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Abecedarians

A name given to Anabaptists who scorned normal methods of education and affirmed that God could provide enlightenment by more direct methods such as visions and ecstasies. Academic study was repudiated as idolatrous, and learned preaching was regarded as falsifying God's Word. Some went to such lengths of obscurantism as to assert that it was necessary to be ignorant even of the letters of the alphabet—hence A-B-C-darians. Among the group were Nicholas Storch and the Zwickau* Prophets, and even Carlstadt* was influenced to the extent of renouncing his title of doctor of divinity.