Johann Heinrich Alsted

1588-1638. German Calvinist. Trained at the Reformed Academy of Herborn, he then studied at Marburg, Frankfurt, Heidelberg, Strasbourg, and Basle. Returning to his alma mater, he taught in the preparatory school and later joined the faculty of the philosophy department at Herborn. When dissension broke out between Reformed and Arminian, and the Synod of Dort* (1618) was called to settle the dispute, Alsted was chosen to represent his area. After the synod he became professor of theology. The Thirty Years' War brought devastation to the Rhineland, causing Alsted to leave Herborn and take a position as a teacher at Stuhl-Weissenburg in Transylvania, where he remained until his death. A prolific writer, he tried to unify all knowledge through an approach that combined Aristotelianism, Lullianism, and Ramism. The finest illustration of this work is his Encyclopedia Septem Tomis Distincta (1630). He was also a premillenarian and his Diatribe de mille annis Apocalypticis (1627; ET Beloved City, 1643) was a major influence in seventeenth-century English apocalyptic speculation.

See R.G. Clouse, “Johann Heinrich Alsted and English Millennialism,” HTR 62 (1969), pp. 189-207; and F.W.E. Roth, “Johann Heinrich Alsted,” Monatshefte der Comenius-Gesellschaft (1895), IV, pp. 29ff.