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Martin Bucer

Martin BucerBorn: 11-Nov-1491
Birthplace: Schlettstadt, Alsace, Germany
Died: 28-Feb-1551
Location of death: England
Cause of death: unspecified

Gender: Male
Religion: Protestant
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Religion

Nationality: Germany
Executive summary: German Protestant reformer

German Protestant reformer, born in 1491 at Schlettstadt in Alsace. In 1506 he entered the Dominican order, and was sent to study at Heidelberg. There he became acquainted with the works of Erasmus and Martin Luther, and was present at a disputation of the latter with some of the Romanist doctors. He became a convert to the reformed opinions, abandoned his order by papal dispensation in 1521, and soon afterwards married a nun. In 1522 he was pastor at Landstuhl in the palatinate, and travelled propagating the reformed doctrine. After his excommunication in 1523 he made his headquarters at Strasbourg, where he succeeded Matthew Zell. King Henry VIII of England asked his advice in connection with the divorce from Catherine of Aragon. On the question of the sacrament of the Lord's Supper, Bucer's opinions were decidedly Zwinglian, but he was anxious to maintain church unity with the Lutheran party, and constantly endeavored, especially after Huldrych Zwingli's death, to formulate a statement of belief that would unite Lutheran, south German and Swiss reformers. Hence the charge of ambiguity and obscurity which has been laid against him. In 1548 he was sent for to Augsburg to sign the agreement, called the Interim, between the Catholics and Protestants. His stout opposition to this project exposed him to many difficulties, and he was glad to accept Thomas Cranmer's invitation to make his home in England. On his arrival in 1549 he was appointed regius professor of divinity at Cambridge University. King Edward VI and the protector Somerset showed him much favor and he was consulted as to the revision of the Book of Common Prayer. But on the 27th of February 1551 he died, and was buried in the university church, with great state. In 1557, by Queen Mary I's commissioners, his body was dug up and burnt, and his tomb demolished; it was subsequently reconstructed by order of Queen Elizabeth I. Bucer is said to have written ninety-six treatises, among them a translation and exposition of the Psalms and a work De Regno Christi. His name is familiar in English literature from the use made of his doctrines by John Milton in his divorce treatises.

Wife: (a former nun)

    Professor: Regius Professor of Divinity, Cambridge University (1549-51)

    Excommunicated 1523



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