Lucas Cranach the Younger and the Reformation

From our friends in Sachsen-Anhalt

Tagungsband “Lucas Cranach der Jüngere und die Reformation der Bilder” erschienen!

Lucas Cranach der Jüngere stand lange Zeit im Schatten seines berühmten Vaters Lucas Cranach d.Ä. Neueste Forschungsergebnisse in diesem Band zeigen den Sohn nun als künstlerisch innovativen, den umfassenden Wandel im Zeitalter von Reformation und Konfessionalisierung reflektierenden Maler, Grafiker, Geschäftsmann und Politiker.

Anlässlich seines 500. Geburtstages haben internationale Experten im Rahmen eines Symposiums es sich erstmals zur Aufgabe gemacht, ein ebenso umfassendes wie differenziertes Bild vom Leben und Werk des Künstlers zu entwerfen. Der vorliegende Band dokumentiert die Ergebnisse und eröffnet neue Perspektiven auf den innovativen Künstler, Geschäftsmann und Politiker, der mit seinen Porträts, profanen Historien und religiösen Themen sensibel auf die tiefgreifenden Veränderungen seiner Zeit reagierte.

Hg. Elke A. Werner, Anne Eusterschulte, Gunnar Heydenreich
Beiträge von S. Buck, D. Görres, A. Grebe, U. Großmann, C. Hennen, J. Herrschaft, G. Heydenreich, A. Hoppe-Harnoncourt, M. Horky´, U. Lotz-Heumann, K. Kolb, H. Kolind Poulsen, M. Lücke, D. Lücke, u.a.

336 Seiten, 183 Abbildungen überw. in Farbe
21 x 28 cm, gebunden
45,00 €
ISBN: 978-3-7774-2368-5

The Thought Of Returning to Geneva Was Disconcerting to Calvin…

calvinEven if he had resolved to return to the wretched place, Calvin could still write Farel on April 24, 1541,

“My last letters show plainly enough how melancholy my soul was at that time. If therefore they betray something like ill-humor, forgive my unbelieving anxiety, which, as usual, renders me peevish and irritable. Even now, though becoming more collected by degrees, I feel but little ease. Indeed, ashamed as one is to acknowledge it, one is so fond of sighs and tears, that it is, in a certain sense, pleasant not to be altogether free from sorrow.”*

That’s Calvin-speak for ‘I’d rather eat glass than go back, but I gotta… Ugh.’  Who could blame the guy.
*The Life and Times of John Calvin, the Great Reformer (Vol. 1, p. 253).

#WorldBookDay: Something Else to Tempt the Godly Soul

9781451464726bFile this one under the category of ‘books I’d like to read before I die, which will probably be sooner than you would want':

Decades after the Holocaust, many assume that the churches in Germany resisted the Nazi regime. In fact, resistance was exceptional. The Deutsche Christen, or “German Christians,” a movement within German Protestantism, integrated Nazi ideology, nationalism, and Christian faith. Marrying religious anti-Judaism to the Nazis’ racial antisemitism, they aimed to remove everything Jewish from Christianity.  For the first time in English, Mary M. Solberg presents a selection of “German Christian” documents. Her introduction sets the historical context. Includes responses critical of the German Christians by Karl Barth and Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

Die Reformation der Rechte Recht, Religion und Menschenrechte im frühen Calvinismus

anstossJohannes Calvin entwickelte ein neues Verständnis von Rechten und Freiheiten, von Kirche und Staat, das das Rechtssystem der frühen protestantischen Staaten formte. Seine Lehren, die sich schnell in Westeuropa ausbreiteten, wurden immer wieder durch große Krisen herausgefordert: die französischen Religionskriege, die niederländische Revolte, die englische Revolution, die amerikanische Kolonisation und Revolution. In solchen Krisen waren es Anhänger Calvins, die sein Denken aktualisierten und der neuen Situation anpassten. Eine Reihe grundlegender westlicher Auffassungen von Religion und politischen Rechten, sozialem und konfessionellem Pluralismus, Föderalismus und Gesellschaftsvertrag haben im frühmodernen Calvinismus ihren Ursprung.

Sounds like a good read.

Learning From the Past

9780567660909Two key ideas are here brought into clear focus. The first is the reception of the thought of earlier generations of biblical interpreters and theologians, a field which has been informed by work on Calvin’s use of and relationship with the fathers and the medievals. The essays explore various facets of reception history-textual transmission, the identification of editions used, the deployment of these sources in doctrinal formulation, in polemic, and in relation to the contested site of ‘catholicity’.

The second broad theme is the exchange of ideas across confessional boundaries with essays offering analyses of occasions when individuals or groups have learned something important from, or made a determined effort to engage constructively with, other confessional identities and allegiances. Research on the doctrine of justification in recent ecumenical dialogue and on the Regensburg Colloquy are models of scholarship in this area. The essays presented here will shed light on the past and stimulate contemporary theological reflection. – See more at:

It’s coming soon from Bloomsbury.  Go to the link for the TOC.  Or to Jon’s page.  You’re welcome.

