Bishop Hans  Tausen

Bishop Hans Tausen

Male 1494 - 1561  (67 years)


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Hans Tausen as a young man

Hans Tausen (Tavsen) (1494-11 November 1561) was the leading Lutheran theologian of the Danish Reformation in Denmark. He served as Bishop of Ribe and published the first translation of the Pentateuch into Danish in 1535
ans Tausen was born at Birkende on Funen in Denmark. Very little is known about his childhood and youth, but apparently he was a pupil at the grammar schools at Odense and Slagelse, finally settling down as a friar in the monastery of the Order of Saint John of Antvorskov near Slagelse. After studying at Rostock, where he got the degree of a master of arts and also after being ordained as a priest, he studied for a short time at the University of Copenhagen, and was then again sent abroad by his prior, visiting, among other places, the newly founded University of Leuven in Belgium and making the acquaintance of the Dutch humanists. He was already a good linguist, understanding both Latin and Hebrew. Subsequently, he translated the books of Moses from the original.

The theologian Hans Tausen (1494-1561) is one of the definitely leading figures of the Reformation in Denmark. Though, allegedly, the son of a peasant, as a monk at the Antvorskov Monastery he had the opportunity for studying theology at several universities, including Wittenberg where he made Martin Luther's acquaintance. Shortly afterwards he joined the Lutheran reform movement and brought the rebellious ideas with him to his native country. However, in his showdown with the Catholic Church in Denmark he was met with considerable resistance (not least when he married!), but after the Reformation in 1536 he increasingly achieved common recognition before being appointed bishop in Ribe in 1542.


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