Müller, Karl (1852-1940)

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Karl Müller (1852-1940), a German Lutheran church historian, professor of history at the universities of Berlin, Halle, Giessen, Breslau, and (1903-1922) Tübingen. In addition to the studies he made in various fields of ancient and medieval church history, his most significant work was his Kirchengeschichte (Mohr, Tübingen), a comprehensive history of the church, which, however, he was unable to finish. Written in a good literary style, the book not only gave facts, but presented them in their interrelationship and interprets their development. Volume II (Part I published in 1902 and Part II 1919) offered a rather extended discussion of the Anabaptists, with a clear distinction between the revolutionary and peaceful branches of the movement. The concerns of the Anabaptist movement, which he considered the third large Reformation group beside the Lutheran and the Swiss wings, found a sympathetic evaluation; e.g., "It was significant enough that in the midst of the dissolution of all relationships there was here a brotherhood which placed holiness of living above all else and at the same time gained a footing among the lower classes, filling them with an independent religiosity" (p. 330).

Of Müller's many writings several are of indirect interest to the Mennonites for their treatment of certain problems: Kirche, Gemeinde und Obrigkeit nach Luther (1910); Luther und Karlstadt (1907); Die Waldenser und ihre einzelnen Gruppen bis zum Anfang des 14. Jahrhunderts (1886).

Müller was on the board of directors of the Association for Reformation History (Verein für Reformationsgeschichte), and was responsible for the publication of "Quellen zur Geschichte der Wiedertäufer."


Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. III, 180.

Die Religion in Geschichte and Gegenwart, 2. ed., 5 v. Tübingen: Mohr, 1927-1932: IV, 263 f.

Author(s) Paul Schowalter
Date Published 1957

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MLA style

Schowalter, Paul. "Müller, Karl (1852-1940)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1957. Web. 22 Feb 2024. https://gameo.org/index.php?title=M%C3%BCller,_Karl_(1852-1940)&oldid=144450.

APA style

Schowalter, Paul. (1957). Müller, Karl (1852-1940). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 22 February 2024, from https://gameo.org/index.php?title=M%C3%BCller,_Karl_(1852-1940)&oldid=144450.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, p. 772. All rights reserved.

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