Germany, Johann Georg I, 1611/15-1656. 1630. AR Taler

Germany, Johann Georg I, 1611/15-1656. 1630. AR Taler


29.01g (45mm, 5h). Dresden, the 100 year anniversary of the Augsburg Confession. Bust of Johann Georg I with his coat of arms in front / Bust of Johann the Constant, responsible for organizing the Lutheran church in Saxony in 1530. Johann is holding a sword and is surrounded by four coats of arms.

References: Clauss/Kahnt 323b

Grade: Attractive with minimal wear. EF  (wc1022)

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This fascinating taler celebrates the 100 year anniversary of the Augsburg Confession. The Augsburg Confession was a monumental document that solidified the German Reformation amidst intense scrutiny from the Roman Catholic Church. At a time of religious upheaval, the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V, requested the document to understand the position of the Reformators. This was done in order to restore the religious and political unity within the Roman Empire of which Germany was a constituent.

The Augsburg Confession consisted of 21 articles of faith and more importantly 7 antithesis which deviated from the Catholic faith. Some of the more controversial differences were the suggestion that priests need not remain celibate but could marry, that all all communicants should receive both the bread and wine, not just the bread and that confession was meant not to result in anxiety or guilt in a person. All men could be absolved of their sins and that not all sins are readily known during a confession. Absolution could occur outside of confession.

The Augsburg Confession led to the establishment of the Lutheran faith and was the driving force to create an understanding with the Catholic church. While it was not immediately accepted by Rome, eventually it was accepted in 1531 and led to formulation of the Apology of the Augsburg Confession which was widely distributed in Germany. By 1535, the Schmalkaldic League was formed and in order to obtain membership one had to accept both the Augsburg Confession and the Apology.