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Thomas Muntzer's First Publication

Michael G. Baylor
The Sixteenth Century Journal
Vol. 17, No. 4 (Winter, 1986), pp. 451-458
DOI: 10.2307/2541383
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2541383
Page Count: 8
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Thomas Muntzer's First Publication
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Abstract

The first of his writings that Thomas Muntzer published was an "Open Letter to the Brothers at Stolberg," printed in the late summer or fall of 1523, in which he cautioned associates and perhaps relatives in his hometown of Stolberg against engaging in rebellion for the sake of religious reform. This article introduces the work and presents an English translation of it. The translation is based upon a facsimilie reprint of the original printed version. The introduction briefly examines the background of the work, comments on its stylistic qualities, and explains how, despite its opposition to "inappropriate rebellion" (unfuglicher Aufruhr), the letter provides early evidence of Muntzer's commitment to radical politics as well as to a mystical spirituality based upon the possibility of receiving extra-Scriptural revelations.

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