Hypothesis: Das ist Kurtzer Begriff und Innhallt von den Alten Irrthumben, von der Menschheit Christi. 1562. (AES2440)
Silesian nobleman Caspar Schwenckfeld von Ossig (1489–1561) prefigured the Pietist movement in the early sixteenth century. He was influenced greatly by the mystical writings of Martin Luther, Johann Tauler (circa 1300–1361), and Thomas à Kempis. In particular Schwenckfeld was greatly disturbed by the question of why the Protestant Reformation was not improving the morality of individuals and society. His goal became to reform the church by challenging teachings and practices that he thought impeded the Holy Spirit’s work of regeneration.
Hypothesis, a book refuting the teachings of Lutheran theologians Matthias Flacius Illyricus (1520–1575) and Nicholas Gallus (circa 1516–1570), was published under the pen name Theophilus Agricola. The text is traditionally attributed to Georg Meyer, Schwenckfeld’s assistant. However, some scholars credit the work to Schwenckfeld himself.