Christoff Ostorodt


From A HISTORY OF UNITARIANISM : Socinianism etc., 1945 by Earl Morse Wilbur

[The Racovian 'Catechism'] was admirably supplemented by other writings which gave the Socinian doctrine fuller treatment and better arrangement. Of these the first was by Christoff Ostorodt, whose treatise on the chief points of the Christian religion23 was in fact published a year earlier than the Catechism itself. He was a son of a Lutheran pastor at Godar in the Harz, and was educated at Königsberg. Having become converted to Socinian views, he went to Poland, joined the Minor Church in 1585, learned the Polish language, and after an apprenticeship as teacher became minister of the important church at Smigiel in Great Poland,24 where he engaged in an important debate with Canon Powodowski of near-by Poznan in 1592.25 A few years later he went to Holland on a missionary journey which marked the first introduction of Socinianism into that country (etc) ; and in 1605 he became minister at Busków near Danzig, where he died in 1611. He was a man of profound learning, conservative in his doctrinal and social views, and as minister held his people up to an extremely strict standard of Christian character. Deep interest in his fellow-countrymen led him to publish in German the treatise mentioned above. It is a popular presentation of the Socinian teaching, and adheres closely to the writings of Socinus. In order of topics and in substance of teaching it bears noticeable resemblance to the Racovian Catechism, though it is hard to say whether either was influenced by the other ; . . . . it strongly emphasizes personal and social morals, thus showing influence from the Anabaptists, with whom the author had no little sympathy. The work remained in print for more than two generations (etc). It must have had wide influence in Germany . . . for theologians there attacked it repeatedly and savagely.26

      23 Unterrichtung von den vornehmsten Hauptpunckten der christlichen Religion, etc. (Rackau, 1604).
      24 If the questionable statement of Lubieniecius (HIstoria, p. 240 f.) be accepted as correct, that he was first minister of the church at Raków, his service there must have been brief.
      25 cf. C. Ostorodt, Disputacia zboru Szmigielskiego, etc. (Disputation in the Smigiel church), n. p., 1592; Hieronim Powodowski, Disputacia wtóra X. Hieronima Powodowskiego z Szmigielskiemi róznobozami (Second disputation of the Rev. Hieronim Powodowski with the Smigiel heretics), Poznan, 1592.
      26 So, e. g. Balduin, Feuerborn, Felwinger, Rost, Leuckenroth, Felgenhauer, Pelargus, and others.

A HISTORY OF UNITARIANISM : Socinianism and its Antecedents
Harvard University Press 1945, p. 417.



C. Ostorodt, Disputacia zboru Szmigielskiego, etc. (Disputation in the Smigiel church), n. p., 1592
( Source : Wilbur 1945, p. 417. )

Ostorodus et Woidovius, Apologia ad Decretum . . . Ordinum Provinciarum Foederatum Belgii, etc. (n. p., 1600) ; also in Dutch.

(Source : Wilbur 1945, page 538 note 14.)

Author Ostorodt, Christoph, d. 1611. Title Vnterrichtung von den vornemsten Hauptpuncten der Christlichen Religion : in welcher begriffen ist fast die gantze Confession oder Bekentnis der Gemeinen im Königreich Polen, Grossfürstenthumb Littawen, und anderen zu der Kron Polen gehörenden Landschafften : welche, weil sie bekennen, das allein der Vater unsers Herren Jesu Christi der Einige Gott, Iesus Christus aber von Nazareth, welcher von der Jungfrawen Maria geboren ist, und kein ander, vor oder ausser ihm sein eingeborner Sohn sey verächtlicher Weise, wiewol mit höchster Unbilligkeit, Arrianer und Ebioniten genennet werden / geschrieben durch Christoff Ostorodt ...
Publisher Gedruckt zu Rackaw : Sebastian Sternatzki, anno 1612.
Description 14, [34], 442, [2] p. ; 15 cm. (8vo)

( Sources : University of California ;
also New York Public Library )

See also


Page created 19 December 2003
Last updated 20 December 2003

W. Paul Tabaka
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