Starck, Johann August (1741-1816)
Johann August Starck, (1741-1816), chaplain at the court in Darmstadt, Germany, author of the Geschickte der Taufe und Taufgesinnten (Leipzig, 1789). Starck wrote his book in 1785 before being attacked by the rationalists as a secret Catholic and Jesuit, but points out that the book itself refutes such an aspersion because it claims to show that the Anabaptists (terrible "Schwärmer") arose because of Catholic errors and abuses.
The contents of the 438 pages fall into four parts: (1) A history of the concepts of baptism from the New Testament to the Reformation, pp. 1-131. (2) A history of the Anabaptists to Münster, pp.132-258, which devotes 23 pages to Müntzer, the Zwickau prophets, and Carlstadt, and claims that Müntzer, transmitted Anabaptist ideas to Hubmaier, Manz, Grebel, and Reublin at Waldshut on his personal visit there, and then treats the Peasants' War. The history of Anabaptism in Switzerland occupies pp. 167-219, followed by the Münsterite story on pp. 219-58. (3) Anabaptism after Münster, pp. 259-391. This last section includes the English Baptists, and the Dutch Remonstrants and Collegiants. (4) A final "Beschluss," pp. 392-438, gives a summary of Anabaptist principles, and a complete (?) list of all Mennonite congregations in Europe and Pennsylvania.
The sources upon which Starck chiefly depends are Bullinger's writings, Ottius' Annales, Fussli's Beyträge, Meshovius' Historia, Jehring's Historie, and Arnold's Kirchen- und Ketzerhistorie. Starck's attitude is fairer than most other writers on the subject, although he is still quite confused on various points.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, pp. 610-611. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Bender, Harold S. "Starck, Johann August (1741-1816)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 19 June 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/starck_johann_august_1741_1816.
APA style: Bender, Harold S. (1959). Starck, Johann August (1741-1816). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 19 June 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/starck_johann_august_1741_1816.