FABER, fāber, JOHANNES: The name of three Roman Catholic theologians of the sixteenth century.
1. Johannes Faber of Augsburg was born in the second half of the fifteenth century at Freiburg, and died c. 1530; the place of his death is unknown. About 1515 he was prior of a Dominican monastery at Augsburg, and in 1516 was instructor in theology at Bologna, but was soon appointed court-preacher and confessor of the Emperor Maximilian I. At the recommendation of Erasmus he became court-preacher to Charles V., and sought to further a policy of mediation in the Lutheran controversy. Erasmus seems later to have become hostile to him. The only writing known to have been composed by him is a funeral oration over Maximilian (Augsburg, 1519).
(J. A. WAGENMANN †.)
2. Johannes Faber of Leutkirch was born at Leutkirch (40 m. s. of Ulm) in 1478, and died at Baden (12 m. s.s.w. of Vienna) May 21, 1541. He studied theology and canon law at Tübingen and Freiburg, and was successively vicar and rector at Lindau, rector of Leutkirch, and canon and episcopal official at Basel. In 1518 he was appointed vicar-general of the diocese of Constance and received the title of prothonotary from Pope Leo X. The course of events forced him gradually to break with such humanists and Reformers as Erasmus, Ścolampadius, Zwingli, and Melanchthon, and to change from their friend to their opponent. He disapproved of the preaching of indulgences by Bernhardin Sanson in Switzerland, and was in communication with Zwingli (1519-20) and even with Luther, while his condemnation of Eck was undisguised. A radical change took place in his attitude, however, and though he had not yet broken with Luther, he was planning polemics against him and Carlstadt in 1519. His attitude was strengthened by a journey to Rome in the autumn of 1521, when he dedicated to the new pope, Adrian VI., his Opus adversus nova quædam dogmata Lutheri (Rome, 1522). Faber returned to Germany a firm opponent of the new movement. On Jan. 29, 1523, he attended the disputation of Zurich as a delegate of the bishop of Constance, but was unable to prove the doctrines of the mass or the invocation of saints either from the Bible or tradition to the satisfaction of Zwingli and his adherents. In the same year he attended the Diet of Nuremberg, where he seems to have met the Archduke Ferdinand, and in 1524 he was a delegate of his bishop at Regensburg, where he and Eck were the chief representatives of the projected Counterreformation. At the same time he republished his polemic against Luther under the title Malleus in hæresin Lutheranam (Cologne, 1524), and was invited to the court of Ferdinand as chaplain, counselor, and confessor. In September of the same year he took part in the heresy trial of Kaspar Tauber at Vienna, and was later employed in various affairs of state, endeavoring in 1525 and the following years to win the Roman Catholic cantons of Switzerland from France to Austria, and acting as ambassador to Spain and England in 1527. In 1528 he was consecrated bishop coadjutor of Wiener-Neustadt (now St. Pölten), and in the following year became provost of Ofen. He was active in promoting the Roman Catholic cause, taking part in the burning of Balthasar Hübmaier (Mar. 10, 1528), defending the execution in his anonymous Ursach warum Balthasar Hübmaier verbrannt sei (Dresden, 1528), and urging the theological faculty of the University of Vienna to action against Lutheran heresy. As the court-chaplain of Ferdinand he attended the Diets of Speyer and Augsburg. On the death of Johannes de Revellis in 1531, Faber succeeded him as bishop of Vienna, and was also administrator of the diocese of Neustadt until 1538. In the midst of his episcopal duties, rendered doubly difficult by Protestantism and Turkish invasion, he found time to establish an institution for impoverished theological students and to attempt to improve the university and theological faculty of Vienna. He was an author of note, his works including, in addition to those already mentioned, De Moscovitarum religione at juxta mare glaciale religio (Basel, 1526) and De fide et bonis operibus (Cologne, 1536).
3. Johannes Faber of Heilbronn was born at Heilbronn (26 m. n. of Stuttgart) about 1504, and died at Augsburg after 1557. He was a Dominican of the monastery of Wimpfen and was educated at Cologne at the expense of his city. He was later called to Augsburg as preacher at the cathedral and was a zealous opponent of the Reformation. The most of his writings are polemics against Protestantism and include the following: Ricardi Pampolitani Anglo-Saxonis enarratio in Psalmos (Cologne, 1536); Quod fides esse possit sine caritate (Augsburg, 1548); Enchiridion bibliorum (1549); Fructus quibus dignoscuntur hæretici (Ingolstadt, 1551); Testimonium Petrum Romæ fuisse (Antwerp, 1553); Der rechte Weg (Dillingen, 1553); Was die evangelische Mess sei (Augsburg, 1553); and Johel in Predigten ausgelegt (1557).
(J. A. WAGENMANN †.)