Buttlar, Eva Von

Buttlar, Eva Von the foundress of the German socalled Buttlar sect, was born at Eschwege, Hesse, in 1670. At the age of seventeen she married a French refugee, De Vesias, who was a dancing-master at Eisenach. She led a very dissipated life; and, being awakened under the influence of pietism, in '1697, she left her husband, and held religious meetings, in which, under the mask of higher sanctity, the most shameful things were committed. She founded at Allendorf, in 1702, the so-called Christian and Philadelphian Society; but within six weeks she was expelled with her adherents. The sect carried on its criminal proceedings at many other places, whither it emigrated. Eva was 'honored as the door of paradise, as the New Jerusalem, .as the mother of us all, as the Sophia come down from heaven, the new Eve, and the incarnation of the Holy Spirit. God the Father was incarnate in the candidate Winter, and God the Son in her youthful paramour Appenfelle; Marriage was declared to be sinful; sensual lust must be put to death in spiritual communion, then carnal communion is also holy. Eva lived in the most shameful harlotry with all the men of the sect; likewise the other women belonging to it. At Sasmannshausen, in Wittgenstein, where their secret worship had been watched, they were threatened with punishment, but escaped. In Cologne they connected themselves with the Roman Catholic Church. At Lide, near Pyrmont, their criminal madness reached its highest point. Winter was condemned to death, but had his punishment commuted to scourging (1706). Eva escaped the same punishment by flight, and carried on her scandalous conduct for some years longer, but with more prudence. At Altona she belonged outwardly to the Lutheran Church, leading a decent life. She died there after 1717. See Keller, Die Buttlarische Rotte, in Niedner's Zeitschriftfur historische Theologie (1845); Gibel, Geschichte des christlichen Lebens in der rheinisch- westphalischen -evangelischen Kirche (Coblentz, 1852), ii, 778-809; Dibelius, in Herzog's Real-Encyklop. (2d ed.) s.v.; Lichtenberger, Encyclopedie des Sciences Religieuses, s.v. (B. P.)

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