Heinrich Bullinger in the News

Heinrich Bullingers theologisches und religionspolitisches Wirken war unlösbar mit einem historisch orientierten Verständnis der Welt verknüpft. Bullinger war Nachfolger Zwinglis und Vordenker eines Protestantismus, der in seinem theologischen Kern bis in die Verfassung und politische Kultur moderner Staaten ausgriff. Er war aber auch zeit seines Lebens als Historiker tätig. Das Ergebnis der langjährigen Studien waren drei imposante Geschichtswerke zur Eidgenossenschaft, zur Reformation und zu Zürich. Nun liegt das dritte und letzte vollendete Werk, die Tigurinerchronik, erstmals ediert vor.

Die drei Chroniken greifen inhaltlich und argumentatorisch eng ineinander. Es gelang Bullinger zwar nicht, die eidgenössische Geschichte in eine abschliessende Form zu bringen, aber er konnte im Dezember 1574 die Reformationschronik und die Geschichte von Stadt und Landschaft Zürich, die «Chronik von den Tigurineren und der statt Zürych sachen», seinen «günstigen herren und fürgeliepten bruederen» des Chorherrenstifts zur Aufbewahrung übergeben, «daß sy nitt verloren / verdinset [entwendet] oder veruntrüwt / und undergetruckt werde».

Read the rest of Regula’s review of the three volume critical edition of Bullinger’s opus magnum.

New from TVZ

Ein Dutzend «normale» Frauen und Männer, jüngere und ältere, kirchennahe und kirchenferne, Katholik/-innen und Protestant/-innen, haben zusammen mit dem bekannten Schweizer Neutestamentler Ulrich Luz das Neue Testament gelesen und ihre kritischen Fragen und Einwände an seine Textentwürfe gestellt.

Entstanden ist ein originelles, «leser-geprüftes» Büchlein: Es informiert Nicht-Theologinnen und Nicht-Theologen in verständlicher Sprache über Jesus, das frühe Christentum und die Schriften des Neuen Testaments.

Tigurinerchronik (3 Volumes)

Die dreibändige Ausgabe macht erstmals das historiografische Hauptwerk Heinrich Bullingers (1504–1575), die sogenannte «Tigurinerchronik», zugänglich. Das Werk vermittelt die Sicht des engagierten und belesenen Zwinglinachfolgers, der darin die Geschichte Zürichs mit jener der Eidgenossenschaft und Europas verquickt und aufarbeitet. Die Darstellung, die sich von vorchristlicher Zeit bis zur Reformation erstreckt, ist heilsgeschichtlich angelegt und versteht die Entwicklung des Christentums und der Kirche als Ausbreitung der Wahrheit (Antike), deren Verschüttung (Mittelalter) und der Wiederentdeckung (Reformation). Dabei erhält die Stadt Zürich hohe Bedeutung und ihre Reform die endgültige Legitimation.

Mit der vorliegenden umfangreichen kritischen Edition – Bullingers eigenhändiges Manuskript umfasst rund 1800 Folioseiten – steht der Forschung nun diese wichtige Quelle des 16. Jahrhunderts zur Verfügung.

Heinrich Bullinger Werke, Band WA4 = HI1
2018, 1854 (in drei Bänden) Seiten, 16.8 x 24.4 cm, Leinen mit SU.  ISBN 978-3-290-17851-2.  450,00 €

A review copy was graciously sent in July and I’ve now made my way through the work.

The three volumes in this set are comprised of the famous historical survey composed by Bullinger towards the end of his life titled the Tigurinerchronik (hereafter TC).  The Zurich Chronicles.  This work is not to be confused with the 3 volumes of Bullinger written on the history of the Reformation- his Reformationsgeschichte.  The two works differ in scope and in focus.

TVZ’s new critical edition of the TC is comprised of three volumes.  The first two are the work itself and the third is a tremendously important supplemental volume the contents of which I will describe shortly.

Volume 1 contains books 1-8 of the TC and is prefaced by a foreword, an introduction to the work, and a word of appreciation for the work’s many important supporters.  More precisely, Peter Opitz and Martin Rüsch take a couple of pages to set the stage for the work that follows.  The introduction, written by Hans Urs Bächtold, discusses Bullinger as historian, the TC’s development and history, the chief manuscripts incorporated into the present critical edition, and printed forerunners of the work.

