Konrad Cordatus

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Konrad Cordatus, also Conrad Cordatus, Conrad Hertz (* around 1480 in Leombach ; † March 25, 1546 near Spandau ) was a Lutheran theologian and reformer . Cordatus (lat. The courageous, from cor the heart) is the Latinization of his family name Hertz.

Live and act

The Austrian farmer's son from Leombach near Wels received his humanistic training from Conrad Celtis in Vienna . He then went to Italy and obtained a degree in theology in Ferrara . When he became a preacher in furnace in 1510 and began to spread his Reformation ideas during his sermons, he was imprisoned as a rebel.

On May 9, 1524, Cordatus turned to Wittenberg , where he dealt with the ideas of Martin Luther at the local university and received his doctorate in theology. In 1525 he moved back to Hungary , where he was arrested again and after 38 weeks, freed by a guard, fled to Wittenberg.

Philipp Melanchthon recommended him to Nuremberg on July 1, 1526 to find a job at the newly founded Upper School St. Egidien. At the end of 1526 he followed a call to Liegnitz where he was a teacher at the academy until April 1527. The ruling duke wanted to develop this into a university, but this did not happen.

Therefore he turned back to Hungary to spread the doctrine of the Reformation there. However, this attempt failed again and Cordatus was arrested again. On his return to Wittenberg, Luther placed him in Zwickau in the spring of 1529 , where he took over the second preaching position at St. Mary's Church. Due to disputes with the city council and with some priests, he left Zwickau for Wittenberg, where he was initially accepted by Luther.

He made sure that he took over the parish of Niemegk in 1532 . Driven by excessive zeal in the doctrine of justification, he got into disputes with Philipp Melanchthon and Casper Cruciger the Elder in 1536 . Ä. Cruciger had taught in a lecture on 1st Timothy that man's repentance was necessary for justification alongside the work of Christ. Since Cruciger used notes from Melanchthon, Cordatus later accused Melanchthon of teaching in his Loci communes (theological "commonplaces" or main doctrines, first published in 1521) that the "opera necessaria were ad salutem" or "ad vitam aeternam" "And that the" bona opera in articulo justificationis causa are sine qua non ". This attack was answered by Melanchthon with the remark addressed to Luther: "Ego neque volui unquam alia docere, quam quae vos" (I never wanted to teach anything other than you). Luther sought to resolve this internal Lutheran dispute, which touched the heart of Reformation theology, by organizing a disputation de iustificatione (1536, WA 39 / I, 82-126), which also addressed the question of whether the good works of Christians were were necessary to his salvation.

Luther said in the course of the disputation (WA 39 / I, 96,1-2): "Nostra oboedientia est necessaria ad salutem. Ergo est partialis causa iustificationis" (Our obedience is necessary for salvation. So it is a partial cause of our justification) . But this should not be understood as teaching the reformer a kind of synergism , according to which only God and our actions together lead to eternal salvation. Because Luther also says (96: 2-3): "Multa sunt necessaria, quae non causant et iustificant" (many things are necessary (for justification), but which do not cause or justify), such as B. the earth and the sinful man. Therefore (96,6-8) applies quite clearly: "Opera sunt necessaria ad salutem, sed non causant salutem, quia fides sola dat vitam" (Works are necessary for salvation, but they do not cause salvation, since faith alone is life gives). Nevertheless, because of the hypocrites (hypocritae), good works are to be taught as necessary for salvation. Because the works show whether a person's faith is also real (96: 11-12.14): "Opera salvant external, hoc est, testantur nos esse iustos, et fidem esse in homine, quae internal salvat ... Externa salvatio ut fructus ostendit arborem bonam, ostendit fidem adesse "(Works save outwardly, that is, they testify that we are righteous and that there is faith in man who saves inwardly ... The outward salvation shows like a fruit the good tree, it shows that there is faith). Luther teaches a double justification here: externally, that is, before people on the basis of works; and inwardly, that is, before God on the basis of faith.

