Thomas Müntzer

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Thomas Müntzer
Bornc. 1489
Stolberg, Holy Roman Empire
Died27 May 1525
Mühlhausen, Holy Roman Empire
Cause of deathExecution

Thomas Müntzer (1489 – 27 May 1525) was a German preacher and revolutionary during the Reformation. Martin Luther denounced him for his radical views.[1]

Early life

Müntzer was born in Stolberg in 1498. His father died from a scaffold because of the negligence of the Count of Stolberg. When he was 14, he organized a secret anti-Catholic group at the Halle school. After preaching in his neighborhood, he moved to Zwickau in 1520 and became an evangelical preacher.[1]


After Müntzer defended the Anabaptists, the city council expelled them from Zwickau, and Müntzer went to Prague. He tried to join the remnants of the Hussites but then fled Bohemia for Allstedt in Thuringia. He refused to preach in Latin and used a German translation of the Bible.[1]

Peasants' War

The princes ordered Müntzer to appear at the castle of Weimar on 1 August 1524 and threatened to extradite him. After he returned to Allstedt, Duke George demanded his extradition, leading him to flee to Nürnburg. He preached to the peasants and criticized Luther. A widespread peasant rebellion began in April 1525.[1]

Religious views

Müntzer did not believe that the Bible was the only perfect revelation and preached a form of pantheism. He believed the masses could establish a heaven on Earth instead of in the afterlife.[1]