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Report: Sixteenth Century Studies Conference 2004 Session 128: Spiritualism and Anabaptism in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries Organizer: Geoffrey Dipple, Augustana College Chair: Sigrun Haude, University of Cincinnati "Paracelsus and Spiritualism" R. Emmet McLaughlin, Villanova University The Sixteenth Century Spiritualist Pedigree of Pietist Universalism: Johann Wilhelm Petersen's appeal to Joris, Denck and Luther Douglas Shantz, University of Calgary Spiritual Anabaptists: Just a Passing Phase? Geoffrey Dipple, Augustana College Report submitted by R. Emmet McLaughlin, Department History, Villanova University R. Emmet McLaughlin's paper examined the accuracy of the ascription of "spiritualism" to Paracelsus in the predominant secondary literature. This paper examined the accuracy of that ascription and concluded that Paracelsus was in fact not a Spiritualist, but perhaps an incipient materialist. The paper addressed three classic Spiritualist issues: Scripture, the church, and the sacraments. With regard to Scripture, Paracelsus adhered strictly to _sola scriptura_ as a means to free himself from the power of the clergy, both catholic and protestant. He wrote extensive commentaries. His longest work is in fact a commentary. He never suggests that the spirit would inspire the content of the Gospel directly without recourse to the written word. On the church, Paracelsus' Biblicism and anti-clericalism led him to reduce the clergy to the apostle who addressed unbelievers alone. However, given the importance of scripture, the role of the apostles in bringing the Bible and persuading unbelievers to accept it was crucial. His ecclesiology is minimalistic, but not spiritualistic. On the Sacraments, Paracelsus thought Baptism and the Eucharist were essential to salvation: the first implanted a new heavenly man in the believer while the second nourished that new man to maturity. His heavenly flesh theology bears some resemblance to the Spiritualist Caspar Schwenckfeld. However, Paracelsus tied the inner birth and nourishment to the outer sacraments, something that Schwenckfeld refused to do. Underlying his sacramental vision was a metaphysics more monist than dualism, and more materialist than spiritualist. He seems not to have grasped the concept of "immateriality." The boundaries between spirit and matter, soul and body, were often obscured. In fact, his greatest concern was to emphasis the oneness of the soul and the body, The Spiritualists by contrast strove to separate and distinguish the two as antithetical entities. This impulse lay at the root of their spiritualism. To apply Spiritualist to Paracelsus therefore robs the term of any clear meaning and renders it effectively useless for scholarly analysis. In the second paper, Geoffrey Dipple discussed the use of the term "Spiritualist Anabaptist" to describe Hans Denck and his disciples: Ludwig Haetzer, Christian Entfelder, Johannes Bünderlin, and Jacob Kautz. Obbe Phillips and David Joris are also sometimes included. Such radicals were generally considered Anabaptists who gradually moved into Spiritualism. They were seen to arise in the specific conditions of Strassburg's Anabaptism and to represent only a passing phase. However, recent research suggests that it was not limited to Strassburg, but had roots in Moravia. And far from representing a passing phase caused by those specific conditions, it may be a recurring phenomenon produced within Anabaptism as a response to enduring problems. Unfortunately, "Spiritualist Anabaptist" is not a carefully formulated historical designation. In fact, it combines two distinct groups from Ernst Troeltschıs schematization whose characteristics were often diametrically opposed. In general, the phenomenon is described as ephemeral and some recent scholars have doubted the usefulness of the term. Spiritualist Anabaptists seem to share an historical vision of a progressive spiritualization from the Old Testament to the New, and the New Testament to the post-Biblical "Fall of the Church." The Spiritualist Anabaptists usually claimed that the external church as not longer necessary and that any attempt to reestablish it should be based upon a new Apostolic commission. In Strassburg, the fractious infighting among the Anabaptists propelled them in this direction. In the North, Melchioritism has been viewed as an uneasy amalgam of Spiritualism and Anabaptism that