These formulations were a compromise between Melanchthon and Cruciger on the one hand and Cordatus on the other, insofar as Luther was still operating with the term "necessary"; but of course he agreed with Cordatus on the matter! In a disputation on the same topic in 1537, Luther spoke out in favor of abandoning the concept of necessity in this context as being misleading (cf. WA 39 / I, 210, 20-21). It should also be noted that this so-called Cordatus dispute belongs to the prehistory of the second antinomist dispute , in which from 1537 Johann Agricola from Eisleben intervened in the inner-Lutheran debate about the right relationship between faith, penance, law and gospel.

In the same year (1537) Luther recommended his fellow campaigner Cordatus, whom he obviously valued, to his hometown Eisleben and commissioned him in autumn 1539 with the introduction of the Reformation in the Mark Brandenburg . In 1540 he became the first superintendent of Stendal , where he died in the service of his community on a trip to Frankfurt an der Oder near Spandau on March 25, 1546.

Cordatus, believing that his Reformation teachings were in conformity with the Scriptures, consistently represented them, even when he was arrested for it. The fact that he clashed with Melanchthon on questions of faith was apparently not brought up against him: after his death he wrote Cordatus a laudable obituary (published in Nuremberg in 1554). Martin Luther is supposed to have even said “If I had to go into the fire, Dr. Pommer up to the flames, but Cordatus into it ”. He had a special relationship with Luther and is known as a copyist and collector of Luther's table speeches, which Johannes Aurifaber published in Frankfurt Main in 1568.

Cordatus house

The Cordatushaus of the Evangelical Parish of Wels is named after the Evangelical Reformer who was born near Wels. The "Great Hall" in the Cordatushaus, a room for events for 350 people, is called the Cordatussaal .


  • Cause why Ungern is disturbed u. ytzt Austria wars, Zwisckau 1529
  • Presentation of the Evv., On Sundays and fornembsten festivals , ed. v. Philipp Melanchthon, 2 parts, Nuremberg 1556;
  • Diary of Dr. Martin Luther , ed. v. Hermann Wrampelmeyer, 1885;
  • The collection. by Konrad Cordatus , in: WATR II, 1913, XXI ff. 273 ff .; III, 1914, 1 ff.


  • Gustav Leopold Plitt:  Cordatus, Konrad . In: Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (ADB). Volume 4, Duncker & Humblot, Leipzig 1876, p. 475 f.
  • Ernst KählerCordatus, Konrad. In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 3, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1957, ISBN 3-428-00184-2 , p. 356 f. ( Digitized version ).
  • L. Götze: Conrad Cordatus (= 14th annual report of the Altmark Association for History and Antiquity). Salzwedel 1861, pages 67-77
  • H. Wrampelmeyer: Diary about Luther kept by Conrad Cordatus. Hall 1885.
  • J. Müller, Otto Clemen: Conrad Cordatus, the first superintendent in Stendal. In: Journal of the Association for Church History (ZVKGS) Volume 14, 1917, pp. 111–114 and Volume 16, 1919, pp. 117–119.
  • G. Breuninger: Source-critical investigations on Luther's TR in the collection of Conrad Cordatus (Diss.) Tübingen 1926.
  • Walter Friedensburg: Two letters from Conrad Cordatus to the Chancellor Joh. Weinleben (1543 and 1546). (ZKGS 31/32, 1936, 62-65).
  • Dezső Wician: Contributions to the life and activities of Conrad Cordatus. In: Archive for Reformation History (ARG), Volume 55, 1964, pp. 219–222
  • Heinz Scheible: Melanchthon's correspondence people 11

Individual evidence

  1. http://www.zeno.org/Zeno/0/ sucht?q=cordatus&k= Bibliothek Karl Ernst Georges: Comprehensive Latin-German concise dictionary. Hannover 1913 (reprint Darmstadt 1998), Volume 1, Sp. 1692