The critical edition of the TC is offered exactly as presented in the oldest manuscripts, including morphologically and textually.  Readers will experience what the first readers experienced in every respect save the font utilized.  Modern Times Roman-esque print in used instead of the Fraktur-esque font of the first printed copies.  References to the original works are found in the margins so that interested researchers can find the source pages without any difficulty at all.  Sentences are also numbered so that locating a particular piece of information from the index is very simple.  Copious footnotes are also provided and these contain historical and linguistic/ textual information.  Also contained in the margins are subject indicators, so that readers can find matters of interest and follow the argument of the work at a glance.  These, naturally, originate with the first printed editions and are here faithfully reproduced.

The language is, naturally, the German of Bullinger’s Zurich.  Readers will need to have that language well in hand or at the very least be willing to look up uncertain words in the lexicon provided in the third volume.  There are also swaths of Latin.

Volume two of the massive work covers books 9 through 14 of the TC.  Appendices are included as well which include three supplemental historical documents:

  • Stiftsgeschichte
  • Schulsatzungen 1559
  • Großes Mandat 1550

Pages in the two volumes are numbered consecutively, so that volume two does not begin with page 1, but carries on where volume one left off.  This makes finding items referenced in the Index quite simple.

Concerning the Index, it is found in the third volume of the work and it too is very much a work to be consulted.  It begins with an overview, chapter by chapter, of the contents of the TC.  Second, readers will discover the very useful lexicon or glossary of unfamiliar terms.  Bullinger’s German, like Zwingli’s, was particular and at times idiosyncratic.  So a glossary is provided for terms that, while common in Zurich in 1575, are not so common any longer.

Third, a listing of printed sources is provided.  Fourth, hand written sources are listed.  Fifth, a modern bibliography is provided.  Next, an index of persons and places.  And finally, a series of photographic plates of Bullinger’s original hand written work.

This work is encyclopedic.  And it is brilliantly executed.  Besides simply reading through it as a narrative work (which readers certainly should do), it is also immensely useful for tracking down various persons and their doings from the perspective of Bullinger’s point of view.  So, for instance, one of the more interesting person (who nonetheless is hardly known outside of specialist circles) is one Conrad Hoffmann.  Hoffmann despised Zwingli and the entire time Zwingli and Hoffmann were in Zurich together (from 1519 till 1524 when Hoffmann left) (Hoffmann died in 1525), Hoffmann was Zwingli’s constant foe.

Making use of the index of persons, one can easily discover the places in the Chronicle where Hoffmann is mentioned:  380:28 (that is, page 320, line 28), 399:13, 1184:24, 1222:20, and 1229:16.   Reading through those passages one discovers that Bullinger is thoroughly capable of objectivity and rationality unimpinged by personal sentiments.  Bullinger, in other words, is an excellent historian.

And that, I suspect, is the key to the work.  That is, readers can take Bullinger seriously and they can take his historical reconstruction as unbiased and accurate.  The critical edition of the work opens it up to modern readers and by doing so opens up the history of Zurich in a way that contemporary history simply cannot do.  Accordingly, this work is indispensable for students of the Reformation.  Indispensable.  It cannot, and should not, be ignored.  Rather, it should be consulted and made use of.

Further, it belongs on the shelves of researchers and libraries around the globe.  If other acquisitions need to be set aside for budgetary reasons, this one should be obtained.  Tell your librarian, your spouse, your church, your neighbors, your family, and anyone who may have a little spare cash to pitch in and get it.

Now, if we can just get a critical edition of The Reformationsgeschichte!

New in the Barth Gesamtausgabe

«Alte Anschauungsweisen, alte Verhältnisse und Ordnungen sind gefallen und fallen noch. […] Die Menschheit sucht auf neuen Wegen neue Werte. […] Nur zu oft sind wir Christen gegenwärtig ängstlich […]. Und doch sollten gerade wir jenen Ruf nach Leben zum unsern machen, wenn wir Jünger Jesu sein wollen. Stehen wir […] klagend am Wege, so handeln wir sicher nicht im Sinne dessen, der uns verheissen: Ich lebe, und ihr sollt auch leben!»

