Maria Judith von Liechtenstein-Feldsberg He believed it was the Gemeinde , not the ecclesiastical and political institution, that was truly the Church of Jesus Christ.
Heute im Fokus
In these communities, a radical equality of spiritual life was practiced. In Bethlehem, nobility and converted Native Americans shared common quarters; in Salem, slaves were full members of the Church and could be elected to offices of leadership.
Zinzendorf's interest in missionary work was sparked by meeting two Inuit children converted by Hans Egede 's mission in Greenland and a freed slave, Anthony Ulrich, who told of terrible oppression among the slaves in the West Indies. In , the community began sending out missionaries among slaves in the Danish -governed West Indies and the Inuit of Greenland.
Zinzendorf's personal and familial relation to the court of Denmark and to King Christian VI facilitated such endeavors. He saw with delight the spread of this Protestant family order in Germany, Denmark , Russia and England. In , accusations from neighboring nobles and questions of theological inorthodoxy caused Zinzendorf to be exiled from his home in Saxony.
He and a number of his followers moved to Marienborn near Büdingen and began a period of exile and travel, during which he became known as the "Pilgrim Count.
The missionary work in the West Indies had been hugely controversial in Europe, with many accusing Zinzendorf of simply sending young missionaries off to die.
He decided to place himself on the line, and in left Europe to visit the mission work on St. Convinced that he himself might not come back, he preached his "last sermon" and left his will with his wife. In , Zinzendorf visited Pennsylvania, thus becoming one of the few 18th century European nobles to have actually set foot in the Americas. In addition to visiting leaders in Philadelphia such as Benjamin Franklin , he met with the leaders of the Iroquois and, with the assistance of Conrad Weiser reached agreements for the free movement of Moravian missionaries in the area.
He lived there until Missionary colonies had by this time been settled in the West Indies , in Greenland , among the North American Indians ; and before Zinzendorf's death the Brethren had sent from Herrnhut missionary colonies to Livonia and the northern shores of the Baltic Sea , to the slaves of South Carolina , to Suriname , to the Negro slaves in several parts of South America , to Tranquebar and the Nicobar Islands in the East Indies , to the Copts in Egypt , to the Inuit of Labrador , and to the west coast of South Africa.
Zinzendorf was an eclectic theologian. Rather than focusing on doctrine or belief, Zinzendorf's theology emphasizes the growth of the spiritual relationship between the believer and the Savior. As reflected in the communities he established, he believed in Christians living lives of love and harmony, and believed that every Christian needed to live in a faith community, or Gemeinde congregation. He taught that the Savior had a relationship with each believer, but a different level of relationship with the Gemeinde.
Decisions on interpretation of Scripture were to be made communally, not individually. He believed it was the Gemeinde , not the ecclesiastical and political institution, that was truly the Church of Jesus Christ. Zinzendorf's theology strongly included the emotional life of the believer as well as the intellectual.
His thought and practice was radically ecumenical in a world of rigidly defined religious and political boundaries. He believed each denomination had a unique perception of Christ, and a unique gift to offer the world. He met and had profound personal relationships with religious leaders ranging from Cardinal Louis Antoine de Noailles , the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Paris to John Potter , the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury, both of whom became members of Zinzendorf's Order of the Grain of Mustard Seed, pledging to use their positions of power to serve Christ.
Zinzendorf often worked to have denominations work together and respect one another. In , he advocated respect for the Saturday Sabbath keeping among the German speaking Christians in Philadelphia citing the use of that day by the Ephrata Cloister, thus promoting the first practice of the two-day weekend in America. He also used Sunday for preaching the Gospel. The community in Herrnhut, from which almost all these colonies had been sent out, had no money of its own, and Zinzendorf had almost exclusively furnished its expenses.
His frequent journeys from home made it almost impossible for him to look after his private affairs; he was compelled from time to time to raise money by loans , and about was almost reduced to bankruptcy. This led to the establishment of a financial board among the Brethren, on a plan furnished by a lawyer, John Frederick Köber, which worked well. His son Christian Renatus, whom Zinzendorf had hoped to make his successor, died in of tuberculosis  and the loss devastated him.
Four years later, on 17 June , his wife, Erdmuthe Dorothea, who had been his counselor and confidante in all his work, died. On 27 June Zinzendorf married Anna Caritas Nitschmann 24 November — 21 May , with whom he had been very close for many years.
Anna had for years been spiritual leader of the women of the movement. The marriage was not publicized broadly since Anna was a commoner, and would have been extremely controversial. Three years later, overcome with his labours, he fell ill and died on 9 May , leaving Bishop Johannes von Watteville, who had married his eldest daughter Benigna, to take his place at the head of the community.
