« Aurifaber, (Goldschmid), Andreas Aurifaber, Johannes, of Breslau Aurifaber, Johannes, of Weimar »

Aurifaber, Johannes, of Breslau

AURIFABER, JOHANNES, OF BRESLAU (Vratislaviensis): German reformer and church administrator, younger brother of Andreas Aurifaber; b. at Breslau Jan. 30, 1517; d. there Oct. 19, 1568. He began the study of languages and philosophy at Wittenberg in 1534, and later turned to theology, forming an intimate friendship with Melanchthon, whose lifelong friend and adviser he remained. He became a member of the philosophical faculty in 1540, and in 1545 was dean. In 1547 he became rector of a school at Breslau but returned in the following year to Wittenberg, leaving again in 1550 to assume the position of professor of theology at the University of Rostock, secured for him through Melanchthon’s intercession. In 1551-52 he took a leading part in the drafting and promulgation of the Mecklenburg church order. Through the influence of his brother Andreas he was summoned to Königsberg in 1554 as professor of theology and inspector of the churches within the see of Samland, where it was hoped that his reputation for mildness and the conciliatory character of his theology would be instrumental in allaying the bitter dissensions aroused by the teachings of Osiander. Aurifaber devoted himself to the task of pacification and in September, 1554, presided over a general synod called for the purpose of arriving at a compromise between the factions. The parochial clergy, however, regarded with mistrust the advent of an outsider who was not wholly free from suspicion of the Osiandrian taint and the synod failed to effect a compromise. Aurifaber was nevertheless appointed president of the see of Samland. Persisting in his efforts at conciliation he summoned a second synod at Riesenburg in 1556 and succeeded in obtaining from the Osiandrian faction a recantation of their extreme doctrines, without, however, satisfying either party. His unpopularity increased as a result of the publication, in 1558, of the new Prussian church order, with the preparation and editing of which Aurifaber was closely concerned and in which his opposition to the practise or exorcism in baptism found expression. Many of the clergy refused to subscribe to the new ordinances and recourse was had to imprisonment and expulsion, measures which were repugnant to Aurifaber and made his office irksome. In 1565 he resigned and returned to Breslau, where he became two years later pastor and inspector of schools and churches.

G. Kawerau.

« Aurifaber, (Goldschmid), Andreas Aurifaber, Johannes, of Breslau Aurifaber, Johannes, of Weimar »





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