- Camillo Schoenbaum
- , revised by Clytus Gottwald
A Czech religious sect which originated in Bohemia around 1450. Based on the doctrine of Petr Chelčický (c1390 –1460), a radical Taborite and eminent writer, the Bohemian Brethren initially represented an extreme type of the official Utraquism and as such were at first tolerated. Their basic beliefs included Chelčický's thesis concerning the equality of all mankind, and the primacy of the Bible in every argument and in the moral life of mankind (for whom the exercise of any form of power was sinful). Thus they did not recognize class distinctions and were consequently regarded by their contemporaries as enemies of the existing class-bound society. From 1460 until their expulsion from Bohemia and Moravia after 1618, they were persecuted, imprisoned and executed, by Catholics and Utraquists alike, especially after they had established an independent church and lay priesthood, but they succeeded in winning over some of the most influential figures of the day. They attached great importance to correct translations of the Bible and sought as collaborators adherents with good Greek and Hebrew. They formed alliances with the Lutherans in Germany, sent missions far abroad, and led active intellectual lives; they established printing presses and created their own document archive....