Weekend Pleasure

Today’s the day for a little football and a lot of reading.  No writing on the agenda.  Here’s the volume in hand:


And of course, Chelsea play Manchester United (also known as ManU(re)).


Go Chelsea!!!!!!

Johann Reuchlin

This one is due out in July and who doesn’t want to read it?

9783110418637This is the first biography in English of Johann Reuchlin (1455-1522), based upon the new critical edition of his correspondence. Reuchlin became most famous as the Catholic defender of Jewish books at the beginning of the 16th century, clarifying the Catholic Church’s position toward the Jews. The book contributes to the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Declaration on Relations with the Jews of the Second Vatican Council in 1965.

Here’s a pre-pub endorsement:

“The German humanist Johannes Reuchlin is famous for his defense of Jewish literature in the sixteenth century. In recent years many fine studies have been published which concentrate on different aspects of his life and scholarly achievements. A new and all-comprising biography, however, is eagerly awaited. This gap has now been filled by Franz Posset’s opus. Profoundly researched and excellently written, Posset places Reuchlin in the tradition of the medieval catholic church. This book could be a standard for many generations to come.” — Hans Peterse, Lecturer in History, University of Münster, Germany.

Sounds delightful.  It’s over 900 pages, so it ought to be thorough.

A Few Things Worth Mentioning

James Durham (1622-1658) And the Gospel Offer in its Seventeenth Century Context by Donald MacLean, The free offer of the gospel has been a matter of significant debate within Reformed theology. However, despite this controversy, Reformed theologians such as James Durham preached a gospel offer which was a sincere and free invitation from God to all, to embrace Jesus Christ as Saviour. This gospel offer expressed God’s grace and goodness to all. Donald MacLean argues that Durham’s doctrinal position is representative of the Westminster Standards and embraced by his contemporaries and evidenced by the later disputes concerning the meaning of the teaching of the Westminster Confession of Faith. For more information, please visit:

Reformation 1517-2017: Ökumenische Perspektiven, Regular Price: $25.00 / Special Offer Price: $20.00. Dorothea Sattler and Volker Leppin present an anthology stemming from the Ecumenical Work Group of Protestant and Catholic Theologists (ÖAK). The authors discuss the theological importance of the history of the Reformation with reference to modern ecumenical challenges. On occasion of the 500th anniversary of Luther’s Reformation, Dorothea Sattler and Volker Leppin present an anthology stemming from the Ecumenical Work Group of Protestant and Catholic Theologists (ÖAK). In the contributions included, the authors reconstruct the historical events of the 16th century and discuss their meaning from the vantage point of systematic theology. The Reformation is taken as an occasion for an interconfessional cooperation to determine the nature of the Protestant Church and to constructively and critically rethink the modern ecumenical challenges facing the Church. (German text). For more information, please visit:

Freedom: Today With Zwingli

On 16 April, 1522 Huldrych Zwingli’s sermon titled Von Erkiesen und Freiheit der Speisen was published in Zurich at the printing house of Froschauer. It was a greatly expanded version of the actual sermon preached shortly after the Lenten Fast was broken, with his approval. Unlike Barth’s Romans, this book really did fall on the playground of the theologians like a bomb.

Zwingli’s point was simple- the Church wasn’t authorized to heft upon souls requirements foreign to the requirements of the Bible. Its tradition wasn’t superior to Scripture; Scripture takes precedence over tradition.

In his own words-

[They] had not so strong a belief in God, that they trusted alone in him and hoped alone in him, listened alone to his ordinances and will, but foolishly turned again to the devices of men, who, as though they desired to improve what had been neglected by God, said to themselves: “This day, this month, this time, wilt thou abstain from this or that,” and make thus ordinances, persuading themselves that he sins who does not keep them.

This abstaining I do not wish to condemn, if it occurs freely, to put the flesh under control, and if no self-confidence or vainglory, but rather humility, results. See, that is branding and injuring one’s own conscience capriciously, and is turning toward true idolatry…In a word, if you will fast, do so; if you do not wish to eat meat, eat it not; but leave Christians a free choice in the matter…

But when the practice of liberty offends your neighbour, you should not offend or vex him without cause; for when he perceives it, he will be offended no more, unless he is angry purposely. … But you are to instruct him as a friend in the belief, how all things are proper and free for him to eat.


Robert Traill (1603-1678)Temptation is so natural to us, that if the devil be the first mover, it seizeth so quickly on our corrupt heart, that we may justly take the blame to ourselves. The workings of the Spirit of God on the new creature, and of the spirit of Satan on the old man, are great mysteries. It is far wiser work to set about resisting of our spiritual enemies, than to perplex ourselves with questions about their order.  — Robert Traill


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