Schon Barths erste Predigten, die er während seines Studiums, in seinen Vikariaten und als Hilfsprediger in Genf hält, zeigen ihn als wachen Zeitgenossen mit feinem Gespür für gesellschaftliche wie kulturelle Brüche und Verwerfungen. Die Predigten, die eben darauf antworten, die Ängste und Unsicherheiten aufnehmen, stehen im Zentrum seines ersten Wirkens in der Gemeinde.

Karl Barth-Gesamtausgabe, Band 53 
2018, XVIII/748 Seiten, 12.5 x 20.0 cm, Leinen mit SU
ISBN 978-3-290-18146-8

Wussten Sie, dass die Reformierten lange Zeit für Theater sorgten?

A little collection of essays by our own Peter Opitz has been published by the great folk at TVZ.

Die gesammelten Kolumnen aus dem bref Magazin

  • Überraschendes aus der Reformation
  • Fundiert und humorvoll
  • Die beliebten Kolumnen aus dem bref Magazin

For those unfamiliar with Bref Magazin, it is a periodical focusing on issues of interest to the Reformed community in Switzerland and the wider world.  It commenced in 2016 and has been regularly published since then.

From time to time the very gifted Reformation scholar Peter Opitz has contributed brief pieces to the magazine.  Those are here collected and made available in one convenient place for interested readers.

Each essay is about a page and a half or two pages at the maximum and they cover a variety  of topics from the confusion of Luther with Zwingli in the popular mind to the part women played in the Reformation to laughter as a sign of God’s Spirit to whether or not the Reformed are also ‘Protestant’ to the illustrations of the Froschauer Bibel to Zwingli’s appreciation of music to Zwingli’s Hebrew teacher and many others.

It is wide ranging and informative and delightful and a bright example of scholarship for the masses.

This little 49 page volume with it’s twenty-one ‘Did You Know?’s is the perfect little introduction to Church History questions that are insightful, humorous, witty, and instructive.  If you read it, you will enjoy it.  I promise.

Zwingli lesen

Ulrich Zwingli war ein epochaler Denker. Zwingli lesen bedeutet, an diesem Denken und Argumentieren teilzuhaben.

Dieses Lesebuch enthält deshalb die zentralen Texte von Zwingli selbst – und zwar in verständlichem heutigem Deutsch. Darüber hinaus wird jeder Text eingeleitet und kommentiert. Vollständig wiedergegeben werden: Das Pestlied (1520), Die Klarheit und Gewissheit des Wortes Gottes (1522), die 67 Thesen oder Artikel (1523), Göttliche und menschliche Gerechtigkeit (1523), Eine freundschaftliche und ernstliche Ermahnung der Eidgenossen (1524), die beiden Berner Predigten (1528) und das Kappelerlied (um 1529). Auszüge aus weiteren Texten und einige zentrale Briefe Zwinglis ergänzen den Band.

Die Auswahl greift die wichtigsten Themen und biografischen Stationen des Reformators auf. Wer diese Texte kennt, kann über Zwingli kompetent mitreden.

TVZ have provided a review copy.  And I’d like to first offer a photo of the table of contents- not merely to show what the volume contains, although that’s quite important- but to show how really very lovely the font is.  And the photo doesn’t do it justice.

IMG_4412

As to the works by Zwingli included here, the choices made by our learned editors are extremely appropriate.   These short works all show the mind of Zwingli at its most brilliant and the mixture of letters and theological treatises is superb.  Those looking for a first hand introduction to Zwingli’s theological notions, via primary rather than secondary sources, should start here.  And then proceed to the 4 volume collection of Zwingli’s works in modern German by the same publisher.  And then on to the critical edition, also by the same publisher.  With these volumes, this publisher is living up to the first name by which it was known- the Zwingli Verlag, Zurich.

The contents of the present work are punctuated by excerpts from Bullinger’s Reformationshgeschichte where color illustrations, by hand, are included in that fabled tome.

IMG_4413

I have to admit that I find such inclusions utterly endearing.  I love this publisher because it constantly produces volumes that really, really matter.  This is such a volume.  It is a work of art and a work of scholarship.

