German radical reformer. In 1517/8 he attended lectures at Wittenberg and probably on M. Luther's recommendation became preacher in Zwickau in 1520. He developed a spiritual and mystical theology at odds with the literal biblical interpretation of Wittenberg. He was expelled in turn from Zwickau, Prague, and Allstedt, where as pastor (1523–4) he composed the first liturgies in German and also tracts in which he expressed reservations about Infant Baptism. At Mühlhausen in 1525 he recast the city government as an eternal council, pledged to the Word of God, and completed the establishment of reformed worship. He placed himself at the head of the local troops in the Peasants' War; after the defeat of the rebels he was executed. Several later Anabaptist leaders invoked his name and theology in their cause.
Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700) — Religion.