Zwinglis liturgische Reformen umfassen sämtliche Feierformen von Abendmahl bis Sakramentenspendung. In vier Teilen führt der erste Band zur Zürcher Gottesdienstgeschichte ein in Formen und Praxis, die Zwingli in Zürich vorfand. Alfred Ehrensperger gibt einen Überblick über die Klostertopografie in Stadt und Land und zeigt insbesondere an den Originalschriften Zwinglis die theologische Argumentation und Zielrichtung der neuen Auffassung von Gottesdienst. Neue Formen, die Rolle der Heiligen Schrift und sein besonderes Verhältnis zur Musik lassen erkennen, wie der Zürcher Reformator in die Tradition eingegriffen und was er beibehalten hat.
Alfred Ehrensperger belässt es nicht nur bei einer kritischen Aufarbeitung der Quellen, sondern überprüft an diesen auch die verbreiteten Urteile über Zwinglis gottesdienstliches Wirken.
Alfred Ehrensperger provides readers with a volume that is extraordinarily rich in both secondary information and in primary sources. He begins, in Part One, with an examination of the situation of the Zurich Church at the cusp of Zwingli’s arrival in the city. In rich detail the piety of the people, their rituals, saints days, celebrations, ministers, and church services are all described.
Part two is a thorough examination of religion in the cloisters of the city. Part three turns to a description of the efforts of Zwingli to reform worship and city. Everything from the disputations to the reforms in worship music to the education of the clergy in the Prophezei are meticulously discussed with primary sources aplenty taken to hand and utilized. Of particular interest to the present reviewer is the subsection dealing with Zwingli’s traditionalist opponents and their efforts to undermine his reform.
Part four goes into more detail about the reformation of preaching, the mass, and the first Church Ordinance enacted by Zwingli and his cohort. The body of the text completed, readers then turn to a variety of indices of primary and secondary materials.
If I were to attempt to describe this book’s contents succinctly I would do so by calling it a primary sourcebook of historical significance. Our author understands the historical enterprise so well that he is able to offer readers precisely what they need in order to understand what the Zurich Church was like before Zwingli arrived, what it was like while he was there, and what he was attempting to do in his reforms. No one working in the field of Reformation History can afford to overlook this hefty work.
And no one working in the field of liturgy can afford to ignore it. The liturgical reforms that Zwingli instituted were profound. And they have abiding significance. And readers of this work are allowed to understand what those statements fully mean.
TVZ is in the habit of publishing works that bring to our hands materials that no one else can or does. Once more, the publisher is to be congratulated for doing work that really matters- not just in the short term, but for many decades and centuries to come. And our author is to be congratulated as well, for doing the work of a team of researchers and presenting it in such a way that it is both engaging and stimulating.
History can sometimes be dull. But there isn’t a dull line in this book.