Leipzig Debate

As Leipzig debate is a fierce theological debate between the Catholic theologian Johann Eck and the leaders of the Reformation, Martin Luther, Andreas Karlstadt and Philipp Melanchthon, referred to, which took place in 1519.

Since 1518 there had been theological disputes between Eck and the Reformers, which were held in written form. Then, a clarifying conversation has been proposed which - organized by the University of Leipzig - from June 27 to July 16, 1519 at the Leipzig Pleissenburg in the presence of the Duke George of Saxony - a decided opponent of the Reformation - took place. The main topics were the position of the papacy and the Church's teaching authority, human free will in relation to the divine grace, and the drain.

The opening speech for the defense held Peter Mosellanus who tried to the end, to mediate between the parties to the dispute.

The plump Johannes Eck with his steely voice was at that time compared to an even slighter Luther. Eck vehemently defended the teaching authority of papacy and councils whose ability Luther asserted error. The Wittenberg took the view that only from Scripture ( sola scriptura ) of the papal primacy can not be justified. Eck saw this as an opportunity in the same year to publish his work De primatu Petri, an apologetics of the papacy against the Protestant criticism.

Luther countered that neither Pope nor Council have ultimate authority in matters of faith. As so often in such a dispute the outcome was a draw at the end. However, a statement of Luther had a special meaning: Luther discovered in the course of the defense, that not all are theses of Jan Hus, who had condemned the Council of Constance heretical. Some of them are even very Christian and Protestant. This assertion was at that time so outrageous that Duke George of Saxony, cursing with the words " The violence the addiction! " Jumped up from the chair. This is the final rupture between Luther and Rome had been completed, so it was too late for a reconciliation.

Another minor character was the Electorate Council, Dr. jur. Hans Edler von der Planitz who on behalf of Luther friendly to Elector Friedrich III. was sent from Saxony to the Leipzig disputation. Planitz took the dispute Party for Martin Luther and preserved him of his right to appeal against John Eck. Luther thanked later in a letter to the elector: " And would Hans von Planitz, your Electoral Highness Captain to Grimsby, not for him, I would have been quite as meaning the same as your Electoral Highness may well report ".

On July 15, held the rector of the University of Leipzig, Johann Langius Lembergius, the closing speech of defense.

Both sides claimed after the end of the victory. Historically, it can be stated that at the Leipzig disputation documented the main differences between Catholic and Reformation doctrine and the break between Rome and the Lutherans was manifested. Following the Leipzig debate Johann Eck had long not rest until he obtained a bull of excommunication against Luther in Rome.