Sunday, 20 August 2017

Doctor Pomeranus (Germany)

Johannes Bugenhagen was born in 1485 in the Duchy of Pomerania. Between 1502 and 1504 he studied at the University of Greifswald and in 1504 he became the rector of the local school in Treptow an der Rega. In 1509 he was ordained as a priest, although he had not studied theology, and in the following years he became the core of a Humanist circle. At the behest of the Duke of Pomerania Bugenhagen started to write a book about the history of Pomerania in 1517 and so he started an extensive journey around the country. In 1520 he first encountered the ideas of Luther. First he did not like them at all, but then he became a supporter and decided to move to Wittenberg. There he became parish pastor in 1523 and thus pastor and confessor of Martin Luther. In the following years he became a close friend of Luther and Melanchthon and helped with the translation of the Bible. He also started to lecture at the University of Wittenberg and in 1533 he became one of the first three Protestant doctors of theology. In 1539 he became superintendent of the Lutheran Church in Saxony. Johannes Bugenhagen died in 1558.

Johannes Bugenhagen is especially known as the most important figure in the Protestant Reformation in Northern Germany and Scandinavia, where he took an active role in creating Protestant church orders. In 1528 he wrote the first Protestant church order in the World for Braunschweig. Church orders followed for Hamburg (1528/29),  Lübeck (1530–1532), the Duchy of Pomerania (1534/5), East Frisia (1534/5), Denmark-Norway (1537), where he also crowned Christian III, Schleswig-Holstein (1542), Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel (1543) and Hildesheim (1544). Not only did he create the new rules, he also established them and convinced people to follow them.

 Bugenhagen Memorial in Braunschweig: Left is a card, right is a photo I took

Bugenhagen Memorial in Hildesheim

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