Concerning the translations of these key works by Zwingli with which this volume is populated; they are incredibly well crafted.  Zwingli is very, very hard to translate simply because he works in his own 16th century Swiss German and Latin.  He likes words, and like Luther he was super at creating new ones and using old ones in new ways.  This makes him both incredibly fun to read and incredibly hard to translate for modern folk.  Indeed, Zwingli’s German and Luther’s German were so different that the two theologians couldn’t understand each other at Marburg and had to use Latin.  Because Zwingli’s language is so arcane, anyone capable of translating that language into a modern language should receive a prize of some sort.  And that goes doubly for those who do it well like Opitz and Saxer.

Take, for instance, this bit from the sermon ‘On the Clarity and Certainty of the Word of God‘ from the critical edition from 1522-

Zum zehenden. Empfindstu, das es dich gewüß macht der gnaden gottes und ewigen heils, so ist es von got.

And now the modern German rendering-

10.  Spürst Du, dass dir die Gnade Gottes und das ewige Heil zur Gewissheit werden, so ist das von Gott.

I challenge you to do better.  I don’t think it can be done.

Opitz and Saxer have assemble as well a very brief but useful bibliography (though it pains me that my own work on Zwingli is not included) and they include footnotes in the body of the text but these are kept to a bare minimum.  At the conclusion of each text they also have the original source cited so interested persons can make their way to it.  And, finally, at the very end of the volume is an index of chief subjects so that if readers want to look in on Zwingli’s understanding of ‘Taufe’, for instance, the pages where that subject is touched upon are easily discovered.

By now readers of this review have surely sensed that I think in highly commendable.  If they haven’t, allow me to say it more forthrightly: I love this book.  Not just because it’s Zwingli, but because it’s so well done.  I recommend it to you.  Without hesitation or ambiguity.  It’s super.

«Gottes kräftiger Anspruch» : Die Barmer Theologische Erklärung als reformierter Schlüsseltext

Die sechs Thesen der Barmer Theologischen Erklärung von 1934 gehören zum protestantischen Traditionsgut. Aber wie vital sind sie eigentlich? Die Autorinnen und Autoren dieses Bandes konzentrieren sich auf das reformierte Profil der Barmer Thesen. Was heisst es heute, dass Jesus Christus das eine Wort Gottes ist? Was, ihn als «Gottes kräftigen Anspruch» auf unser ganzes Leben zu bekennen? Warum fehlen die Juden in diesem Text und mit welchen Folgen? Welchen Beitrag leisten die Thesen zur politischen Ethik? Die weltweite Rezeption der Barmer Theologischen Erklärung kommt ebenso zur Sprache wie die brisante Frage, ob und mit welchem Anspruch heute noch bestimmte Glaubenspositionen verworfen werden können. Alle Aspekte kreisen um die zentrale Frage: Warum sollen wir heute «Barmen» noch lesen, diskutieren, bekennen?

TVZ sent a review copy.

The central question which occupies the present volume is a simple one: is the Barmen Declaration still useful?

In an attempt to answer this question, the contributors first describe and discuss the six theses of which the Declaration is comprised (Part 1).  Then a consideration of the Declaration’s biblical and historical contexts is proffered (Part 2).  And then finally the ‘reception history’ (for lack of a better umbrella term) is examined (Part 3).

The volume concludes with an index of biblical texts and a brief bio of the collection’s authors.

The essays here collected were originally papers delivered in Bern at a series of lectures commemorating the 80th anniversary of the Declaration.  Fourteen essays by as many authors cover the topics described above and some of the contributors are ‘super-stars’ in the historical theology field.  These include Gottfried Wilhelm Locher, Peter Opitz, and Peter Winzeler.

A book of this sort will interest many, and since the table of contents is the open window on the volume’s intention, I include a couple of photos of the full TOC (since they aren’t online):

IMG_4033

IMG_4034

As can be seen, the essays all cohere around the theme of the work.  They are uniformly well written and very helpful indeed- not only in assessing the ongoing relevance of the Declaration but in setting the text in its historical setting.

I feel quite comfortable in recommending this volume and it isn’t saying too much if I suggest that readers will thoroughly enjoy it.  I did.  It begins with the right tone and carries that tone to the conclusion.  The font is lovely and the several photographs of the Declaration which open the work are very interesting indeed given their marginalia.

