Vom katholischen Deutschordensgebiet zum protestantischen Herzogtum Preußen

Friedrich Johannsen, Jens Riechmann


The secularisation of the domains of the Teutonic Order in Prussia led to the establishment of thefirst Lutheran territorial church in the world. This fact is almost forgotten today, and this is evidenteven in specialised literature on the Reformation. The article outlines the introduction of the Reformationin Prussia, considering it as an example of its smooth and successful entrenchment. In orderto show this, the late stage of the rule of the Teutonic Order is defined, showing that fundamentalreform was triggered by a multi-layered crisis characteristic of the Order’s domains in Prussia. Thearticle shows that, in coordination with Martin Luther and Philipp Melanchton, and assisted by hisbishops, after becoming the first Duke of Prussia in 1525, Albert, the Grand Master of the TeutonicOrder, implemented reforms in his domains that resembled the main problems raised by the Reformationin an almost exemplary way. But at the same time, it shows that the introduction of theReformation in Prussia was not a unidirectional process, for Duke Albert supported Andreas Osiander’sideas for some time, before he gradually entered the ranks of the confessors of Augsburg.

KEY WORDS: Teutonic Order, Prussia, Reformation, Albert, Martin Luther, Andreas Osiander.

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