John Bergius, a prominent figure of the Brandenburg Reformation

Mihkail Petrovich Beliaev, PhD in history, assistant professor, Russian University of cooperation, Faculry of Law (ulitsa Very Voloshinoy, 12/30, Mytishchi, Russia, 141014)

Beliaev M. P. John Bergius, a prominent figure of the Brandenburg Reformation, Religiya. Tserkov’. Obshchestvo. Issledovaniya i publikatsii po teologii i religii [Religion. Church. Society: Research and publications in the field of theology and religious studies], Saint-Petersburg, 2017, vol. 6, pp. 260–283.

doi: 10.24411/2308-0698-2017-00013

Language: Russian

The Second Reformation in Brandenburg seriously differed from similar transformations in the other subjects of the Empire. The subjects of the Elector, John Sigismund, being Lutherans, were not compelled to switch to Calvinism, because Hohenzollern led tolerant policy. The article studies the role of John Bergius, who was a prominent ideologue of Calvinism and the leading court preacher of the Brandenburg Electors. Having received good education abroad, he laterly wrote many works on theology as an adherent of Irenism. The young theologian took part in the struggle against the Lutheran theologians and become the closest adviser of the Electors on religious matters. He defended the ideas of common root of Protestan theology and was for coorepation between the Lutherans and the Evangelists before the face of the Counter-reformation. The Brandenburg preacher developed the «constitutional theory of resistance», which justified the Emperor’s action in cooperation with the Catholic League as unleagel. The author shows that in these circumstances Lutheran theologians agreed to meet with Calvinist colleagues in Leipzig, during the Protestant princes convention. At this colloquium, thanks to the position of Bergius, it become possible to reach agreement on the most of issues. His late activity is also of high interest, because in 1630s he participated in the development of a new structure for the Brandenburg Church. Since 1640 Bergius being an adviser of th Elector Frederick William and participates in the colloquium in Thorne. He also was one of the authors of the final documents of the conferences in Leipzig and Thorne, which together with Confessio Sigismundi formed the official position of the Reformed Church of Brandenburg.
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Key words: Brandenburg, Calvinists, Reformed, Lutheran, Preacher, Church, Reformation


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