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Leigh Penman: 'The Unanticipated Millennium. Paul Egard, Orthodoxy, Heterodoxy and Chiliastic Error

Leigh Penman: 'The Unanticipated Millennium. Paul Egard, Orthodoxy, Heterodoxy and Chiliastic Error

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From Leigh T.I. Penman, 'The Unanticipated Millennium. Orthodoxy, Heterodoxy and Chiliastic Error in Paul Egard’s 'Posaune der göttlichen Gnade und Liechts (1623). Pietismus und Neuzeit. Ein Jahrbuch zur Geschichte des neueren Protestantismus 35 (2009), 11-45.

This is an uncorrected proof version of the article. Several typographical errors and errors of expression were corrected for the final printed version. The pagination remains the same.
From Leigh T.I. Penman, 'The Unanticipated Millennium. Orthodoxy, Heterodoxy and Chiliastic Error in Paul Egard’s 'Posaune der göttlichen Gnade und Liechts (1623). Pietismus und Neuzeit. Ein Jahrbuch zur Geschichte des neueren Protestantismus 35 (2009), 11-45.

This is an uncorrected proof version of the article. Several typographical errors and errors of expression were corrected for the final printed version. The pagination remains the same.

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Categories:Types, Research, History
Published by: lpenman on Mar 11, 2010
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T.I. P
The Unanticipated Millennium.Orthodoxy, Heterodoxy and Chiliastic Error in Paul Egard’s Posaune der göttlichen Gnadeund Liechtes (1623)
Paul Egard (c. 1578
1655), pastor of the village of Nortorf in Holstein,is one of the most intriguing and enigmatic figures in seventeenth-cen-tury Lutheranism.
A devout minister praised widely for his pastoralskills, his mental acuity and his command of doctrine, Egard was also oneof the first members of the Lutheran church to adopt a chiliastic view of history. Yet Egard’s chiliasm did not represent a break from the tenets of orthodox Lutheranism, or so he believed. Rather, Egard saw millenari-anism as a potential complement and valuable addition to the spiritualarmory of his faith. The centrepiece of Egard’s millenarian vision was his
Posaune der göttlichen Gnade und Liechtes
This work was an inge-nious, detailed interpretation of the controversial 20
chapter of Reve-lation, which, Egard hoped, would become the foundation work uponwhich he could construct an extensive new devotional program, andusher in a new golden age for an embattled Lutheranism.Egard’s advocacy of millenarianism in 1623 was remarkable, for it ap-peared in the midst of a polemical onslaught by fellow Lutheran divines11
I gratefully acknowledge the assistance of Dr. Jürgen Beyer (Tartu), who introduced me toa wealth of little-known sources containing important information on Egard. Prof. Dr. Manfred Jakubowski-Tiessen (Göttingen), Prof. Charles Zika (Melbourne), Dr. Catherine Kovesi (Mel-bourne) and Dr. Grantley McDonald (Tours) all read and commented on prior drafts of thisarticle. The research was supported by grants from the Günther-Findel-Stiftung zur Förderung der Wissenschaften at the Herzog August Bibliothek, Wolfenbüttel, and the Deutscher Akade-mischer Austauschdienst.The strange case of Paul Egard was first discussed in
Johannes Wallmann
: Zwischen Reformationund Pietismus. Reich Gottes und Chiliasmus in der lutherischen Orthodoxie. In: Verifikatio-nen. FS Gerhard Ebeling. Hg. v. Eberhard Jüngel. Tübingen 1982, 187
205, here 197
Paul Egard:
Posaune der göttlichen Gnade und Liechtes: Das ist/ Offenbahrung unnd Ent-deckung des göttlichen Geheimnüß im Apocalypsi, von den tausend Jahren/ darinn die le-bendig gemachten Heiligen/ mit Christo sollen herrschen. Oder Erklärung deß ZwantzigstenCapittels der Offenbahrung Jesu Christi [...]. Lüneburg: Stern 1623.
chiliastic heresy. Defined very broadly, chiliasm is the belief that,before the Last Judgment, there will be a time of God-granted felicityupon earth.
Such a belief ran contrary to the pessimistic convictions of apocalyptic orthodox Lutheranism. In glossing the key passages of Rev-elation 20, Luther himself believed that the millennium, that period of grace and happiness for the church, had occurred firmly in the past. TheAugsburg Confession (1530), as well as later elaborations of Lutherandoctrine, defined chiliastic heresy strictly; usually as an expectation of aliteral 1,000 year reign of Christ on earth. However, in the early seven-teenth century, dissidents and New Prophets such as Paul Nagel (†1624),Wilhelm Eo Neuheuser and Paul Felgenhauer (1593
after 1677), as wellas texts such as the Rosicrucian manifestos, began to propagate millen-arian visions that did not rely explicitly on Revelation 20.
In reaction tothis development, several influential theologians, chief amongst themDaniel Cramer (1569
1637) and Johann Affelmann (1588
1624), broad-ened the definition of the error significantly, articulating a new categoryof the error called
chiliasmus subtilis
In essence, the creation of 
