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Category Archives: Church History

Storing, Archiving, Organizing: The Changing Dynamics of Scholarly Information Management in Post-Reformation Zurich

97889Storing, Archiving, Organizing: The Changing Dynamics of Scholarly Information Management in Post-Reformation Zurich is a study of the Lectorium at the Zurich Grossmünster, the earliest of post-Reformation Swiss academies, initiated by the church reformer Huldrych Zwingli in 1523. This institution of higher education was planned in the wake of humanism and according to the demands of the reforming church. Scrutinizing the institutional archival records, Anja-Silvia Goeing shows how the lectorium’s teachers used practices of storing, archiving, and organizing to create an elaborate administrative structure to deal with students and to identify their own didactic and disciplinary methods. She finds techniques developing that we today would consider important to understand the history of information management and knowledge transfer.

It may not sound like the most exciting title but the topic is a really important one and I’m very appreciative of Brill for sending a copy for review.   My review will post tomorrow or Thursday.  In the meanwhile, check out the book’s associated webpage.  It is loaded with absolutely fantastic materials and sources.

 
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Posted by on 24/01/2017 in Book Review, Books, Church History

 

Melanchthon und die Reformierte Tradition

New from  V&R

9783525550311Andreas J. Beck versammelt die Beiträge der internationalen wissenschaftlichen Tagung »Melanchthon und die Reformierte Tradition«, die vom 10.-12. November 2010 in Emden stattfand. Die Tagung wurde anlässlich Melanchthons 450. Todesjahres von der Johannes a Lasco Bibliothek Emden in Kooperation mit der Evangelisch-Theologischen Fakultät Leuven und der Europäischen Melanchthonakademie Bretten organisiert.

Die einzelnen Beiträge stammen von Forschern aus Deutschland, den Niederlanden, Belgien, Frankreich, England und Ungarn und dokumentieren den bisher kaum erforschten, großen Einfluss Philip Melanchthons auf die reformierte Tradition. Einige Beiträge erörtern spezifische theologische Fragen, wie etwa das Verhältnis von Wort und Geist oder Freiheit und Wille bei Melanchthon. Andere Beiträge stellen größere Bezüge her, etwa zwischen Melanchthon und der reformierten Frömmigkeit oder der reformierten Scholastik. Außerdem thematisieren Beiträge Melanchthons Einfluss in Deutschland, der Schweiz, Frankreich, den Niederlanden und Ungarn thematisiert. Einige Beiträge zur Rezeption Melanchthons in der reformierten Tradition des 19. und 20. Jahrhunderts und ein Rückblick auf das Melanchthon-Gedenkjahr 2010 runden das Bild ab.

Die beträchtliche Bedeutung Melanchthons für die reformierte Theologie, Frömmigkeit und Bildung zeigt sich nun deutlicher als in der bisherigen Forschung und stellt zugleich die einseitige Assoziation der reformierten Tradition mit Calvin in Frage. Melanchthon wirkte international über sein ausgedehntes Netzwerk mit Gelehrten und kirchlichen Leitern, seine Bildungs- und Universitätsreformen, seinen Schüler und sein überaus vielseitiges Schrifttum; er war der Lehrer Europas (Praeceptor Europae), nicht nur der Lehrer Deutschlands (Praecepter Germaniae).

The volume’s collected essays examine numerous aspects of Melanchthon’s life and world, as the table of contents illustrates quite clearly:

  • Günter Frank, Das Melanchthon-Gedenkjahr 2010
  • Andreas Mühling, Melanchthon und die Zürcher Theologen
  • Machiel A van den Berg, The Apocalyptic Melanchthon
  • Antonie Vos, Philip Melanchthon on Freedom and Will
  • Henk van den Belt, Word and Spirit in Melanchthon’s Loci Communes: Searching for the Relationship between the External and the Internal
  • Kees de Groot, Die Homiletik Melanchthons
  • Martin H. Jung, Melanchthon und die reformierte Frömmigkeit
  • Andreas J. Beck, Melanchthon und die reformierte Scholastik
  • Anthony Milton, A Tale of Two Melanchthons: Melanchthon and English Protestantism 1560–1660
  • András Szabó, Melanchthon und die Schule in Sárospatak im 16. Jahrhundert
  • Nicola Stricker, Melanchthon und die reformierte Tradition in Frankreich
  • Frank van der Pol, A Seventeenth Century Reformed-Pietistic Portrait of Melanchthon from the Netherlands
  • Johannes Hund, Norm oder Geist: Die reformierte Debatte zum Augustana-Jubiläum von 1830
  • Matthias Freudenberg, Melanchthon im Kontext der reformierten Tradition der Neuzeit