And, just on the off chance that readers of this review are not sure of the content of the Barmen Theological Declaration- here it is:

In view of the errors of the “German Christians” and of the present Reich Church Administration, which are ravaging the Church and at the same time also shattering the unity of the German Evangelical Church, we confess the following evangelical truths:

1. “I am the Way and the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6

“Very truly, I tell you, anyone who does not enter the sheepfold through the gate but climbs in by another way is a thief and a bandit. I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved.” John 10:1,9

Jesus Christ, as he is attested to us in Holy Scripture, is the one Word of God whom we have to hear, and whom we have to trust and obey in life and in death.

We reject the false doctrine that the Church could and should recognize as a source of its proclamation, beyond and besides this one Word of God, yet other events, powers, historic figures and truths as God’s revelation.

2. “Jesus Christ has been made wisdom and righteousness and sanctification and redemption for us by God.” 1 Cor. 1:30

As Jesus Christ is God’s comforting pronouncement of the forgiveness of all our sins, so, with equal seriousness, he is also God’s vigorous announcement of his claim upon our whole life. Through him there comes to us joyful liberation from the godless ties of this world for free, grateful service to his creatures.

We reject the false doctrine that there could be areas of our life in which we would not belong to Jesus Christ but to other lords, areas in which we would not need justification and sanctification through him.

3. “Let us, however, speak the truth in love, and in every respect grow into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body is joined together.” Eph. 4:15-16

The Christian Church is the community of brethren in which, in Word and Sacrament, through the Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ acts in the present as Lord. With both its faith and its obedience, with both its message and its order, it has to testify in the midst of the sinful world, as the Church of pardoned sinners, that it belongs to him alone and lives and may live by his comfort and under his direction alone, in expectation of his appearing.

We reject the false doctrine that the Church could have permission to hand over the form of its message and of its order to whatever it itself might wish or to the vicissitudes of the prevailing ideological and political convictions of the day.

4. “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. It will not be so among you; but whoever wishes to have authority over you must be your servant.” Matt. 20:25-26

The various offices in the Church do not provide a basis for some to exercise authority over others but for the ministry [lit., “service”] with which the whole community has been entrusted and charged to be carried out.

We reject the false doctrine that, apart from this ministry, the Church could, and could have permission to, give itself or allow itself to be given special leaders [Führer] vested with ruling authority.

5. “Fear God. Honor the Emperor.” 1 Pet. 2:17

Scripture tells us that by divine appointment the State, in this still unredeemed world in which also the Church is situated, has the task of maintaining justice and peace, so far as human discernment and human ability make this possible, by means of the threat and use of force. The Church acknowledges with gratitude and reverence toward God the benefit of this, his appointment. It draws attention to God’s Dominion [Reich], God’s commandment and justice, and with these the responsibility of those who rule and those who are ruled. It trusts and obeys the power of the Word, by which God upholds all things.

We reject the false doctrine that beyond its special commission the State should and could become the sole and total order of human life and so fulfil the vocation of the Church as well.

We reject the false doctrine that beyond its special commission the Church should and could take on the nature, tasks and dignity which belong to the State and thus become itself an organ of the State.

6. “See, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matt. 28:20 “God’s Word is not fettered.” 2 Tim. 2:9

The Church’s commission, which is the foundation of its freedom, consists in this: in Christ’s stead, and so in the service of his own Word and work, to deliver all people, through preaching and sacrament, the message of the free grace of God.

We reject the false doctrine that with human vainglory the Church could place the Word and work of the Lord in the service of self-chosen desires, purposes and plans.

The Confessing Synod of the German Evangelical Church declares that it sees in the acknowledgment of these truths and in the rejection of these errors the indispensable theological basis of the German Evangelical Church as a confederation of Confessing Churches. It calls upon all who can stand in solidarity with its Declaration to be mindful of these theological findings in all their decisions concerning Church and State. It appeals to all concerned to return to unity in faith, hope and love.

Verbum Dei manet in aeternum.
The Word of God will last for ever.

The declaration’s final word is true of Scripture, and it may also be true of this important document.  Our volume faithfully informs us of its abiding significance and if history, as they say, repeats itself, we can expect the Declaration to retain its importance for as long as human history continues.

