A sect of Anabaptists who affected an absolute disdain for all
human knowledge, contending that God would enlighten His elect
interiorly and give them knowledge of necessary truths by visions
and ecstasies. They rejected every other means of instuction, and
pretended that to be saved one must even be ignorant of the first
letters of the alphabet; whence their name, A-B-C-darians. They
also considered the study of theology as a species of idolatry,
and regarded learned men who did any preaching as falsifiers of
At Wittenberg, in 1522, Nicholas Storch (Pelargus) and the
Illuminati of Zwickau began to preach this doctrine, mixing it up
with other errors. Carlstadt allowed himself to be drawn away by
these singular views, and to put them thoroughly into practice he
abandoned his title of Doctor and became a street porter. He
preached the new doctrine for some time to the people and to the
students of Wittenberg.
JOHN J. A'BECKET
Transcribed by Paul T. Crowley
Dedicated to the Sacred Heart
From the Catholic Encyclopedia, copyright © 1913 by the
Encyclopedia Press, Inc. Electronic version copyright © 1996 by
New Advent, Inc., P.O. Box 281096, Denver, Colorado, USA, 80228.
Taken from the New Advent Web Page (www.knight.org/advent).
This article is part of the Catholic Encyclopedia Project, an
effort aimed at placing the entire Catholic Encyclopedia 1913
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