Archive for the ‘Church History’ Category
James [Zwingli] died a monk in the Scotch monastery in Vienna in the year 1517. Zwingli, writing to Vadian, June 13, 1517 (vii., 24), says: “God Almighty knows how much grief has been cast upon me by the sudden death of my brother, to whom you showed every attention that your kindest of kind hearts could suggest.”
John James a Liliis introduces himself to Zwingli in a letter from Paris, October 21, 1518 (vii., 49), as an intimate friend of Zwingli’s deceased brother James.*
Here’s the letter of introduction sent Huldrych Zwingli on this day in 1518-
*Huldreich Zwingli: The Reformer of German Switzerland (1484–1531) (pp. 63–64).
Faret, a servant of the king’s apothecary, placarded a tract “on the horrible, great, intolerable abuses of the popish mass” throughout Paris, October 18, 1534, and the citizens rubbed their eyes in the morning to find their walls and fences disgraced with a most offensive placard. Even the door of the royal chamber at Fontaine-bleua was smutched with a copy. It was a deplorable act of folly, and aroused a furious persecution against innocent people who not only had no part in the matter, but were innocent of any purpose to offend the king. Before Christmas hundreds were languishing in prison, and many went to the stake. Wrath was whitehot. Both Church and State took deep offense, and mingled in mediæval style penitence for real or imagined neglect of duty towards the true faith, with immediate and harsh penalties against the heretics.*
Evidently the King wasn’t amused.
*John Calvin: The Statesman (pp. 42–43).
Zwingli was concerned that young people be instructed in not only the faith, but ethics and Christian ‘breeding’ or ‘culture’ (Zucht is a pliable word). So in the waning months of 1526, he wrote this book: Wie man die Jugend in guten Sitten und christlicher Zucht erziehen und lehren soll.
Kids today need to read this book. Desperately. Zwingli states his first point thusly:
Der erst teyl der leren. Vor allen dingen, wiewol es menschliches vermögens gar nit ist, des menschen hertz zuo dem glouben eines eynigen gottes ze ziehen [cf. Joh. 6. 44], ob schon eyner den hochberuempten und wol beredten Periclem in reden überträfe, sunder allein der himmelisch vatter, der uns zuo im zücht, sölichs vermag, ye doch so ist der gloub (nach dem Wort Pauli) uss dem ghörd, so verr sölich ghörd das wort gottes ist [Röm. 10. 17].
In short, put God first. Kids today are more likely to put anything BUT God first. But then so are adults. Which explains quite well why people are the way they are.
The year 1523 was destined to see the end of the friendship between Zwingli and Erasmus. It is not probable that Erasmus ever had any affection for Zwingli, but they had much in common. They were both devoted students of the Greek and Latin classics and had many common friends among the Humanists. Religiously they both had come to the truth through culture and reflection, and were strangers to any violent conversion. They both were sociable and lovers of fun; both looked leniently upon the follies and pleasant vices of mankind, while themselves in maturer years were chaste and pious.
To young Zwingli there was no scholar like Erasmus. He was ready to make a long journey to sit reverently at his feet. Erasmus considered his pupil agreeable and promising, and occasionally wrote him a letter; but when Zwingli carried out to their logical conclusions the teachings of Erasmus, and proposed to abolish the evils of the Roman Church, as manifested in Zurich, Erasmus became alarmed, claimed that the time was not yet ripe for action, and would dissuade Zwingli from doing anything.
The interest of the old scholar was changing into indifference when an event occurred which broke up their friendship abruptly and absolutely, namely, Zwingli’s treatment of Ulrich von Hutten, a man Erasmus hated. Hutten was the most picturesque character to espouse the cause of the Reformation. He was a scion of a noble family in Hesse-Cassel, accomplished, learned, extremely witty and humorous, a fearless fighter for intellectual and religious liberty, and one who deserved well of the cause of the Reformation, which he embraced with characteristic ardour though dissipated and licentious. He enjoyed till near the end of his life the friendship of Erasmus, but forfeited it by his vehement attack upon him as too cowardly to declare himself openly a Lutheran, while really so.
The attack was in revenge for Erasmus’s conduct in not calling upon him during his stay of two months in Basel. … Erasmus was, however, wary how he allied himself with one under the ban, hopelessly in debt, and also whose shameful disease made him physically loathsome. This attack turned Erasmus into the implacable foe of Hutten, and of all who defended or aided Hutten. Zwingli, as a Humanist, was of course familiar with Hutten’s career, and occasional mention of him occurs in his correspondence.*
Erasmus was the sort of person that if you disagreed with him on any point, you were an enemy. There are a lot of people who suffer the same immaturity even now.
*Huldreich Zwingli: The Reformer of German Switzerland (1484–1531) (pp. 213–214).
Tolstojs theologische Abhandlungen stehen im Schatten seiner berühmten Romane und sind heute weithin vergessen. Anlässlich des 100. Todestages des Schriftstellers machen die Herausgeber eine Auswahl von ihnen in neuer Übersetzung und teils erstmalig in deutscher Sprache zugänglich. Enthalten sind vollständige Traktate wie »Kirche und Staat«, »Religion und Moral«, »An die Geistlichkeit«, »Das Wesen der christlichen Lehre« sowie einzelne religiöse Briefe, Tagebucheinträge, Aphorismen, Gebete, Gleichnisse und Auszüge aus längeren Schriften.
In einem zweiten Teil werden Tolstojs theologische Entwürfe von Fachleuten aus Theologie, Slavistik und Philosophie neu bewertet und kritisch gewürdigt. Das verbreitete Urteil, dass Tolstoj ein unbegabter Laientheologe gewesen sei, wird ebenso widerlegt wie die gängige Trennung zwischen dem Künstler und dem Moralisten. Kunst und Theologie gehen in Tolstojs OEuvre eine unauflösbare Einheit ein. Der Graf von Jasnaja Poljana erweist sich als ernst zu nehmender theologischer Denker, dessen Konzepte einflussreich waren und ihre Sprengkraft bis heute behalten haben.
Engagement with primary sources is an essential part of effective teaching and learning in the church history or theology course. And yet, pulling together and distilling the right readings can be challenging, especially in more recent periods where tracing the diverse traditions that flow from the momentous events of the sixteenth century requires nuance.
In this all-new primary-source anthology, Keith D. Stanglin has done the heavy lifting for a new generation of classrooms. Stanglin has edited and introduced over 100 selections to create a reader that orients students to the ebb and flow of thought that moves out from the pre-Reformation period. Attentive to major movements such as confessionalization, pietism, skepticism, liberalism, and revivalism, Stanglin organizes the readings into nine chapters and provides helpful introductions to each: Late Medieval Contexts, Outbreak of Reform, Radical Reformation, Roman Catholic (Counter-)Reformation, Protestant Codifiers and Confessionalization, Enlightenment and Skepticism, Pietism and Revivalism, Liberal Protestantism and Responses, and Late Modern Fragmentation and Ecumenism.
Fortress has sent a review copy.