Honors Program Theses


Open Access Honors Program Thesis

First Advisor

Jay Lees


On the 31st of July, 1555, the noted Protestant reformer, Philipp Melanchthon, wrote this short note to his colleague, Adam Wasser: "[Melanchthon] betet um Rettung vor Gefahren, der Seuche in [Wittenberg], [Petrus Canisius] in Prag und den Turken." The man in Prague whom Melanchthon referred to was a priest of the Society of Jesus. This Peter Canisius (1521-1597) must surely have been either a terror or great nuisance to Melanchthon in order to put this man on the same level as the dangers of plague and the Turks. In fact, this man was a formidable opponent, a forerunner of the Catholic Reformation in Germany. His weapons were the pulpit, pen, and lecture hall, and his arenas of combat were the universities of the German-speaking world. Melanchthon denounced the Jesuit priest as an "Irrlehrer," a crazy teacher, yet through Canisius's efforts Catholicism was able to keep a hold in Germany despite the effectiveness of the Protestant Reformation. Other nicknames, such as the Second Apostle to Germany and Hammer of Heretics, displayed the endearment of the Catholic Church of Germany, and later he became a Saint and Doctor of the Church for his presence and efforts in thirty two cities and towns within Germany .

Year of Submission



Department of History

University Honors Designation

A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the designation University Honors


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Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (20 pages)