Zwingli: On Statues and Paintings

ZwingliBullingerDevotionalBook2The notion that Zwingli despised art is as ridiculous and uninformed as the belief, still widespread, that he despised music.  Nothing was further from the truth.  What Zwingli despised was the exaltation of anything above God or even towards God.  Zwingli once remarked

Images which are misused for worship I do not count among ceremonies, but among the number of those things which are diametrically opposed to the Word of God. But those which do not serve for worship and in whose cases there exists no danger of future worship, I am so far from condemning that I acknowledge both painting and statuary as God’s gifts.

Don’t allow anti-Zwingli partisans and nitwits and uninformed angry Lutherans distort your understanding of the man.  Read him for yourself.

2 thoughts on “Zwingli: On Statues and Paintings

  1. Jeremiah Lawson 7 Apr 2021 at 10:18 pm

    I picked up Zwingli and the Arts by Charles Garside, Jr (Yale University Press, 1966). in the last few months. I wasn’t sure if this was the book that got mentioned in another post discussing Zwingli and the arts in comments so I thought I’d ask. If that’s a good reference work on the topic let me know, if not, well, I found it for a fairly low price and hoped it was the book referenced in an earlier comments exchange.

    I’ve been learning just how little angry Lutherans can be trusted to comment accurately on how Calvin, Zwingli and even the Puritans viewed the arts.


    • Jim 8 Apr 2021 at 2:56 pm

      Garside’s book is a classic. you can’t have done better.


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