A Chance to Win An Advent Book

From TVZ-

ZU GEWINNEN: «Der Adventsbesen und andere Weihnachtsgeschichten» und andere Weihnachtsgeschichten
.
WAS: 3x unser diesjähriges Buch mit Weihnachtsgeschichten und eines aus früheren Jahren.
.
WIE: Mail bis 14.00Uhr an tvz@ref.ch mit eigener Adresse und Titel des gewünschten zweiten Büchleins (zur Inspiration: http://bit.ly/Weihnachtsbücher_TVZ) – am Nachmittag losen wir im Verlag die Glücklichen aus.
.
WARUM: Nur so, weil Montag ist.
.
WAS NOCH: Viel Glück

Die schweizerische Reformation: Ein Handbuch

Die Reformation ist eines der grossen Ereignisse der Schweizer Geschichte. Die neuen religiösen Auffassungen lösen heftige soziale Konflikte aus, die die Vertrauensbasis zwischen den katholischen und protestantischen Orten erschüttern und den Zusammenhalt der Eidgenossenschaft infrage stellen. Der starke Einfluss des Humanismus, die ausgewogenen Machtverhältnisse in den Städten und die religiöse Autonomie vieler Landgemeinden – das alles zusammen gibt der Reformation in der Schweiz ein unverwechselbares Profil.

Das Handbuch zeichnet detailliert die Ausbreitung der reformatorischen Bewegung in den Städten Zürich, Bern, Basel, St. Gallen, Schaffhausen und in den ländlichen Gebieten wie Graubünden, Appenzell und der französischsprachigen Schweiz, aber auch die gescheiterten Reformationen oder die Täuferbewegung nach. Es zeigt, wie sich im Lauf des 16. Jahrhunderts aus einer diffusen Bewegung eine disziplinierte Gruppe von Kirchen mit definierten Glaubenssätzen und eigenständiger Kultur entwickelt hat, und erkundet die Langzeitfolgen der Reformation auf die schweizerische Gesellschaft, auf die religiöse Kultur wie die Alltagskultur, auf Bildung, Gemeinwesen und Politik.  Mit Beiträgen von Irena Backus, Jan-Andrea Bernhard, Erich Bryner, Amy Nelson Burnett, Emidio Campi, Bruce Gordon, Kaspar von Greyerz, Sundar Henny, Karin Maag, Thomas Maissen, Martin Sallmann, Regula Schmid und Andrea Strübind.

The publisher has graciously provided a review copy.  More in due course.

Heinrich Bullinger: Briefe von Oktober bis Dezember 1546

Der neue Band des Bullinger-Briefwechsels enthält 130 zwischen Oktober und Dezember 1546 verfasste Briefe, denen jeweils eine ausführliche deutsche Zusammenfassung vorangeht. Involviert sind 42 Briefschreiber, insbesondere Ambrosius Blarer, Oswald Myconius, Johannes Haller und Martin Bucer. Der Band vermittelt Informationen zum Schmalkaldischen Krieg (1546/47), zur politischen Haltung der Eidgenossen, zum Geschehen in Augsburg, zur Schule in Kappel und Chur, zum Kirchenwesen in Basel und Bern, zum Bibliotheksnachlass des Zuger Reformators Werner Steiner wie auch zu zahlreichen zeitgenössischen Publikationen. Ausserdem finden sich im Band viele unbekannte biografische Details, u. a. zu einem Verwandten von Andreas Vesalius und zu den Berner Dekanen Jodocus Kilchmeyer und Johannes Fädminger.

With thanks to the publisher, TVZ, for the review copy.

As I’ve stated before in reviewing these volumes from TVZ, the importance of having primary sources is inexpressible.  Without primary sources, we have nothing of use in historical research.  Indeed, without primary sources, we are incapable of historical research.

Of particular importance are the letters to and from important historical personages.  This is true whether the letters come from the 4th century or the 14th or the 16th or the 20th or the 21st.  Letters allow us into the actual lives of people.  We read over their shoulder and find out the sorts of things that both motivated and troubled, encouraged and discouraged them.

