An Evangelical Commonwealth: Johannes Eisemann on Law and the Common Good

CARITAS ET REFORMATIO: ESSAYS IN HONOR OF CARTER LINDBERG, p. 73, David M. Whitford, ed., Concordia Publishing House, 2002

Emory Legal Studies Research Paper

14 Pages Posted: 7 Aug 2011 Last revised: 14 Jan 2020

See all articles by John Witte

John Witte

Emory University School of Law

Date Written: 2002

Abstract

This essay, dedicated to Professor Lindberg in admiration and appreciation, introduces one such Lutheran jurist, Johannes Eisermann (ca. 1485-1558). Eisermann, a former student of Philipp Melanchthon, was the founding law professor of the new Evangelical University of Marburg and counselor to one of the strongest Lutheran princes of the day, Landgrave Philipp of Hesse. He took the new evangelical theology to heart and sought to translate it into new legal terms, both statutory and theoretical. Particularly important was Eisermann's work on the origin, nature, and purpose of a Christian commonwealth, which was first published in 1533. This was one of the first detailed statements of evangelical legal and political theory, and it anticipated many of the more famous political formulations of Protestant writers in the later sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

Keywords: Johannes Eisemann, Lutheran, Christian

Suggested Citation

Witte, John, An Evangelical Commonwealth: Johannes Eisemann on Law and the Common Good (2002). CARITAS ET REFORMATIO: ESSAYS IN HONOR OF CARTER LINDBERG, p. 73, David M. Whitford, ed., Concordia Publishing House, 2002, Emory Legal Studies Research Paper, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1863586

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