Gansfort, Wessel

Gansfort, Wessel
(ca. 1419-1489)
   Dutch humanist and theologian, closely linked to the spiritual movement known as Devotio Moderna. A native of Groningen, about 1432 he went to Zwolle, where he lived in a house of the Brethren of the Common Life, first as a pupil and later as a teacher, and became a close friend of Thomas à Kempis, the probable author of the famous book of meditations, The Imitation of Christ. In 1449 he matriculated in the University of Cologne (B.A. 1450, M.A. 1452). He then spent several years travelling, first in Germany, where he associated with other influential scholars, including Johann Reuchlin and the theologian Gabriel Biel, and then in Italy, where he lived and studied at Rome, Venice, and Florence. He spent most of the years 1458-1470 at Paris, continuing his study of philosophy and theology. In 1475 Gansfort returned to the Netherlands and spent the last years of his life there, frequently as a guest of monasteries at Zwolle and Groningen. The latter, a Cistercian convent, was the center for meetings of an informal association of humanists known as the Academy of Aduard, a group that included pioneering northern humanists such as Rudolf Agricola and Alexander Hegius.
   Gansfort's writings include several works on religious meditation, the most influential being Scala meditationis / Ladder of Meditation, and he became known (and in the opinion of some contemporaries, dangerous) because of his rejection of medieval scholastic theology. His works emphasized the importance of inward, personal devotion expressed in moral action, and he affirmed the central role of the Bible as the source of Christian life and doctrine. Both Martin Luther and Erasmus later found some similarity between his beliefs and those of Luther. Modern scholars have had difficulty defining the influence of his works on the origin of Protestantism. Several of them were collected and published at Basel and Wittenberg in 1522. His treatise on the Eucharist (De sacramento eucharistiae) was one of the sources of the rejection of the Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation by later Protestants and influenced the eucharistic doctrine of the reformer of Zürich, Huldrych Zwingli.

Historical Dictionary of Renaissance. . 2004.

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  • GANSFORT, Wessel — (c. 1419–1489)    Born in Groningen, Gansfort studied with the Brothers of the Common Life, founded by Geert Groote, in Zwolle and in Cologne and Heidelberg, Germany. He later taught at the University of Paris for many years. His broad eru dition …   Historical Dictionary of the Netherlands

  • GANSFORT (W.) — GANSFORT WESSEL (1419 env. 1489) Né à Groningue, en Frise, Wessel Gansfort fait ses études à Cologne. Doté d’une immense culture, il vient, peu après 1450, affronter les maîtres nominalistes à Paris, où il resta près de vingt ans, avant de… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Gansfort — Gansfort, Wessel (dies der Vorname, nicht Johann), Vorläufer der Reformation, geb. um 1420 in Groningen, erzogen von den Brüdern des gemeinsamen Lebens zu Zwolle, lehrte nachmals die Philosophie in Köln, Löwen, Heidelberg und Paris und starb nach …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Gansfort — Johann Wessel (* 1419 in Groningen; † 4. Oktober 1489 ebenda; auch unter den Beinamen Gansfort, Goesfort, Gösevort oder Basileus, dem griechischen Wort für Wessel) [1] war berühmter Platoniker und Humanist, Vorläufer der deutschen Reformation,… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Wessel Gansfort — Wessel Harmensz Gansfort (1419 ndash; October 4 1489), was a theologian and (proto)humanist of the northern Low Countries. Many variations of his last name are seen and he is sometimes incorrectly called Johan Wessel.Gansfort was born at… …   Wikipedia

  • Gansfort, John Wessel — • A fifteenth century Dutch theologian, born at Gröningen in 1420; died there on 4 Oct., 1489 Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006 …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Gansfort — Gansfort, Vorläufer Luthers, s. Wessel, Joh …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Gansfort —   [ xansfɔrt], Wessel, eigentlich Johan Wẹssel, niederländischer Reformtheologe, Philosoph und Humanist, * Groningen um 1419, ✝ ebenda 4. 10. 1489; Schüler der Brüder vom gemeinsamen Leben; bestritt die kirchlichen Lehren von der Unfehlbarkeit… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Wessel [1] — Wessel, 1) (gräcisirt Basilius, nach seinem Stammort Gansfort) Johann, geb. wahrscheinlich 1420 in Gröningen; studirte in Köln, lebte dann lange mit Studium u. Lehre der Philosophie beschäftigt in Paris, besuchte Rom, kehrte nach Paris zurück,… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Wessel — Wessel, Vorläufer der Reformation, s. Gansfort …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

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