In the case of Bullinger and his amazingly expansive correspondence, we learn that he talks about books a lot.  He talks about books he’s reading, books he has read, books he is writing, and books he wishes others would write (and not have written).  He discusses people, events, places, troubles, victories, joys, sorrows, and every little thing that crossed his mind.

The present volume contains letters Bullinger sent and received between October and December, 1546.  They include the known (Blarer) and the unknown (Bernhard von Cham).  The volume includes a foreword by Peter Opitz and a fantastic introduction by Reinhard Bodenmann extending from page 13 through page 46.

The index at the conclusion of the volume focuses primarily on people and places.  Correspondents are indicated by bold print.  There is no Scripture index.  The great thing about the index is that if a reader wants to consult letters which discuss a particular person (like Zwingli) then one is easily able to do so.  If one wishes to see what Bullinger and his correspondents thought about Luther or Melanchthon that is also quite easy to do.

In two years’ time, the present volume will be integrated into the electronic edition of Bullinger’s correspondence, in which the 2620 letters published so far in the previous 17 volumes are freely available on the website http://teoirgsed.uzh.ch/.

Unfortunately, because funding has been cut for the project, the publication of this invaluable source for European history in the age of the Reformation is at stake! Hopefully some institution or some rich donors willing to eternalize their names will be found in order to avoid such a shameful end!

Ulrich Zwinglis Ethik

This new volume has just appeared from TVZ-

In Ulrich Zwinglis Ethik spiegeln sich entscheidende Stationen seiner Biographie wider: seine Kritik am Solddienstwesen, seine Begegnung mit dem Humanismus und seine Pesterkrankung. Anhand dieser Stationen ethischer Sensibilisierung kristallisiert der Ethiker Matthias Neugebauer die zentralen Fragen des Zürcher Reformators heraus: Was ist Gott? Was ist das Gute? Was ist Gerechtigkeit? Gibt es eine Freiheit des Willens? Zwingli durchdachte die praktischen Konsequenzen des Christseins mit Leidenschaft und nahm Stellung zu den gesellschaftlichen Auswirkungen auf Ehe und Familie, Arbeit und Müssiggang, Staat und Obrigkeit sowie Krieg und Frieden.

Matthias Neugebauer bringt Zwinglis ethische Grundgedanken in einen überschaubaren Zusammenhang. Dabei wird deutlich, wie aktuell diese Fragestellungen und wie konsequent die Antworten sind: nahe am Leben und gewonnen aus einem intensiven Bibelstudium.

Neugebaur sets about the task of explicating Zwingli’s ethics by first outlining the chief contributing events in the life of Zwingli which seem to have been most formative of his ethical viewpoints.  These are the problem of mercenary service, the critical issues raised by humanism, and Zwingli’s near death encounter with the plague.  In the opinion of the present reviewer these three aspects are the very bedrock upon which Zwingli’s ethics AND theology were founded and N. is completely correct in asserting their importance.

The author then moves the argument forward by discussing the theological and philosophical principles which come to contribute to Zwingli’s ethical system (though of course our author makes it clear that Zwingli wrote neither an ‘Ethics’ nor a ‘Dogmatics’).  These are God and the Good, General Ethics and Christian Ethics, and ‘Unfree’ Will and Christian freedom.

Part three is devoted to the living out of this ethic concretely in the world.  That is, here N. leads us on a tour of Zwingli’s ethic of marriage and the family, work and labor, State and Society, and War and Peace.  All brilliantly described and all grippingly investigated.

The work concludes with a conclusion (as such things normally do) and summary of literature and a list of the many illustrations which add value to the book.

The last time an ‘Ethic’ of Zwingli was published was 1902.  It was, for its time, a somewhat useful work by Paul von Kügelgen, Die Ethik Huldreich Zwinglis. It’s weaknesses, though, outweigh its strengths because it is concerned chiefly with the ‘individualism’ its author saw at work in Zwingli’s thought.  The book by Neugebauer is light years ahead of von K.’s both in terms of thoroughness and helpfulness.

The great benefit of the work is the absolutely comprehensive and copious citations from Zwingli’s own writings.  This isn’t simply a summary of Zwingli’s thought, it is a demonstration of that thought from Zwingli’s ‘own mouth’ (as it were).

