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Thomas Müntzer

early Reformation-era German pastor who was a rebel leader during the German Peasants' War
The people will be free and God alone will be their Lord.
Our lords and princes ... make all creatures their property—the fish in the water, the bird in the air, the plant in the earth must all be theirs. Then they proclaim God's commandments among the poor and say, "You shall not steal."

Thomas Müntzer (ca. 1489 – 27 May 1525) was a German preacher and theologian of the early Reformation whose opposition to both Luther and the established Catholic church led to his open defiance of late-feudal authority in central Germany. Müntzer was foremost amongst those reformers who took issue with Luther’s compromises with feudal authority. He became a leader of the German peasant and plebeian uprising of 1525, was captured after the battle of Frankenhausen, and was tortured and executed.

QuotesEdit

  • The league at Allstedt wanted to establish this principle, Omnia sunt communia, ‘All property should be held in common’ and should be distributed to each according to his needs, as the occasion required. Any prince, count, or lord who did not want to do this, after first being warned about it, should be beheaded or hanged.
    • in Revelation and Revolution: Basic Writings of Thomas Müntzer (1993), p. 200
  • The people will be free and God alone will be their Lord.
    • Letter to the Princes as cited in The German Peasants' War and Anabaptist Community of Goods, p. 109
  • The stinking puddle from which usury, thievery and robbery arises is our lords and princes. They make all creatures their property—the fish in the water, the bird in the air, the plant in the earth must all be theirs. Then they proclaim God's commandments among the poor and say, "You shall not steal." They oppress everyone, the poor peasant, the craftsman are skinned and scraped.
    • Letter to the Princes, as cited in Transforming Faith Communities: A Comparative Study of Radical Christianity, p. 173

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