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Sebastian Franck

1499-1542. Humanist and Spiritual Anabaptist. Born at Donauwörth, he studied at Ingolstadt and Heidelberg, was ordained priest (1524), became a Lutheran (1525), and married Ottilie Behaim (1528), whose brothers had Anabaptist leanings. He mildly opposed Johannes Denck, translating into German a Latin work directed against him, but subsequently left the Lutheran ministry and moved to Strasbourg (1529), where he began his friendship with Caspar Schwenkfeld. He now advocated complete freedom of thought and undogmatic Christianity, views which were expressed in his most important book, Chronica, Zeitbuch und Geschichtsbibel (1531). He also wrote A Letter to John Campanus, expressing his spiritual conception of the church, which marked him off from normative evangelical Anabaptism. Expelled from Strasbourg for his views, he eventually settled in Basle as a printer in 1539.