Andrew Carlstadt and the Zwickau Prophets 1521-22

  • While Luther was secluded in Wartburg, his place in Wittenberg University was taken by Andrew Carlstadt (a senior colleague) and Gabriel Zwilling (an Augustian preacher)
  • Carlstadt had initiated the Liepzig debate with Eck
  • Now Carlstadt and Zwilling decided to speed up the Reformation and put into practice (what they percieved to be) everything that Luther had so far only put onto paper:
  • Mass was denounced,
  • laiety in Wittenberg offered communion of "both kinds", bread and wine
  • Led by Zwilling, monks denounced vows which they decided was made redundant by the doctrine of sola fide
  • Carlstadt announced his support for clerical marriage and married a 15 year old himself
  • To Frederick's anger, Wittenberg was aquiring a reputation for extrimism which was made worse when the "Zwickau Prophets" arrived in December 1521, they came from the town of Zwickau in Saxony where they had been radicalised by Thomas Muntzer
  • The Prophets made bold prophecies such as: the Turks would invade, unmarried priests would be slain and they denounced Luther for excessive caution 
  • They also belived that like jesus, all true believers should be baptised as adults and Carlstadt even stopped baptising infants which went against what Luther advocated as Luther believed adult baptism threatened to lead to free choice and anarchy
  • Luthers teachings on the real presence were also overruled in favour of the Eucharist as…


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