began to break down after the debacle in Munster. The biblicist wing gathered around Menno Simons, Dirk Phillips, and Leonard Bouwens, while Obbe Phillips and David Joris became progressively more spiritualistic. Obbe came to regret and repudiate his role in rebaptizing, while Joris and his followers adopted a Nicodemite existence. Joris came to view baptism as unnecessary. Recent research, however, has challenged both the geographical locus and the theological progression from Anabaptism to Spiritualism. In effect, this research indicates that early Anabaptism was a composite of many contending forces, one of which eventually triumphed. It may well be that Bunderlin and Entfelder did not owe their spiritualism to Denck but rather to groups in the Anabaptist haven in Moravia. Instead of undergoing a spiritualist transformation in Strassburg, they may have brought it with them and injected into the Anabaptism stew in that city. In Moravia, Gabriel Ascherham represented a spiritualist position in competition with the eventually triumphant Biblicism of the Hutterities. Ascherham accused the latter of making Baptism into a new idol and urged that Baptism be abandoned. However, he retained a deep interest in the Lordıs Supper and did not repudiate all externals. Schwenckfeldian Spiritualism and the Czech Brethren may have played a role. Similar spiritualist pressures were felt in Dutch Anabaptism particularly among the Waterlanders and Collegiants. However, like Ascherham they did not want to abandon all externals. Rather than seeing Spiritualist Anabaptists as Anabaptists who spiritualized, it may make sense to see them as reformers seeking to combine these contending theological programs with varying degrees of success. In the final paper, Douglas H. Schantz, discussed the spiritualist "pedigree" of pietism. The radical Pietists, Johann Wilhelm Petersen (1649-1726) and his wife Johanna Eleonora (1644-1724) were prolific authors (150 texts published under Johann's name and 20 under Eleonora's) whose most distinctive teaching was the universal restoration of all things, including the Devil and the fallen angels. They counted Leibniz among their sympathizers. They distinguished a three-fold Gospel: the gospel of faith preached by Christ and his disciples; the gospel of the millennial kingdom that Jesus taught in a mystery; and the eternal gospel that God would reveal at the end of time. Their universalism derived from the English Philadelphian Jane Leade (1623-1704), but they differed from her in finding the doctrine in the scriptures and not relying solely on private illumination. They also saw a chain of illumined teachers such as Origen, Augustine, Joachim of Fiore, the young Luther and certain sixteenth century Anabaptist Spiritualists. The Petersens' appealed to Revelations 3:14, 14:6, 20:14, 21:1, 5, 22:13; Romans 11:33,36; I Corinthians 15:23, 24, 26; Matthew 25:31, 46; Isaiah 65:17, 66:22; 2 Peter 3:13; 2 Corinthians 1:20; Colossians 1:18, Hebrews 13:8; and Romans 5:15-20. For the Petersens, "eternal damnation" was only a very long period of purification. The eternality of human punishment cannot compare with God's eternality. Christ's restoration of things would be just as great as the corruption caused by Adam's fall. To think otherwise would be to give Adam greater power than Christ. His sacrifice suffices to save millions of worlds of sinners and evil spirits. Restoration will be gradual however, just a mother bears her children one at a time. Petersen's commitment to universalism was fed by three concerns: his Philadelphian eschatology, his abhorrence of the Reformed doctrine of predestination, and his desire to see the end of the religious struggles across Europe. The mystery of universal restoration was finally being revealed because the end was near. However, earlier thinkers had glimpsed the truth. Among them the Anabaptist Spiritualists Hans Denck (ca 1500-1527) and David Joris (ca. 1501-1556) figured prominently. Although the Anabaptists enjoyed a bad reputation because of the debacle at Münster, Petersen argued that they had true insights. After all, even the Qurıan held that truth that God is one. Petersen derived his information about Denck and Joris from Gottfried Arnold's _Unpartheiische Kirchen- und Ketzerhistorie_, a Pietist work that sought to retrieve those unjustly condemned by the Churches. The Anabaptist Spiritualists were examples of the gradual revelation of the universal restoration of all things.