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5 June 2006 - Can I propose dividing this up into sections, now that the article has reached a length of reasonable coverage of the various parts of Luther's life? I would suggest Early Life; Developing Radicalism; Peasant's War; Muntzer's Teachings; Muentzder's legacy. Any objections? Otherwise I will develop in due course.
Done 188.8.131.52 18:19, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
The link to Prague Manifesto is incorrect. It links to a Soviet document.
- A disambiguation page is needed.
_____________ The link to "Muentzer Scholarship in the DDR, 1949-1983 " is also incorrect.
alright, this is confusing: Luther was also not as radical as was Muentzer. In criticizing the Catholic clergy who did not believe in continued revelation from heaven he stated, "These villainous and treacherous parsons are of no use to the church in even the slightest manner, for they deny the voice of the bridegroom, which is a truly certain sign that they are a pack of devils. How could they then be God's servants, bearers of his word, which they shamelessly deny with their whore's brazenness? For all true parsons must have revelations, so that they are certain of their cause."
now who said it? it says "he stated" but this is right following both the mention of Luther and Müntzer, so who said it?
--Jadger 21:04, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
Should someone go through the article and make sure "Muentzer" is spelled the same way throughout? I think it would make the article more coherent and accessible. Thanks, Samboha 23:37, 23 January 2007 (UTC)
Method of Execution
I've only ever heard/read that Müntzer was burned at the stake, and did not recant his views, but was burned after being asked "Why did you lead the poor people astray?" and responding "It was the will of God that I should punish the Princes" or something of that nature. Yet here it says he was beheaded; could someone clarify that? -Ahuitzotl 22:29, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
And while we're on the subject, surely (1st paragraph) "decapitated" is the medical term, and can also occur accidentally - as in the case of Jayne Mansfield, for example, whereas the legal term for this form of execution would be "beheading"?? Maelli (talk) 09:24, 15 July 2011 (UTC)
The line he described her as “Patriarch”, if he indeed used this incorrect terminology (matriarch would be the name for a female) should maybe be added with the latin 'thus' so no one comes along thinking this is a wrong quotation and be: on the feast of Mary’s birth, he described her as “Patriarch” (sic) “High Priest” and “Queen”. 184.108.40.206 (talk) 11:14, 29 August 2009 (UTC)
Recommendation - Discuss political and theological importants
There's not a lot on what Müntzer believes. Murray Rothbard's 'An Austrian Perspective on the History of Economic Thought, vol. 1, Economic Thought Before Adam Smith' discusses him as an important example of Messianic Communism in section 5.5 p. 146. The article though is more a list of events, leaving out the most important and interesting parts about him.
For example it would good to know this:
Zwickau was near the Bohemian border, and there the restless Müntzer was converted by the weaver and adept Niklas Storch, who had been in Bohemia, to the old Taborite doctrine that had flourished in Bohemia a century earlier. This doctrine consisted essentially of a continuing mystical revelation and the necessity for the elect to seize power and impose a society of theocratic communism by brutal force of arms. Furthermore, marriage was to be prohibited, and each man was to be able to have any woman at his will...
Müntzer felt himself to be the coming prophet, and his teachings now began to emphasize a war of blood and extermination to be waged by the elect against the sinners. Müntzer claimed that the "living Christ" had permanently entered his own soul; endowed thereby with perfect insight into the divine will, Müntzer asserted himself to be uniquely qualified to fulfil the divine mission. He even spoke of himself as "becoming God."
Here we see him in a context with other creeds:
The Anabaptists believed in predestination of the elect, but they also believed, in contrast to Luther, that they knew infallibly who the elect were: i.e., themselves. The sign of that election was in an emotional, mystical conversion process, that of being "born again," baptized in the Holy Spirit. Such baptism must be adult and not among infants; more to the point, it meant that only the elect are to be sect members who obey the multifarious rules and creeds of the Church. The idea of the sect, in contrast to Catholicism, Lutheranism, or Calvinism, was not comprehensive Church membership in the society. The sect was to be distinctly separate, for the elect only...
one of the crucial differences between the Anabaptists and the more conservative reformers was that the former claimed continuing mystical revelation to themselves, forcing men such as Luther and Calvin to fall back on the Bible alone as the first as well as the last revelation.
