Johann Eck

1486-1543. Roman Catholic scholar and orator. Born in Eck on the Günz in Swabia, his proper name was Johann Mayr or Mai(e)r. He is best known for his opposition to Martin Luther's theological position. Eck attended the universities of Heidelberg, Tübingen, and Freiburg, and was professor in Ingolstadt from 1510 until his death. Scholastic, canonist, dogmatist, humanist, endowed with an excellent memory and oratorical ability, he upheld Roman Catholicism in his writings, disputations, and negotiations. His defense of a 5 percent interest rate on loans in 1514, in opposition to medieval prohibitions, gained him the favor of capitalists such as the Fuggers. In 1519 he opposed Andreas Carlstadt and then Martin Luther in the famous Leipzig Debate. He was largely responsible for procuring the bull Exurge, Domini against Luther (1520). In 1530 he presented 404 propositions against Luther and composed the Confutatio of the Augsburg Confession. He participated in the colloquies at Hagenau (1540), Worms (1541), and Ratisbon (1541). His Enchiridion locorum communium adversus Lutherum et alias hostes ecclesiae (which appeared in forty-six printings between 1525 and 1576) was directed against Luther, Melanchthon, and Zwingli. His earlier De primatu Petri adversus Ludderdum (1520) was a defense of the papacy. His translation of the Bible into German (1537) lacked originality.

See T. Wiedermann, Dr. Johann Eck (1865).