Hoburg, Christian (1607-1675)

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Christian Hoburg, a mystic theologian, preacher of the Dompelaar Mennonite Church at Hamburg, had an eventful life. Orphaned early, he entered the University of Königsberg under great difficulty, left without completing his course, became a private tutor at Lauenburg, then cantor and assistant preacher, studied the works of Arndt and Schwenckfeld, and fought to prevent the ruin of his church. In 1640 he was proofreader and assistant preacher in Uelzen, was dismissed from his church office, took a position as tutor in Hamburg, then proofreader in a Lüneburg print shop, wrote here under the pen name of Elias Prätorius his most important work, Spiegel der Missbräuche, and under the pen name of Bernhard Baumann, Das ärgerliche Christentum. Under Duke August of Wolfenbüttel he received the pastorate at Borne, from which he was rudely deposed. In a complicated financial state brought on by his charities he left Brunswick and secured a position as chaplain on an estate in Geldern. This position he also had to give up because of his attacks on the church. He then served as preacher of the Reformed Church at Latum (Rhineland) for 16 years until his mysticism brought him into conflict with this congregation.

After a temporary residence in Amsterdam, he spent the rest of his life as a Mennonite preacher in Hamburg. His critique of the church and the era are significant. He stands on a high tower, and shows an unusual insight and vision. He was without doubt a highly gifted man, with the purest of motives, who, however, lacked the spiritual calm and strength to develop his teaching and carry it to a successful conclusion (Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie; Mennonitische Blätter). His books (not including those published under a pseudonym), Theologica Mystica: Das ist geheime Kraft-Theologie der Alten anweisende den Weg (Lüneburg, 1650); Der unbekannte Christus, Das ist gründlicher Beweiss, dass die heutige sogenannte Christenheit in allen Sekten den wahren Christus nicht recht kennen (Frankfurt and Leipzig, 1720) (with an interesting account of David Joris), were also widely read in the Mennonite families of the Palatinate.


Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie. 56 v. Leipzig, 1875-1912.

Arnold, Gottfried. Unparteiische Kirchen- und Ketzerhistorie vom Anfang des Neuen Testaments bis auf das Jahr Christi 1688. Frankfurt a. M., 1703. Reprinted Hildesheim: G. Olms, 1967: II, 17, chapters 1, 38; 6, 11; III, 13, 14-37.

Hege, Christian and Christian Neff.  Mennonitisches Lexikon. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe; Schneider, 1913-1967: II, 319 f.

Kochs, E. "Das Kriegsproblem in der spiritualistischen Gesamtanschauung Christian Hoburgs." Zeitschrift für Kirchengeschichte 46 (1927): 246.

Mennonitische Blätter (1854): 11.

Die Religion in Geschichte and Gegenwart, 2nd ed. Tübingen: Mohr, 1927-1932. II, where the following are cited: Biographisch Woordenboek van Prot. Godsgeleerden en Neerl: IV, 49.

Ritschl, Albrecht. Geschichte des Pietismus in der reformirten Kirche. Bonn: Adolph Marcus, 1880: 61.

Seeberg, Erich. Gottfried Arnold: die Wissenschaft und die Mystik seiner Zeit: Studien zur Historiographie und zur Mystik. Meerane i. Sa. : E.R. Herzog, 1923: 343.

Winkel, Rudolf. Mystische Gottsucher der Nachreformationzeit. 1925: 31.

Author(s) Christian Neff
Date Published 1956

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MLA style

Neff, Christian. "Hoburg, Christian (1607-1675)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1956. Web. 16 Feb 2019. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Hoburg,_Christian_(1607-1675)&oldid=120562.

APA style

Neff, Christian. (1956). Hoburg, Christian (1607-1675). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 16 February 2019, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Hoburg,_Christian_(1607-1675)&oldid=120562.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, pp. 769-770. All rights reserved.

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