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Schwenckfeld, Caspar (1489–1561)

  1. John Inscore Essick

Published Online: 25 NOV 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9780470670606.wbecc1228

The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization

How to Cite

Essick, J. I. 2011. Schwenckfeld, Caspar (1489–1561). The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 25 NOV 2011


Caspar Schwenckfeld was a Silesian Reformer and spiritualist born to a noble family in Ossig, Germany. Schwenckfeld matriculated in several European universities without completing a degree, but served as an adviser to Frederick II of Liegnitz. He was greatly influenced by Martin Luther and was an early convert to Lutheran reforming efforts. Schwenckfeld became an adviser to Duke Frederick II in 1522 and subsequently persuaded the duke to initiate evangelical reform. Schwenckfeld eventually left Silesia in a self-imposed exile stemming from political pressure, disagreements with Luther, and his evolving spiritualism. The remainder of his life was spent as a wandering lay theologian. He died from a prolonged illness while in hiding in Ulm. Schwenckfeld's numerous writings are available in translation in the multivolume Corpus Schwenckfeldianorum.


  • Schwenckfeld, Caspar (1489–1561);
  • silesian reformer and spiritualist;
  • true baptism, inner baptism of the holy spirit