Each essay is by an expert Melanchthon-ist and the expertise of each contributor is completely clearly on display in their respective essays.  Several are, obviously, in English and many are in German.  Similarly on display is Melanchthon’s own wide ranging interests and engagements; from his magisterial theology in the Loci to his dabblings in Apocalyptic through his interactions with the Zurich theologians and extending to his impact on the church across Europe.  Melanchthon’s reach surpassed Luther’s and nearly rivaled Bullinger’s himself.  The collection’s editor writes of the volume:

In diesen Beiträgen zeigt sich die beträchtliche Bedeutung Melanchthons für die reformierte Theologie, Frömmigkeit und Bildung nun noch deutlicher als bisher. Dadurch wird zugleich die einseitige Assoziation der reformierten Tradition mit Calvin in Frage gestellt. Auch in der reformierten Tradition wirkte Melanchthon international über sein ausgedehntes Netzwerk mit Gelehrten und kirchlichen Leitern, seine Bildungs- und Universitätsreformen, seine Schüler und sein überaus vielseitiges Schrifttum. Melanchthon war „Praeceptor Europae“, nicht nur „Germaniae“, was auch die während der Tagung vom Brettener Oberbürgermeister Marius Wolff eröffnete Wanderausstellung „Melanchthon – Grenzen überwinden“ in der Johannes a Lasco Bibliothek bestätigte.

Frank’s opening essay perfectly sets the stage for the conference at which it was delivered and for the volume presently under consideration.  Therein he describes the historical Melanchthon and his impact on theology, ecumenism, and philosophy.  As each essay which follows the opening unfurls they each, in their own way, touch on some significant aspect of Melanchthon’s historical, ecumenical, theological, or philosophical impact.

Particularly enlightening is van den Berg’s essay on Melanchthon’s apocalypticism.  As he notes

The sixteenth century reformer Philipp Melanchthon would never have thought that some day in the future – somewhere in the North of his beloved Germany, of which he is called the Praeceptor – reformation scholars would come together to commemorate his contribution to the reformed tradition, 450 years after he “escaped” from the rabies theologorum to enter the eternal glory he so eagerly had hoped for. Although his expectation of the second coming of Christ was not that imminent, as it seemed to be for his spiritual father and guide Martin Luther, he also believed that time was short for the end of history. In his calculation of the years, according to the prophecy of Daniel, it would be around the year 2000 at the latest; but if it pleased the Lord to shorten the times it could also happen much earlier. However, he was convinced that the history of this world was nearing its end.

Each essayist, again, expands our understanding of Melanchthon’s thought and influence and for each of the contributions scholars and students have ample reason for gratitude.  This is a valuable collection and those with an interest in the subject will enjoy it very much indeed.

 
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Posted by on 18/01/2017 in Books, Church History, Melanchthon

 

A Crash Course on the Reformation

Ab 24. Januar 2017 in Zürich: Crash-Kurs Reformation – Eine Entdeckungsreise durch Geschichte und Gegenwart der Reformation.

Der Kurs vermittelt grundlegende geschichtliche und theologische Eckdaten mit einem Schwerpunkt zur Schweizer Reformation. Daneben werden auch unbekanntere Fragestellungen zur Reformation präsentiert und diskutiert. So erhalten Sie mit zehn Themenblöcken an fünf Kursabenden ein kompaktes Grundwissen zur Reformation und ihrer Geschichte.

Weiterlesen.

Via.

 
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Posted by on 18/01/2017 in Church History, Conferences

 

«Hör nicht auf zu singen» : Zeuginnen der Schweizer Reformation

9783290178505Welche Rolle spielten Frauen während der Reformation? Was bedeutete es für Katharina Schütz Zell oder Idelette de Bure, «Gefährten im Dienst» zu sein? Und inwiefern war Margarete Blarer aus Konstanz eine Ausnahmeerscheinung?

Zum 500-Jahr-Jubiläum der Reformation haben Autorinnen und Autoren die Frauen und ihre Anliegen im Blick und lenken die Aufmerksamkeit auf überraschende Aspekte der Sozialgeschichte. Neben Zeugnissen von selbständigen Frauen wird dem Einfluss der Reformation auf die Frauen- und Männerrolle sowie auf das Ehe- und Familienverständnis Raum gegeben. Neue Ehe- und Gesellschaftsideen und deren Wirkung kommen ebenfalls zur Sprache. Nicht zuletzt ist es ein Buch über die tragischen Schicksale von prominenten, aber auch völlig unbekannten Frauen, die der Reformation zum Opfer fielen.

Mit Beiträgen von Karla Apperloo-Boersma, Urte Bejick, Christine Christ-von Wedel, Rebecca Giselbrecht, Isabelle Graesslé, Susan Karant-Nunn, Elsie McKee, Helmut Puff, Sabine Scheuter, Kirsi Stjerna.

TVZ has graciously sent a copy for review.  More anon.