Anna Zinzendorf died 12 days after her husband. He wrote a large number of hymns, of which the best-known are "Jesus, Thy blood and righteousness" and "Jesus, still lead on". A selection of his Sermons was published by Gottfried Clemens in 10 vols. A four-part documentary series, Count Zinzendorf was produced in by Comenius Foundation with the assistance of the Christian History Institute. Zinzendorf and the Moravians follows the story of the first Moravian missionaries.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Redirected from Nikolaus Ludwig Zinzendorf. For other uses, see Zinzendorf disambiguation. It has been suggested that Anna Nitschmann be merged into this article.
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Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. February Learn how and when to remove this template message. See templates for discussion to help reach a consensus. Ancestors of Nicolaus Zinzendorf Johann Joachim von Zinzendorf-Pottendorf 8.
Otto Henry Count von Zinzendorf-Pottendorf Maria Judith von Liechtenstein-Feldsberg 4. Maximilian Erasmus Count vonZinzendorf-Pottendorf Christoph William von Zelking 9. Anna Apollonia von Zelking George Ludwig Count von Zinzendorf-Pottendorf Bartholomaus von Dietrichstein-Hollenburg Christian von Dietrichstein-Hollenburg Elisabeth Joel von Franking, Heiress of Riedau?
Anna Amalia von Dietrichstein Maria Elisabeth von Khevenhüller of Aichelberg Crescentia von Stubenberg ? Nicolaus Ludwig, Count von Zinzendorf  Margarete von Metzradt 6. Nicholas, Baron von Gersdorff Anna Maria von Loeben Margarete von Kosel 3. Charlotte Justina von Gersdorff Heinrich von Friesen Karl von Friesen Catharine von Einsiedel 7. Henriette Catharina von Friesen Justina Sophia von Raben An Ecumenical Theology of the Heart.
He dismissed his son from his positions and brought him to England for the remaining three years of Christian's life. After his death, Christian's followers in Pennsylvania named a settlement farm after him. Since there was a flowing spring there it was called "Christiansbrunn", Christian's Spring. Only within the past two decades has a new generation of scholars and historians begun to reexamine that period to determine what happened.
Zinzendorf was born just a month after the spiritual awakening experience on August 13, , that signaled the renewal of the Ancient Unity of Brethren, in which Moravian exiles on the lands of his father committed themselves to a life in Christ.
Both his parents were deeply committed to this ideal. His parents considered their relationship to be a marriage of champions in which the goal was serving Christ. His effeminacy was noted by nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century historians who typically attributed it his being raised in the company of women: As a student, Zinzendorf was known for being frivolous, even bringing a cat to class.
At the age of sixteen, he was named vice-elder of the Single Brothers Choir. Moravian communities were dedicated to serving Christ. The traditional family unit was abandoned in order to direct all residents' energies to that goal. Much like the Shakers , Moravian residents lived in groups or choirs according to gender, marital status and age. Many of Zinzendorf's beliefs and acts were based upon his father's words: I speak no more; he speaks in me. When you speak with me, you speak with him.
When you have love for me, so too you have love for him, and when you hate me, so too you hate him, and when you have a word from me, so too you have it from him. An engraving complete with his portrait states that one can see the departed Christ by looking at Christel's forehead, meaning his eyes. A portrait of him now in the Moravian Archives in Herrnhut, Germany, includes the words Gebrochne Augen broken eyes , again referring to seeing Christ at the moment of death in Christian's eyes, or at the moment of his completed sacrifice.
The idea of Christ living in another was not uncommon in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. It is a fundamental belief shared with the Quakers and Shakers, who also had roots in Pietism and the indwelling of Christ.
Herrnhaag was a community designed by the elder Zinzendorf, whose inhabitants were to live under the direct rule of Christ with Christian Renatus as his representative.
At Herrnhaag, Christel was the link between the spiritual and the earthly as the spirit took human form. During the Single Brothers Festival at Herrnhaag, Christel and his assistants entered wearing white robes, implying it was Christ who was actually entering.
Later that day, Christel and twelve assistants led Communion, further representing Christ and the apostles. During the service, those in attendance believed that the Sidehole of Christ was literally standing before them in the bodily forms of Christel and Rubusch, his co-leader of the brothers. Christel sang a welcoming hymn for Christ entering the hall, and while kissing, the brothers believed they were literally kissing the Sidehole.
The combination of sexuality and spirituality shown at Herrnhaag was not unknown in Christian history, but it caused increasing scandal both within and without the church, particularly embarrassing for Nicholas, "who was trying to be recognized as a rightful theologian after joining the confession of Augsburg" in Referring to a plowshare that can be raised and lowered, she later wrote to her son that "I sometimes said we have already put the peg in the last hole.
If we wanted to remain in the world, the Savior would have to make three or four holes further back and lower down. In addition to increasingly embarrassing scandal and rumor, the cost of sustaining Herrnhaag and its numerous festivals put a severe financial strain on the church at a time when its missionary efforts were expanding around the world.