Urbanus Rhegius

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Urbanus Rhegius (* May 1489 in Langenargen ; † May 23, 1541 in Celle ; actually Urban Rieger ) was a reformer who was unusually active in both southern and northern Germany. Although he always worked for an "evangelical unity" and a religious balance in the Holy Roman Empire in exchange with other reformers , his hopes for such an unification were low. He himself increasingly saw the Lutheran interpretation of the gospel as a sign of the “true” church .

Urbanus Rhegius


The son of the priest Konrad Rieger first attended the Latin school in Lindau and later studied in Freiburg im Breisgau , Ingolstadt , Tübingen and Basel , among others with Johannes Eck . In 1519 he was ordained a priest in Constance and in 1520 received a position as cathedral preacher in Augsburg .

After taking office, he dutifully proclaimed the papal bull Exsurge Domine against Martin Luther , but soon got himself into conflict with the church authorities due to his critical stance against the indulgence trade . He was dismissed in 1521 after having written a defense for Luther in which he clearly represented anti-Roman positions. He worked for some time as a chaplain in Hall in Tirol and returned to Augsburg as a Protestant pastor in 1524 .

Work in Augsburg

In the following years Rhegius wrote, among other things, a pamphlet against Andreas Karlstadt and a work against serfdom , which Luther pointed out as exemplary in the Peasants' War . In the Last Supper dispute between Luther and Zwingli , he tried to mediate and participated in the formulation of the Confessio Augustana at the Diet of Augsburg in 1530 .

Lüneburg time

In 1530 Rhegius accepted an invitation from Duke Ernst I of Lüneburg to Celle , where, as superintendent , he devoted himself to the training of pastors and, in particular, to the writing of textbooks as well as examination and church regulations . In addition to Lüneburg, he also made a significant contribution to the breakthrough of the Reformation in Hanover .

Through correspondence, expert reports, but also personal meetings with other reformers, for example at the religious talk in Hagenau , Rhegius was influential far beyond his place of work. Among other things, he took a position against the Anabaptists in Münster and in 1540 stood up for the Jews in Braunschweig .

Rhegius was in direct contact with the first mayor after the Reformation in Hanover Anton von Berckhusen and at the same time a deacon at the market church there ; In 1536 the superintendent in Celle had drawn up a reformatory church order for Hanover.


Urbanus Rhegius had been married to Anna Weissbrugger from Augsburg since 1525 and had four sons and eight daughters. A thirteenth child, whose sex is unknown, was born after his death and soon passed away.

Works (selection)

  • Nova doctrina , 1526
  • The new empty sambt jrer laying , 1527
  • Seelenarznei , 1529 (consolation, was later published in ten languages ​​and had 90 editions)
  • Formulae quadam , 1535
  • Dialogue of the Beautiful Sermon , 1536



  • Anton G. Schlichthaber: Mindische Kirchengeschichte , Minden 1749–1755, here in one of the 5 volumes: "Vita Urbani Rhegi"
  • Sebastian Ruf: Doctor Jacob Strauss and Doctor Urban Regius . In: Archives for history and antiquity of Tyrol 2 (1865), pp. 67–81
  • David Schönherr: Franz Schweyger's Chronicle of the City of Hall 1303–1572 (= Tyrolean historical sources 1), Innsbruck 1867, pp. 21 and 80–82
  • Maximilian Liebmann : Urbanus Rhegius and the beginnings of the Reformation. Contributions to his life, his teaching and his work up to the Augsburg Diet of 1530; with a bibliography of his writings. Aschendorff, Münster 1980
  • Hellmut Zschoch : Reformatory existence and denominational identity. Urbanus Rhegius as a Protestant theologian from 1520 to 1530 (= contributions to historical theology 88), Tübingen 1995
  • Heinz Moser: Forest Foundation Hall in Tirol. Documents from the years 1490–1856 (= Tiroler Geschistorquellen 44), Innsbruck 2000, pp. 42–46
  • Romedio Schmitz-Esser: About runaway nuns and charismatic preachers. The teachings of Luther and their expression in Hall in Tirol. In: Tiroler Heimatblätter 82/1 (2007), pp. 12-18
  • Hellmut Zschoch:  Rhegius, Urbanus. In: Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon (BBKL). Volume 8, Bautz, Herzberg 1994, ISBN 3-88309-053-0 , Sp. 122-134.
  • Julius August WagenmannRhegius, Urbanus . In: Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (ADB). Volume 28, Duncker & Humblot, Leipzig 1889, pp. 374-378.


Web links

Commons : Urbanus Rhegius  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Digitized works on the Internet:

Biographical articles

Individual evidence

  1. Compare the translation of the inscription of a lost epitaph in: Sabine Wehking : Holdings: DI 36 (Hannover) / No. 190 † Marktkirche 1597, 1598, 1607 , in: Inscription catalog: City of Hannover on German inscriptions online .
  2. ^ Jens Schmidt-Clausen: Rhegius (see literature).