Episode 30 – The Prague Manifesto of Thomas Müntzer

When Thomas Müntzer arrived in Wittenberg in early 1522, Philip Melanchthon, Andreas Karlstadt and the other reformers had no idea of the radical ideas that had come to fruition within his heart.

These ideas, which would ultimately threaten to tear Germany apart, were still hidden from the other scholars in the Wittenberg circle. But they weren’t hidden from everybody. A few months before his return to Wittenberg, Müntzer had outlined his radical theology for the believers in Prague, in a document that would be called Müntzer’s Prague Manifesto.

Müntzer hoped the manifesto would help the believers in Prague to unite against the emperor to form a new society. Instead, it only served to highlight the radical nature of Müntzer’s thinking.

Although Luther was able to calm everything down with the Invocavit Sermons in Wittenberg, there was continuing unrest throughout the rest of Germany, eventually resulting in the Peasants War.

Thomas Muntzer, c.1600 (hand coloured woodcut) by German School; Private Collection; (c.1488-1525 was a Reformation-era German theologian and Anabaptist)

Before we dive into the Peasants War, we’ll introduce Thomas Müntzer, a former Wittenberger who eventually became the leader of the peasants in the war. He was also one of Luther’s earliest supporters.

When one of Müntzer’s parishioners, Nicholas Storch, showed unusual Biblical insight, Müntzer advocated making Storch a preacher without any formal training.

The city council of Zwickau became fearful of this irregularity, they summoned Storch to be questioned. Storch fled Zwickau with two friends, Thomas Drechsel and Marcus Strübner. Strübner was a former student in Wittenberg.

Storch, Drechsel and Strübner eventually ended up in Wittenberg, staying with Andreas Karlstadt. These were the Zwickau Prophets we mentioned back in episode 27.

Karlstadt, Amsdorf and Melanchthon were impressed by the Zwickau prophets claims of special revelation. But both Amsdorf and Melanchthon disagreed with the Zwickau prophets on the rejection of infant baptism. By the time Luther had returned, Thomas Müntzer had also arrived in Wittenberg. But by March 1522, Müntzer’s teachings had changed dramatically compared with when Luther knew him as a student.

Beer break

North Peak Brewing Company – Diabolical IPA

North Peak Brewing Company is located in a historic building which was formerly the Big Daylight Candy Factory.

In March of 1899, a partnership was formed by John G. Straub, his brother, Anton F. Straub and George E. Amiotte in the creation of candies and confectionary in Traverse City.

Under the style of Straub Brothers and Amiotte, the firm soon established success with a large local following and an extensive wholesale trade. So rapidly did the business increase, that it became necessary to provide a building of sufficient capacity to meet the growing demands of the trade.

The building housing North Peak Brewing Company was Straub’s third and final building. Straub Brothers and Amiotte “Big Daylight Candy Factory” is a handsome imposing brick edifice of three floors and a basement. It was constructed with 400,000 bricks and 250,000 feet of lumber, erected and supplied with the latest and most approved machinery devices for the manufacturing of all kinds of candies. It compared favorably on a scale with the largest and most successful establishments of its kind.


Diabolical IPA

An aggressively hopped IPA, with a nice caramel sweetness. This brew features multiple hop additions (including local Cascade, Chinook & Willamette) which provide an abundance of flavor & aroma. Citrus, pine, mint, and floral notes can’t be missed while enjoying this North Peak flagship beer

Northern United Brewing Company beers, spirits and wines are made in Michigan. Using ingredients grown in Michigan.

Recognitions

Josh Yagley

Source materials

James Kittelson – Luther the Reformer

Scott Hendrix – Martin Luther, The Man and His Vision

Matthias Riedl – Thomas Muntzer’s Prague Manifesto – A case study in the secularization of the apocalypse.

Wikipedia

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