the means of transformation into the divine nature.

Bibliography: Text. Critical ed. f. pfeiffer; Eng. tr. s. winkworth, rev. j. bernhart (New York 1949); Fr. Le livre de la vie parfaite, tr. j. paquier. Literature. f. g. lisco, Die Heilslehre der Theologia deutsch (Stuttgart 1857). m. windstosser, Étude sur la théologie germanique. j. paquier, Un Mystique allemand au XIV siècle (Paris 1922).

[p. k. meagher]

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Theologia Germanica." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . 20 Jan. 2019 <>.

"Theologia Germanica." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . (January 20, 2019).

"Theologia Germanica." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . Retrieved January 20, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.