Daily Archives: 7 Jan 2019
Follow the Winter Meeting of the Society for Old Testament Study (meeting this week at Cambridge) at #sots19 on the twitter.
On this day in 1527 the notorious Felix Manz was taken to the lake, in Zurich, and dropped to the bottom. It was the government’s way of saying ‘alright, if you want water, we’ll give you water Felix’. The deed was recorded in art-
That’s Mr Manz, being put in the boat- chained. The decision of the Council was reached after a good deal of debate, and a good deal of pleading from Zwingli to Manz that he amend his ways before the government took matters into its own hands.
There’s an interesting historical footnote to the affair here, which you ought to read. It has to do with an apology by the authorities of Zurich in 2004 given to the descendants of the Anabaptists for their poor treatment.
There’s also a very fine essay by Gottfried Locher in Zwingliana titled Felix Manz’ Abschiedsworte an seine Mitbrüder vor der Hinrichtung 1527: Spiritualität und Theologie. Die Echtheit des Liedes «Bey Christo will ich bleiben».‘ Enjoy.
The wife of [Calvin’s] beloved brother, Antoine, long suspected of unworthy conduct, was charged with adultery committed with Calvin’s hunchbacked secretary-servant, Pierre Dagnet, while all were inhabiting Calvin’s house. On January 7, 1557, Calvin and his brother laid the case before the Consistory, by which it was referred to the Little Council. On February 16th, the crime having been proved, the Little Council gave Antoine a divorce and ordered his former wife to leave the city.
The scandal and the chagrin of the reformer were great; but the case seems to have been aggravated. It gave to his enemies, however, an annoying point of attack, especially when Antoine Calvin shocked Roman Catholic feeling by marrying again in 1560.
Nor was this the only trial occasioned by those of his own household and circle that Calvin was to experience. In 1562, his step-daughter, Judith, fell into similar disgrace,—a matter which Calvin felt so keenly that he left the city to seek the solitude of the country for a few days after the misdeed became public knowledge.*
See, you aren’t the only one with messed up relatives…
*Williston Walker, John Calvin: The Organiser of Reformed Protestantism (New York; London: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1906), 357–358.