I learned a great deal from it (and I’m not being boastful when I say that I know a bit more than the average person about Zwingli).  Readers will, I think, like me, benefit immensely by reading it.  Which I hope very many do so that they too can come to understand the greatest of the Reformers more thoroughly.

From the New TVZ Catalog

9783290178871Die Reformation ist eines der grossen Ereignisse der Schweizer Geschichte. Die neuen religiösen Auffassungen lösen heftige soziale Konflikte aus, die die Vertrauensbasis zwischen den katholischen und protestantischen Orten erschüttern und den Zusammenhalt der Eidgenossenschaft infrage stellen. Der starke Einfluss des Humanismus, die ausgewogenen Machtverhältnisse in den Städten und die religiöse Autonomie vieler Landgemeinden – das alles zusammen gibt der Reformation in der Schweiz ein unverwechselbares Profil.

Das Handbuch zeichnet detailliert die Ausbreitung der reformatorischen Bewegung in den Städten Zürich, Bern, Basel, St. Gallen, Schaffhausen und in den ländlichen Gebieten wie Graubünden, Appenzell und der französischsprachigen Schweiz, aber auch die gescheiterten Reformationen oder die Täuferbewegung nach. Es zeigt, wie sich im Lauf des 16. Jahrhunderts aus einer diffusen Bewegung eine disziplinierte Gruppe von Kirchen mit definierten Glaubenssätzen und eigenständiger Kultur entwickelt hat, und erkundet die Langzeitfolgen der Reformation auf die schweizerische Gesellschaft, auf die religiöse Kultur wie die Alltagskultur, auf Bildung, Gemeinwesen und Politik.  Mit Beiträgen von Irena Backus, Jan-Andrea Bernhard, Erich Bryner, Amy Nelson Burnett, Emidio Campi, Bruce Gordon, Kaspar von Greyerz, Sundar Henny, Karin Maag, Thomas Maissen, Martin Sallmann, Regula Schmid und Andrea Strübind.

And

9783290178925In Ulrich Zwinglis Ethik spiegeln sich entscheidende Stationen seiner Biografie wider: seine Kritik am Solddienstwesen, seine Begegnung mit dem Humanismus und seine Pesterkrankung. Anhand dieser Stationen ethischer Sensibilisierung kristallisiert der Ethiker Matthias Neugebauer die zentralen Fragen des Zürcher Reformators heraus: Was ist Gott? Was ist das Gute? Was ist Gerechtigkeit? Gibt es eine Freiheit des Willens? Zwingli durchdachte die praktischen Konsequenzen des Christseins mit Leidenschaft und nahm Stellung zu den gesellschaftlichen Auswirkungen auf Ehe und Familie, Arbeit und Müssiggang, Staat und Obrigkeit sowie Krieg und Frieden.

Matthias Neugebauer bringt Zwinglis ethische Grundgedanken in einen überschaubaren Zusammenhang. Dabei wird deutlich, wie aktuell diese Fragestellungen und wie konsequent die Antworten sind: nahe am Leben und gewonnen aus einem intensiven Bibelstudium.

And

9783290178901Oswald Myconius (1488–1552) war Schulmeister in Basel, Zürich und Luzern, Mitarbeiter und erster BiografZwinglis und ab 1532 als Münsterpfarrer Vorsteher der Basler Kirche. Sein Briefwechsel ist mit1338 Briefen eine ausserordentlich ergiebige Quelle zur schweizerischen und europäischen Reformationsgeschichte.Er dokumentiert das Informationsnetzwerk und die Entscheidungsprozesse der politschen,kirchlichen und theologischen Eliten im schweizerisch-oberdeutschen Raum, insbesondere in denJahren 1531 bis 1552. Zu den Hauptkorrespondenten von Myconius zählen Zwingli, Bullinger, Bibliander,Bucer, Capito, Vadian und Calvin.

Rainer Henrich fasst den Inhalt sämtlicher erhaltener Briefe erstmals in heutigem Deutsch zusammenund erschliesst sie durch ein Orts-, ein Personen- und ein Bibelstellenregister. Den Briefregesten vorausgehen eine biografische Einleitung zu Oswald Myconius auf neustem Forschungsstand sowie ein Werkverzeichnis.

How fantastic do these three books look?