Gieseler, Johann Karl Ludwig (1792-1854)

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Johann Karl Ludwig Gieseler (b. 3 March 1792, d. 8 July 1854) was a church historian, professor of theology at the University of Göttingen, author of Lehrbuch der Kirchengeschichte (Bonn, 1840-53), English translation, A Textbook of Church History (N.Y., 1868), which contains a treatise on the Anabaptists (III, Part I, 196-200) and one on the Mennonites (Part II, 90-102), stating in terse and objective terms what was known by scholars at the time, and citing an amazing number of sources, including even the works of Menno Simons. He does not, of course, give a true picture. He traces the rise of the Mennonites to Thomas Müntzer. In the divisions of the Dutch Mennonites he sees the "repulsive picture of raw piety, crossed by vanity and self-assertion of the most petty kind," and concerning the Swiss Anabaptists he says, "Among them remnants of their original fanaticism continued a long time, and they differ in this from the Mennonites, who nevertheless regarded them as their brethren in faith and frequently had letters of intercession written by the States General to the cantons, as to Zürich in 1660, and to Bern in 1718." On the whole, this history shows clearly what great progress research had made in the field of Mennonite history.


Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. II, 113.

Author(s) Christian Neff
Date Published 1956

Cite This Article

MLA style

Neff, Christian. "Gieseler, Johann Karl Ludwig (1792-1854)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1956. Web. 24 Jun 2018.,_Johann_Karl_Ludwig_(1792-1854)&oldid=145242.

APA style

Neff, Christian. (1956). Gieseler, Johann Karl Ludwig (1792-1854). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 24 June 2018, from,_Johann_Karl_Ludwig_(1792-1854)&oldid=145242.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, p. 517. All rights reserved.

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