(Alveldt, or Alveldianus)
One of the earliest and most aggressive opponents of Luther, born in the village of Alfeld, near Hildesheim, from which he took his surname; died probably in 1532, Nothing is known of his parentage, youth, and early ciscan of the Regular Observance, belonging to the Saxon Province of the Holy Cross. The Absence of his name on the matriculation rosters of the philosophical and theological universities of Erfurt, Rostock, Leipzig, and Wittenberg, usually frequented by the members of the above-named province, leaves the presumption that he made his studies in one of the monastic schools. At the solicitation of Adolf of Anhalt, Bishop of Merseburg, in 1520 being already Lector of Holy Writ at Leipzig, he entered the theological arena to controvert the Lutheran heresy (Mencken, Scriptores rer. Ger., II, 56). On 20 January, 1521 he presided at the public theological disputation held at Weimar, between Lange, Mechler, and the Franciscans, on the merit of monastic vows and life (Kapp, Kleinere Nachlese nützlicher Urkunden zur Erläuterung der Reformationsgeschichte, II, 514, Leipzig, 1727), the result of which has not be handed down, though it called forth a satirical poem at the time (ib., 520). In 1523 he became Guardian of the monastery at Halle, in which position he is still found in 1528. In 1529 he was elected Provincial of the Saxon Province of the Holy Cross.
Alfeld was a man of fine linguistic attainments, a fluent Latinist, familiar with the ancient classics, conversant with Greek and Hebrew, and well acquainted with the humanistic writings of his day. His theology was that of medieval scholasticism, in which he proved "that the old theological training did not leave the antagonists of Luther helpless and unprepared in combating the novel, and to the theologically disciplined mind contradictory, assertions" (Otto, Johannes Cochlæus, 132, Breslau, 1874. As Lector of Holy Writ , he devoted much attention and thought to the Bible , so that he can state that "from my childhood I have devoted my time and life to it" (super apostolicâ Sede, etc., iiia). In the textual studies of the Greek and Hebrew versions, the translation of Erasmus, the exegetical writings of Faber Stapulensis (Lefèvre d'Etaples) and the Complutensians, he shows a keen, analytical mind and sound judgment. His memory and reputation, however, rest on his polemical activity and writings. The latter are marred at times by a tone of bitterness and sarcasm that detract from their intrinsic worth and gave his opponents, notably Lonicer, Luther's amanuensis (Biblia nova Alveldensis Wittenbergae Anno MDXX) opportunity to censure the catalogue epithets flung at Luther (Cyprian, Nützliche Urkunden zur Erläuterung der Reformationsgeschichte, II, 158). If it be remembered that Luther calls him bos Lipsicus (De Wette, Briife, Sendschreiben, etc., I, 446); asinus (op. cit., 451, 453, 533); Lipsiensis asinus (op. cit., 471, 475, 542), merely to single out a few controversial amenities, his literary style may be measurable condoned.
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.
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