Otto Clemen

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Otto Clemen

Otto Konstantin Clemen (born December 30, 1871 in Grimma ; † May 9, 1946 in Zwickau ) was a German Evangelical Lutheran theologian, educator, historian and librarian. He was best known for his studies on Martin Luther and the Reformation .


Clemen was the son of the senior church councilor and teacher at the Princely School Grimma Christian August Julius Clemen (1838-1920) and his wife. The art historian Paul Clemen (1866–1947) and the theologian Carl Clemen (1865–1940) were his older brothers.

He attended the Princely School of Grimma and studied Protestant theology at the universities of Tübingen , Berlin and Leipzig . In Leipzig he was in 1896 with a thesis on Johann Pupper of Goch Dr. phil. PhD. In the same year he became a senior teacher at the grammar school in Zwickau and in 1924 its deputy principal. From 1923 to 1939 he headed the council school library . It was not until 1928 that he was appointed honorary professor for church history at the University of Leipzig. From 1941 he was a member of the Saxon Academy of Sciences .

In 1897 he married Susanne Barth in Köhra near Leipzig, daughter of the medical councilor Hermann Otto Barth and Constanze Emilie Petzsch in Lindhardt ; they had five children.


To this day, Clemens Name is mainly associated with an edition of Martin Luther's works. This so-called Bonn edition or after him Clemensche edition with the participation of Albert Lietzmann appeared in the first edition from 1912 to 1933. The first four volumes, published in 1912/13, offer a selection of Luther's writings, each of which is completely reproduced; Volumes 5–8 contain selected texts from lectures, letters, sermons and table speeches. In Bernhard Lohse's opinion, the edition and its comments are sometimes superior to the WA .

For the Weimar edition he edited the 11 volumes of the “Letters” department (1930–1948).

Clemen drew from the unique old inventory of the council school library with its numerous unique items and published pamphlets and small scripts from the Reformation in the series Small Texts for Lectures and Exercises and Church History Source Booklets. For the second edition of Religion Past and Present , he wrote about 150 biographical articles.

His numerous publications on Luther and, in particular, on lesser-known people around him appeared scattered in magazines and were only brought out together as Small Writings on the History of the Reformation from 1985 onwards .

Clemens long list of publications (the bibliography lists over 900 titles) also includes editions of other treasures in the Ratsschule library than Zwickau facsimile prints , writings relating to Zwickau, such as a guide through Zwickau (1926), and introductions to picture portfolios, for example by Albrecht Dürer , Anselm Feuerbach and Eduard Gebhardt .


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Weimar Edition (Luther)
  2. Bernhard Lohse: Martin Luther: an introduction to his life and work. Munich: Beck 1982, p. 251
  3. ^ Frank (Lit.), Col. 393
  4. Reinhold Jauernig, in: Theologische Literaturzeitung 8/9, 1953, Sp. 541-560 ( online ).