Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo


Theologian, b. at Buchen in Baden, about 1465; d. at Amorbach in Lower Franconia, 17 May, 1531. His family, whose name was Koch, came from Wimpfen on the Neckar, hence he was called Wimpina. He matriculated at the University of Leipzig (1479-80) and remained there until 1505; in 1481 he obtained the baccalaureate degree, and in 1485 was made magister. He was a pupil of Martin Polich of Mellerstadt and an adherent of Thomistic philosophy. In 1491 he was made a member of the philosophical faculty, in 1494 rector, and in 1494-95 dean. Having taken the theological course, he was made cursor in 1491 and sententiarius in 1494; in 1502 he received the degree of licentiate. He was ordained at Wurzburg, in 1495, as subdeacon, about 1500 as priest. He received the degree of Doctor of Theology from Cardinal-Legate Perandi at Leipzig, 1503. In 1505 Elector Joachim I of Brandenburg called Wimpina to Frankfort-on-the-Oder to organize the new university and to be its first rector ; he was several times dean of the theological faculty. He received canonries in the cathedrals of Brandenburg and Havelberg, and in 1530 took part in the Diet of Augsburg as theologian of the Elector Joachim, whom he accompanied to Cologne for the election of King Ferdinand. He then retired to his native land.

His first publication, "Ars epistolandi" (1486), and a poem in praise of the university and city of Leipzig (1488) are of little importance. In 1493 Wimpina showed in the "Tractatus de erroribus philosophorum" that Aristotle was wrong in various propositions which disagreed with dogma. As rector he delivered several orations that show wide reading. From 1500-04, in a dispute with his former instructor Polich, Wimpina defended theology and Polich poetry, each attaching the other with exaggerated and personal abuse. Wimpina was one of Luther's first opponents. In 1518 he defended the legend that St. Anne had three husbands in succession and had a child Mary, by each one of them (De d. Annae trinubio), against Sylvius Egranus, in whose defence Luther took part. In the dispute over indulgences Wimpina composed the theses which Johann Tetzel debated at Frankfort, 20 January, 1518. These theses contained the doctrine of the Church, but on the question of indulgences for the dead maintained merely a Scholastic opinion, preached by Tetzel. He also wrote a series of treatises and held disputations against Luther's doctrine. His polemics are combined in the "Anacephalaeosis" (1528), one of the most complete refutations of Lutheranism. In that age of pamphlets the work did not receive the attention it deserved. At the Diet of Augsburg Wimina, Mensing, Redorfer, and Elgersma drew up, against Luther's seventeen Swabian articles, the "Christlichen Unterricht gegen die Bekanntnus M. Luthers". Wimpina was commissioned to confute the "Confessio Augustana", and took part in the disputation about reunion. He was conservative, quiet, of unimpeachable character, immovable in his convictions, but somewhat petty by nature.

More Encyclopedia

The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed between 1907 and 1912 in fifteen hard copy volumes.

Catholic Encyclopedia

Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.

No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.

Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912

Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ephesians 6:10-20
10 Finally, grow strong in the Lord, with the strength of his ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 144:1, 2, 9-10
1 [Of David] Blessed be Yahweh, my rock, who trains my hands for war and ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 13:31-35
31 Just at this time some Pharisees came up. 'Go away,' they said. 'Leave ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 27th, 2016 Image

St. Frumentius
October 27: Called "Abuna" or "the fa¬≠ther' of Ethiopia, ... Read More