Philip (Philipp) Melanchthon

Melanchthon, Philip

Philip Melanchthon (məlăngk´thən), 1497–1560, German scholar and humanist. He was second only to Martin Luther as a figure in the Lutheran Reformation. His original name was Schwarzerd [Ger.,=black earth; "melanchthon" is the Greek rendering of "black earth" ]. A man of great intellect and wide learning, he was professor of Greek at the Univ. of Wittenberg when he met Luther, and they soon became intimate friends and associates. Melanchthon's influence on the Lutheran movement had many sides. In Loci communes (1521) he made the first systematic presentation of the principles of the Reformation and so clarified the new gospel to those outside the movement. He served as mediator between Luther and the humanists, tempering the Protestant disapproval of worldly culture. He represented Luther at many conferences. At the Marburg Conference he opposed Huldreich Zwingli, and at the Diet of Augsburg (1530) he wrote and presented the Augsburg Confession (see creed). Melanchthon was more conciliatory than Luther, as evidenced by his friendship with John Calvin after Luther's death and by his willingness to compromise on doctrinal issues. Luther had great confidence in Melanchthon as his successor, but Melanchthon was ill-suited for leadership. For his powerful role in creating the German schools, Melanchthon is known as preceptor of Germany. His Loci communes appeared in a modern critical edition and translation by Charles Leander Hall (1944).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

Human Freedom, Christian Righteousness: Philip Melanchthon's Exegetical Dispute with Erasmus of Rotterdam
Timothy J. Wengert.
Oxford US, 1998
Annotations on the First Epistle to the Corinthians
Philipp Melanchthon; John Patrick Donnelly.
Marquette University Press, 1995
A History of Political Thought in the Sixteenth Century
J. W. Allen.
Methuen, 1951 (3rd edition)
Librarian’s tip: Chap. II "Luther and Melanchthon"
The Age of Luther: The Spirit of Renaissance-Humanism and the Reformation
Ida Walz Blayney.
Vantage Press, 1957
Librarian’s tip: "Melanchthon" begins on p. 450
Law and Protestantism: The Legal Teachings of the Lutheran Reformation
John Witte Jr.
Cambridge University Press, 2002
Librarian’s tip: "The Legal Philosophy of Philip Melanchthon" begins on p. 121
The Colloquy of Montbeliard: Religion and Politics in the Sixteenth Century
Jill P. Raitt.
Oxford University Press, 1993
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of Philip Melanchthon begins on p. 52
Reformers in the Wings: From Geiler Von Kaysersberg to Theodore Beza
David C. Steinmetz.
Oxford University Press, 2001 (2nd edition)
Librarian’s tip: "Philip Melanchthon (1497-1560); Return to Method" begins on p. 49
Philosophers and Religious Leaders
Christian D. Von Dehsen.
Oryx Press, 1999
Librarian’s tip: "Melanchthon, Philipp: Humanist and Reformation Theologian; Author of Influential Lutheran Documents 1497-1560" begins on p. 130
Biographical Dictionary of Christian Theologians
Patrick W. Carey; Joseph T. Lienhard.
Greenwood Press, 2000
Librarian’s tip: "Melanchthon, Philipp" begins on p. 358
The Protestant Reformation in Sixteenth-Century Italy
Salvatore Caponetto; Anne C. Tedeschi; John Tedeschi.
Thomas Jefferson University Press, 1999
Librarian’s tip: "Melanchthon and Venice" begins on p. 108
Medieval and Renaissance Humanism: Rhetoric, Representation, and Reform
Stephen Gersh; Bert Roest.
Brill, 2003
Librarian’s tip: "The Apex of Humanist Pedagogy: Erasmus, Vives, Melanchthon" begins on p.139 and "Mussato and Melanchthon" begins on p. 150
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