opened the floodgates of interpretation. Its introduction meantthat virtually any expectation of a felicitous future, be it worldly or spir-itual, lasting a 1,000 years or only one, could be understood as an expres-sion of chiliastic heresy.
The millennium presented by Egard in the
was limited in its nature. The pastor did not await a glorious earthlykingdom of Christ that would endure 1,000 years. Instead, he anticipateda millennium that would flourish for only a very brief period, and at that,only spiritually, in the hearts of true believers. It was a bold predictionthat, under the contemporary theological definitions, was nevertheless anexpression of chiliastic error.Given the effective outlawing of chiliastic expectation of any kindwithin Lutheranism only shortly before its publication in 1623, Egard’s
presented an unexpected, and certainly unanticipated millenarianvision. The present article, the first to offer sustained attention to thisimportant yet overlooked Lutheran figure and his work, is devoted toexplicating Egard’s millennial prediction, paying special attention toidentifying its sources, its contexts and its troubled reception. I argue that12
I further elaborate the nature and necessity of this broad definition of millenarianism whenconsidering the belief amongst Lutherans in the introduction to my forthcoming work;
LeighT.I. Penman:
Unanticipated Millenniums. The Lutheran Experience of Chiliastic Thought,1600
1630. (Studies in Early Modern Religious Reforms). Dordrecht, forthcoming.
Ibid., chapters one and two.
Daniel Cramer:
De Regno Jesu Christi Regis Regum & Domini Dominantium semper-in-victi. Stettin: Kelner für Eichorn 1614, 310ff.;
Johann Affelmann
(praes.) &
M. Daniele Spalchavero
(resp.): Illustrium quaestionum theologicarum heptas. Rostock: Ferberus 1618.
, Zwischen Reformation und Pietismus [see note 1], 192
195; See further 
, Unanticipated Millenniums [see note 3], chapter four.
Egard drew on contemporary non-Lutheran and
sources inorder to inform the nature of his chiliastic program, but, unlike contem-porary dissidents, his intention in promoting a forthcoming millenniumwas never to lead souls away from the Lutheran church. Instead, having witnessed the success and excitement that the chiliastic expectations of the Rosicrucian manifestos and the New Prophets had aroused, Egardsought to combine these influential beliefs with an Arndtian devotionalframework to create a new and invigorating Lutheran
Erbauungsphiloso- phie 
. This was a philosophy, Egard hoped, that would bolster the heartsand minds of a population threatened by the hardships of war, famine,and pestilence, and even attract back to the fold Lutherans who had beentempted by dissident chiliastic ideas.
1. Egard’s Life 
Little is known about the life of Paul Egard, the
Arndius Cimbrae 
 Johann Arndt of the Northern Mark,’ despite his prolific literary out-put.
He was born in 1578 or 1579 as the son of a church organist inKellingshausen in the Duchy of Holstein. In May 1599, Egard matricu-lated at Rostock University, but was forced to abandon his studies shortlythereafter due to a lack of funds.
The young man briefly served as dea-con in Kellingshausen in 1600, before taking up the same post at St.Marien in Rendsburg, where he was also appointed teacher of the Latinschool in 1601.
In mid-1610, on account of his lucid and inspiring ser-mons, Egard was recommended by a local nobleman to King ChristianIV of Denmark, and was thereafter appointed on royal authority to thepastorate of the village of Nortorf.
The following account is based upon
Johann Möller:
Cimbria literata, sive Scriptorum du-catis utriusque Slesvicensis et Holsatici, quibus et alii vicini quidam accensentur, historia literariatriparta. Kopenhagen 1744, I, 151
Isagoge ad historiam chersonesi cimbricae. Ham-burg: Bredenckius für Liebezeit 1691, II, 169f.;
August Tholuck:
Lebenszeugen der lutherischenKirche aus allen Ständen vor und während der Zeit des dreißigjährigen Krieges. Berlin 1859,397
Dieter Lohmeier:
Paulus Egardus.
In: Schleswig-Holsteinisches BiographischesLexikon 9, 1991, 102
Eduard Alberti:
Paulus Egardus.
In: ADB V, 655f.;
D. C.Carstens:
Geschichte der Predigt in Schleswig-Holstein. In: Zeitschrift der Gesellschaft für Schleswig-Holstein-Lauenbergische Geschichte 22, 1892, 159
237, here 172
Die Matrikel der Universität Rostock. Bd.2. Hg. v. Adolph Hofmeister. Rostock 1891,263a;
, Egardus [see note 6], 102.
, Art.
Paulus Egardus
[see note 7], 655;
Ernst Feddersen:
Kirchengeschichte Schles-wig-Holsteins. 3 Bde. Kiel 1907
1938, I, 295. Concerning his teaching appointment see
Paul Egard:
Medulla SS Theologiae sive Meditationes piae & utilissimae in S. Catechesin propositae.Hamburg: Heinrich Carstens 1622, A3v, B1r.
G. Reimer:
Wie Pastor Paulus Egardus nach Nortorf kam. In: Die Heimat (Kiel) 33,1923, 204ff.;
Friedrich Freytag:
Das Patronat der Kirche Sankt Martin in Nortorf. In: Die Kirche

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