Caspar Goltwurm on the Rhetoric of Natural Wonders

Philip M. Soergel

in Miracles and the Protestant Imagination

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780199844661
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199932856 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in Historical Theology

Caspar Goltwurm on the Rhetoric of Natural Wonders

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Chapter 4 examines the life and career of the Lutheran church official and theologian Caspar Goltwurm and the theology of miracles contained in his 1557 Book of Wondrous Works and Signs. Like Job Fincel, Goltwurm was also convinced that the many signs and wonders that were being worked in contemporary times were a sign of the coming Apocalypse. Yet Goltwurm moved well beyond Luther’s relatively cautious attitude toward signs and wonders to insist that these events were an alternative language God used to speak to the faithful and to convert the hard of heart. His intentions in his Book of Wondrous Works and Signs were to “decode” the texts he sensed were contained in nature’s wonders, relying on the conventions of traditional rhetoric to fix their meaning.

Keywords: rhetoric; natural signs and wonders; caspar goltwurm; apocalypticism

Chapter.  13163 words. 

Subjects: Christianity

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