The Teutonic Order in Prussia recognised and acknowledged its responsibility to catechise both the German-speaking colonists and the native population. The Reformation made no radical changes to these requirements, but gave them serious attention. During the 1540s to the 1560s, several Catechisms for the non-German subjects of the Duke of Prussia were prepared and published in Königsberg, including three in the Old Prussian language. The editor of the first and second Old Prussian-language Catechisms published bilingual books, with the German Catechism on the left-hand page, and the same text on the right-hand page in the Old Prussian language. Reinhold Trautmann established that the source of the Decalogue in these books was Luther’s 1531 Small Catechism. However, he had difficulties confirming the sources of the remaining four parts of the Catechism, since he found a number of words and phrases which could not be identified as coming from Luther’s Catechisms. The article elaborates on Trautmann’s thesis that the source of the German Decalogue is Luther’s 1531 Enchiridion. In addition, it argues that the sources of the remaining parts of the Catechism were German-language catechetical and liturgical texts that were circulating in Prussia at that time.
The secularisation of the domains of the Teutonic Order in Prussia led to the establishment of the first Lutheran territorial church in the world. This fact is almost forgotten today, and this is evident even in specialised literature on the Reformation. The article outlines the introduction of the Reformation in Prussia, considering it as an example of its smooth and successful entrenchment. In order to show this, the late stage of the rule of the Teutonic Order is defined, showing that fundamental reform was triggered by a multi-layered crisis characteristic of the Order’s domains in Prussia. The article shows that, in coordination with Martin Luther and Philipp Melanchton, and assisted by his bishops, after becoming the first Duke of Prussia in 1525, Albert, the Grand Master of the Teutonic Order, implemented reforms in his domains that resembled the main problems raised by the Reformation in an almost exemplary way. But at the same time, it shows that the introduction of the Reformation in Prussia was not a unidirectional process, for Duke Albert supported Andreas Osiander’s ideas for some time, before he gradually entered the ranks of the confessors of Augsburg.