Johannes Landtsperger was a Carmelite monk at the monastery of St. Anna in Augsburg, Germany. His writings were of no slight influence during the Reformation. Of his origin and early life nothing is known, and his personality is still cloaked in mystery. He was often confused with the Carthusian monk, Johann Justus Lansperger in Cologne (d. 1539), and especially with the parson of Landshut, Johann Müller alias Landtsberger of Eggenfelden in Lower Bavaria (d. ca. 1544). This has been thoroughly proved by Max Martin in his book, Joh. Landtsperger, Die unter diesem Namen gehenden Schriften und ihre Verfasser (Augsburg, 1902). According to his study, Landtsperger was closely akin to the Anabaptists in Augsburg. When severe persecution broke upon them in 1527 Landtsperger went to Switzerland. He attended the great disputation of 1528 in Bern and died there probably at the end of 1529 or the beginning of the next year.
Ottius mentions his book, Bin wahrhafte, kurtze underwysung, wohär man zinsz und zehenden schuldig seye. Zur erhaltung des Christlichen fridens und ufrur zu vermyden (1528). From this inclusion it was inferred that Ottius considered him an Anabaptist. But this is no doubt an error, for Landtsperger attacks the Anabaptists in this book. V. A. Winter most definitely considered him an Anabaptist, confusing him with the city pastor of Landshut. Ludwig Keller took it for granted that he was an unusually "influential Anabaptist writer." S. Calvary, who lists 11 of Landtsperger's writings, four being given in full, says (p. 130): "We believe that he actually had Anabaptist inclinations, because in his booklet, Ein Christliche underrichtung wie die Göttlich geschrifjt vergleycht soll werden, he confesses himself to be one." Dr. Martin has on valid grounds attributed this booklet to Hans Hut; Johannes Landtsperger is the publisher. In his book, Eine kurtze erinnerung etlicher geschrifft, daraus man den kindertauff nit zimmlich sein beweisen will (1528), Landtsperger defends infant baptism and reveals himself to be a sharp opponent of the Anabaptists, as also in an earlier book, Ein gründtlicher Bericht: vom christlichen Tauff und seyner Kraft und notdürfftigkait (1526).
Although it is possible that there were connections between Landtsperger and the Anabaptists in Augsburg concerning which we are not informed, he cannot be considered one of them. At any rate he soon gave up these connections and championed Zwingli and Oecolampadius, as his books on communion show.
Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. II, 614.
Keller, Ludwig. Die Reformation und die äälteren Reformparteien: in ihrem Zusammenhange dargestellt. Leipzig : S. Hirzel, 1885: 434.
Mitteilungen aus dem Antiquariat von S. Calvary & Co in Berlin. Berlin, 1869, I, 131-255.
Ottius, J. H. Annales anabaptistici. Basel, 1672: 47.
Schottenloher, K. Philipp Vlhart. Munich, 1921: 60-64.
Winter, V. A. Geschichte der Wiedertäufer im 16. Jahrhundert. Munich, 1908: 54-56.
Cite This Article
Neff, Christian. "Landtsperger, Johannes (d. ca. 1529)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1957. Web. 22 Aug 2014. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Landtsperger,_Johannes_(d._ca._1529)&oldid=95711.
Neff, Christian. (1957). Landtsperger, Johannes (d. ca. 1529). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 22 August 2014, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Landtsperger,_Johannes_(d._ca._1529)&oldid=95711.
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