We also see that this implied wholesale slaughter of the ungodly:
[he preached that] If the Saxon princes are to take their stand with God, then they "must lay on with the sword." "Don't let them live any longer," counselled our prophet, "the evil-doers who turn us away from God. For a godless man has no right to live if he hinders the godly." Müntzer's definition of the "godless," of course, was all-inclusive. "The sword is necessary to exterminate" priests, monks and godless rulers. But, Müntzer warned, if the princes of Saxony fail in this task, if they falter, "the sword shall be taken from them … If they resist, let them be slaughtered without mercy…." Müntzer then returned to his favorite harvest-time analogy: "At the harvest-time, one must pluck the weeds out of God's vineyard … For the ungodly have no right to live, save what the Elect chooses to allow them…. "In this way the millennium, the thousand-year Kingdom of God on earth, would be ushered in. But one key requisite is necessary for the princes to perform that task successfully; they must have at their elbow a priest/prophet (guess who!) to inspire and guide their efforts.
More on what happened when they took over the town would be helpful:
Thomas Müntzer and his allies proceeded to impose a communist regime on the city of Muhlhausen. The monasteries were seized, and all property was decreed to be in common, and the consequence, as a contemporary observer noted, was that "he so affected the folk that no one wanted to work." The result was that the theory of communism and love quickly became in practice an alibi for systemic theft:
when anyone needed food or clothing he went to a rich man and demanded it of him in Christ's name, for Christ had commanded that all should share with the needy. And what was not given freely was taken by force. Many acted thus … Thomas [Müntzer] instituted this brigandage and multiplied it every day.
— Preceding unsigned comment added by 220.127.116.11 (talk) 14:10, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
11 vs. 12 articles
I thought he wrote 12 articles in his platform against the nobility during the Bauernkrieg. At least that's what my college textbook says. I won't change it myself because I don't want to be wrong. But if anyone knows, it's worth looking into. thedrtaylor (talk) 00:17, 26 September 2012 (UTC)
Major re-write proposed
The existing Wiki article on Thomas Müntzer is far from ideal. There are a number of factual errors - for example, the chronology of Müntzer's falling out with Luther, Müntzer's actual role in the Peasant War, even the surname of his wife (Gersen, not Gerson). Additionally, some basic biographical facts are not even mentioned - one example is the period he spent in south-west Germany between December 1524 and March 1525, at a time when the peasants there were rising against their feudal lords.
Personal opinions are being promoted as facts, and gaps in knowledge are covered over with vagueness. Three examples: 1. In Prague 'for unknown reasons, by November he was far less welcome' ignores the very obvious and documented fact that he fell out with the Czech Reformers precisely because he was radical; 2. to state that 'the circumstances surrounding' his Sermon to the Princes are 'unclear' is simply untrue, since the circumstances have been clear for a considerable time. 3. to state that Müntzer set up a 'communistic experiment' in Mühlhausen is to use 20th/21st century categorisations which fail to describe anything at all.
Nothing at all is said about Müntzer's published works, and just as little about his liturgies - both topics which are of prime significance in Müntzer's life and work. The section on his theology is far too short, and seems to have been written from a Marian point of view. Almost no scholars who have studied M's theology have ever suggested Marian influences, and it is clear that the author of the current article is trying to promote the Marian viewpoint - see the citation to Schenk at the head of the article. The citing of the libertarian socialist Murray Bookchin is irrelevant to any knowledge of Müntzer. Bookchin has no track record of having made any study of Müntzer at all, but is quite happy to lump him together with Winstanley (a man living some 140 years later in a different country) as 'anarchists'. Other citations and references are not helpful, since they range from Engels (who worked with material which has long since been proved inaccurate) to a random selection of works from various decades of the 20th century.
Anyone wishing to view a far clearer Wiki on Müntzer should study the German Wiki article
A revised article in English requires: 1. a more detailed biography, with corrected facts 2. a broader description of the main elements of his theology (including a description of his innovative liturgical work). Removal of the entire section about purported 'Marian' views. 3. a clearer analysis of the development and elements of his differences with Luther 4. mention of his legacy amongst the Anabaptists of the 16th century 5. a list of Müntzer's publications in his own lifetime 6. better citations - of authors and academics who have actually spent time studying the sources, and not merely reading the critiques
I would propose to undertake this major re-write. Any objections?