 
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Posted by on 17/01/2017 in Book Review, Books, Church History, TVZ

 

Arguing with Radicals

Huldrich_zwingli 8In the middle of January, 1525, Zwingli and the other Pastors in Zurich were in a pitched battle against the radicals who were then urging their followers to abandon the Reformation and speed ahead with a total severance from society.  1525 would become the year during which Zwingli spent the majority of his time battling these ’causers of unrest’.

Indeed, things had already developed to such a threatening level to the well being of the city that in December the year before Zwingli had written  his scathing Wer Ursache gebe zu Aufruhr. In March of 1525 Zwingli published De vera et falsa religione commentarius, which took a swipe at both the old believers and the radicals.   In April the trial of some rebaptizers was observed by Zwingli; in May his Von der Taufe… appeared.   In June, Von den Predigtamt took to task those asserting pastoral and preaching privileges even though they lacked the appropriate tools.  And in November, the Antwort über Balthasar Hubmaiers Taufbüchlein saw the light of day.

All of these books were ‘conflict’ oriented and 1525 was perhaps the most conflict ridden of Zwingli’s life.   And that doesn’t take into account the opening of a front against an inaccurate understanding of the Lord’s Supper which was then developing and would come to a head at Marburg in 1529.

Notwithstanding all these disputations and difficulties, Zwingli maintained a cheerful disposition.  Depression and despair would stay away until 1531, when early in the summer, he would try to resign.

The historically ignorant to this day constantly insist that the Radicals were chiefly interested in infant baptism and its abolition.  This is not the case.  Nor is it the case that they insisted on baptism by immersion- since they were happy both to sprinkle and to pour.  No, their aim was far more inappropriate: they wanted a Church separated from society.

As Schaff puts it so pointedly:

The first and chief aim of the Radicals was not (as is usually stated) the opposition to infant baptism, still less to sprinkling or pouring, but the establishment of a pure church of converts in opposition to the mixed church of the world. The rejection of infant baptism followed as a necessary consequence. They were not satisfied with separation from popery; they wanted a separation from all the ungodly. They appealed to the example of the disciples in Jerusalem, who left the synagogue and the world, gathered in an upper room, sold their goods, and held all things in common. They hoped at first to carry Zwingli with them, but in vain; and then they charged him with treason to the truth, and hated him worse than the pope.

Zwingli could not follow the Anabaptists without bringing the Reformation into discredit with the lovers of order, and rousing the opposition of the government and the great mass of the people. He opposed them, as Augustin opposed the schismatical Donatists. He urged moderation and patience. The Apostles, he said, separated only from the open enemies of the gospel, and from the works of darkness, but bore with the weak brethren. Separation would not cure the evils of the Church. There are many honest people who, though weak and sick, belong to the sheepfold of Christ, and would be offended at a separation. He appealed to the word of Christ, “He that is not against me, is for me,” and to the parable of the tares and the wheat. If all the tares were to be rooted up now, there would be nothing left for the angels to do on the day of final separation.

The Radicals couldn’t and wouldn’t tolerate such sensibility.  So they stirred civil unrest.  That the authorities could not tolerate, and the Radicals reaped the whirlwind.

 
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Posted by on 17/01/2017 in Church History, Zwingli

 

The Art of Disagreeing Badly: Religious Dispute in Early Modern Europe

Take a look at the interactive site here.

The physical exhibition curated by Dr Stefan Bauer and Bethany Hume, from the University of York, will be on display at the Old Palace, York Minster from the 15th November – 15th December 2016. The exhibition showcases the collections of the York Minster library, examining the role of religious polemic in the early modern period.

All images taken within this exhibition are taken by Paul Shields, and made available by the University of York under the creative commons licence, via their digital library website. 

This digital exhibition is interactive, if you click on any of the links it will lead you to a zoomable image of the books.

 
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Posted by on 14/01/2017 in Church History

 

The Eusebius Essay Prize

HT Shawn Wilhite on the twitter-

The Eusebius Essay Prize, of £500, is offered annually for the best essay submitted on a subject connected with any aspect of early Christian history, broadly understood as including the first seven centuries AD/CE. Scholars in any relevant discipline (theology, classics, late antique studies, Middle Eastern Studies etc.), whether established in their field or graduate students, are encouraged to enter the competition. Submissions from younger scholars are particularly welcomed.

The essay should not exceed 8,000 words, including footnotes, and should be submitted by 30 September 2017. A judgement will be made at the end of November 2017 (the editors reserve the right not to award the prize if no essay of significant quality is submitted).
The essay of the successful candidate will be published in the Journal of Ecclesiastical History. Other submissions entered into the competition may also be recommended for publication.

All essays should be sent by e-mail attachment (with Eusebius Essay Prize in the subject line), prepared to journal style, to Mrs Mandy Barker at jeh@robinson.cam.ac.uk.

 
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Posted by on 13/01/2017 in Church History