StösSel, jOhann

Stössel, Johann, a German theologian who was largely implicated in the disputes of the second half of the 16th century, was born June 23, 1524, at Kitzingen, in Franconia, educated in philosophy and theology at Wittenberg, and became master in 1549. During the ensuing interimistic disputes, and in other connected controversies, he came to hold views in opposition to those of Wittenberg, and was, on that account, called to be court preacher at Weimar. In that capacity he assisted in the reformation of Durlach in 1556, and made himself conspicuous as the advocate of an extreme orthodoxy, and in the following year he attended the colloquy at Worms, where he came is to antagonism with Melancthon. Somewhat later he was made superintendent at Heldburg, and in 1558 he took part in the preparation of the noted Confutation, defending it against the objections of Strigel (q.v.) in a manner which characterizes an unqualified adherent of Flacianism. In 1560 he accompanied his prince to the Heidelberg disputation. His next dispute was with the Flacianists of Jena, his former friends, who began to suspect him when, in 1561, the consistory of Weimar was erected and Stössel became one of its assessors; and when he soon afterward was made superintendent at Jena and professor of theology, and when, acting in obedience to superior authority, he closed the pulpit against the Flacianists and peaceably consorted with their opponents, the rupture became complete. The quarrel ended in a victory for Stössel and in the utter overthrow of his antagonists. In 1562 he received the difficult appointment of mediator between the Flacian clergy and Strigel, and in that capacity issued a Superdeclaratio in response to Strigel's Declaratio. The result, was not favorable, however; numerous depositions followed and Strigel resigned from the university, leaving Stössel alone in the theological faculty until Selnecker and others came to reinforce him. An interval of peace now followed, during which he was made a doctor of divinity, being the first theologian of Jina to receive that degree (July 13, 1564). In 1567, however, a new sovereign recalled the Flacianists, and the latter at once issued a confutation of Stössel's Superdeclaratio; all ministers who had subscribed to the latter were compelled to resign their pulpits. Stössel was called by Charles Augustus, the elector of Saxony, to be superintendent at Pinra, and ultimately became the confessor of that prince. He used his influence in that position to win the elector to the support of the Crypto-Calvinists, with whom he had established friendly relations, but became involved in their misfortunes, and was imprisoned at Senftenberg, where he died on Reminiscere Sunday 1576. His wife died at the same time, and a single grave received the remains of both. See Löscher, Hist. Mot. 3, 167 sq.; Planck, Gesch. d. prot Lehrbegriffs, 5, 613 sq.; Salig, Gesch. d. Augsb. Conf. 3, 14 sq.; Acta Disputat. Vimar. 1561, p. 251 sq.; Hospinian, Hist. Sacram. 2, 266 sq.; Müller, Staats-Cabinet, 1, 153 sq.; Schwizer, Central- Dogmen, 1, 467 sq.

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