Complete Critical Edition of the Works and Letters of Andreas Bodenstein von Karlstadt

In Co-operation with the Göttingen Academy of Sciences and Humanities, Mr Prof. Dr. Thomas Kaufmann

The life and works of Andreas Bodenstein von Karlstadt (1486-1541) reflect the fundamental changes in religion and culture during the first half of the 16th century. Educated at the chairs of Thomistic philosophy in Erfurt and Cologne, the young Karlstadt soon integrated Scotistic and humanist elements into his teaching and worked to combine theology and legal methods. Influenced by Luther and impressed by the Augustinian theology of grace, for a time he became the reformer’s closest companion, until differing theological positions and the new the Wittenberg city ordinance caused them to fall out. In the period that followed, Karlstadt attempted farming and lay preaching, and rejecting academic degrees and clerical status, he abandoned his doctorate. After various interludes, he was appointed preacher in Zurich, finally even becoming professor in Basle. Karlstadt developed a theology of his own, which differs significantly from Luther’s doctrine in its theories on grace and the Eucharist.

The aim of the project is to provide an edition of all the writings and letters of Karlstadt. The head of the project is Thomas Kaufmann, Professor of Church history at the University of Göttingen. The project is being hosted by the Göttingen Academy of Sciences and Humanities since October 2015. The first phase of the project until 2015 published 70 editorial items (treatises, theses, annotations, letters, poems, letters of dedication) from the period between 1507 and 1518. The second phase until 2018 comprises 62 editorial items until 1520. The letters to Georg Spalatin, texts concerning the conflict with Johannes Eck, texts to the lecture De impii iustificatione, the flysheet Himmel- und Höllenwagen, the theses series De tribulationis et praedestinationis materia and the Missive von der allerhöchsten Tugend Gelassenheit, writings concerning the conflict with the Franciscans, texts to the Roman trial of Luther and Karlstadt and writings to the biblical canon are contained. The edition is based on TEI-P5. The texts will be published online and in print, making use of the advantages of both publishing formats.

Digital edition (under construction):

Project website:


Funding: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft
Duration: April 2012 – March 2021
Researchers: Dr. Stefania Salvadori, Jennifer Bunselmeier