« Agricola, Johann Agricola, Stephan Agriculture, Hebrew »

Agricola, Stephan

AGRICOLA, STEPHAN (originally Castenpauer): A follower of Luther; b. in Abensberg (18 m. s.w. of Regensburg), Bavaria; d. at Eisleben Easter, 1547. He studied at Vienna, joined the Augustinians, gained fame as a preacher and teacher, and was promoted doctor of theology in 1519. Imitating St. Augustine, he preached on entire books of the Bible in Vienna in 1515, as lector in the Augustinian monastery at Regensburg in 1519-20, and in other places. His sermons brought him under suspicion. He was accused of preaching heretical, inflammatory, and offensive dogmas; of having recommended Luther’s writings on the Babylonian captivity and on the abolition of the mass; of having spoken offensively of the Roman see, bishops, and clergy; and of having demanded the abolition of all ceremonies. He was imprisoned in 1522; thirty-three charges were made against him; and his answer, denying dependence upon Luther and making appeal to Augustine and the Scriptures, was of no avail. He prepared for death, and wrote Ein köstlicher gutter notwendiger Sermon vom Sterben (1523), which his friend Wolfgang Russ published. He escaped, however, found a home with the Carmelite Johann Frosch of Augsburg in 1523, and preached there from time to time. Not long after 1523 he published under the name of “Agricola Boius” Ein Bedencken wie der wahrhafftig Gottesdienst von Gott selbs geboten und aussgesetzt, möcht mit besserung gemeyner Christenheyt widerumb aufgericht werden, a kind of reformation-programme. Protected by the city council, he labored with Rhegius and Frosch for the Reformation in Augsburg, and became pronounced in his adherence to Luther’s views as against Zwingli. By translating into German Bugenhagen’s polemical treatise against Zwingli’s Contra novum errorem de sacramentis (1525), he won over the Augsburg congregation to the Lutheran side. At the invitation of the landgrave Philip, he took part in the Marburg Colloquy and signed the articles agreed upon. In 1531 he left Augsburg as he was opposed to Butzer’s Zwinglian tendency and went to Nuremberg, where he stayed with Wenceslaus Link. In 1537 he attended the Schmalkald Diet and signed Luther’s articles. When the Reformation was introduced into the Upper Palatinate, he accepted a call to Sulzbach where he preached the first evangelical sermon June 3, 1542. He afterward went to Eisleben.

(T. Kolde.)

Bibliography: C. Spangenberg, Wider die böse Sieben in Teufels Karnöffelspiel, Eisleben, 1562; H. W. Rotermund, Geschichte des auf dem Reichstage zu Augsburg in Jahre 1530 . . . Glaubensbekenntnisses, Hanover, 1829; Datterer, Des Kardinals und Erzbischofs von Salzburg Matthäus Lang Verhalten zur Reformation, Erlangen, 1892.

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