Ursinus, Zacharias

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German Calvinist theologian; b. Breslau, July 18, 1534; d. Neustadt, June 3, 1583. He studied at Wittenberg from 1550 to 1557 and accompanied his teacher Philip melanchthon to the disputation at Worms (1557), which was the last attempt on the part of the Empire to reconcile the religious differences. He then went to Geneva and studied under John calvin. He next obtained a chair in Breslau, but his strong Calvinist views brought about his dismissal. In 1561 he moved to Heidelberg where the first Calvinist academy in Germany had been established. There he lectured on dogma until the dissolution of his college and the triumph of Lutheranism at the university forced him to leave. He found a position at the Casimirianum College at Neustadt. With K. Olevian he compiled the heidelberg catechism in 1562. It was fundamentally Calvinist in its theology although modified by Lutheran tendencies. He was also active in the campaign against the Formula of Concord of 1577, which was the last of the classical Lutheran formulas of faith (see confessions of faith, protestant).

Bibliography: f. hauss, Die Religion in Geschichte und Gegenwart, 7 vol. (3rd ed. Tübingen 195765) 6:1204.

[t. s. bokenkotter]