The early age of orthodoxy in German Lutheranism was a crucial period of transi-tion and solidification between the conciliatory Formula of Concord in 1577 and the work of early seventeenth-century dogmaticians such as Johann Gerhard (1582– 1637). During this “confessional age” Lutheran theologians struggled to protect the “pure teachings of Luther” while consolidating religious reforms and engaging in polemical battles with Roman Catholics, Calvinists, Anabaptists, and Jews. This article sheds new light on early orthodoxy by examining the career of Heinrich Heshusius (1556–97), a Lutheran superintendent in the north German city of Hildesheim. Together with the town council, mayor, and a network of Lutheran pastors, Heshusius fought what he saw as the dangerous inroads of local Jews and Jesuits, using a variety of political and polemical tactics. This article explores the confessional literature related to the controversy, explains attempts at conversion as well as expulsion, and contributes to ongoing discussions about how clergymen shaped and controlled community in urban, parish, and academic settings.
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