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Comenius, Jan Amos (1592–1670)

  1. Craig D. Atwood

Published Online: 25 NOV 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9780470670606.wbecc0329

The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization

How to Cite

Atwood, C. D. 2011. Comenius, Jan Amos (1592–1670). The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 25 NOV 2011


Jan Comenius, best known as an educational theorist, was also a theologian, bishop, and social reformer. Born Jan Amos Komensky in Moravia, he was raised in the Unitas Fratrum, a small but influential Hussite church. He was orphaned at a young age, but his intellectual gifts were noticed by the church, and he was sent to Herborn Academy in the Netherlands. There he studied with the luminaries Althusius, Piscator, and Alstead. He also attended the University of Heidelberg and there established a lasting friendship with Johan Valentin Andreas, who probably wrote the famous Rosicrucian Manifestos. During those formative years, Comenius was persuaded that reform of ecclesiastical, pedagogical, scientific, and political organizations could usher in the millennial age. He later called this vision of universal reform “pansophy,” or universal wisdom.


  • Comenius, Jan Amos (1592–1670);
  • educational theorist, also a theologian, bishop;
  • ordained as a deacon, in the unitas fratrum;
  • Comenius' living in the shadow of war and exile;
  • masterpieces of western literature;
  • The labyrinth of the world and the paradise of the heart;
  • dystopia, harmony and truthfulness, illusions;
  • pansophic reform in podromous pansophia;
  • realizing his “school of play”