Today With Calvin: In Dispute With Hesshuss

On November 28, 1554 Calvin published a tract against one Hesshuss of Westphalia who had involved himself in dispute with the Reformer on the subject of the sacraments. That was a pretty bad idea on the part of Mr Hesshuss- for Calvin noted in the Preface:

It is the property of Satan to slander, to darken the light; and as the father of contention, to destroy peace, and break the unity of the faith. Such being the characteristics of this babbler, nothing remains for us but to designate him a child of the devil.”*

Yes, it’s a bad idea to annoy Calvin, known to many as ‘Mr I-Won’t-Put-Up-With-Any-Of-Your-Nonsense!’  I like that about him.

______________________
*The Life and Times of John Calvin, the Great Reformer Volume 2 (281). New York: Robert Carter & Brothers.

„Zwingli hängt immer noch der Ruf des nüchternen, sinnenfeindlichen Eiferers an, dabei war er im Gegenteil ein sehr lebensfreudiger Mensch“

Christoph Sigrist, Felix Reich und Margot Kässmann

Christoph Sigrist, Felix Reich und Margot Kässmann

They had a discussion in Zurich about Luther and Zwingli- the report of which you can find here.

Am Podium zum Thema „Wer hat’s erfunden?“ sprachen die deutsche Botschafterin und der Schweizer Botschafter des Reformationsjubiläums am Reformationssonntag in Zürich erst über Luther und Zwingli. Bald landeten sie aber bei der Bibel und den Flüchtlingen in Deutschland.

Dear Lutherans and Luther Sycophants: Luther Wasn’t First on the Scene Doing Reform

‘Reformation Day’ Nope!’

‘The Reformation’ is a misnomer if ever there were one, for in fact there was no ‘one’ Reformation any more than there was just one Reformer. ‘The Reformation’, when used by students and the general public, usually refers to the Reformation of Martin Luther which commenced at the end of October in the year of our Lord, 1517.

Even then, though, Luther’s intent wasn’t as earth-shattering as later ages took it to be. For Luther, the placement of a series of theses in Latin on the Church Door at Wittenberg Castle was nothing more than an invitation to debate. In other words, Luther didn’t see his act as the commencement of a revolution; he saw it as an academic exercise.

‘The Reformation’ is, then, little more than a label derived from historical hindsight gazing mono-focularly at a series of events over a period of time across a wide geographical landscape. Each Reformer had roots sunk in fertile ground and their work was simply the coming to fruition of generations of shift in the Roman Catholic Church.

Hence, it would be more appropriate to speak of ‘Reformations’ in the same way that we now speak of ‘Judaisms’ and ‘Christianities’. The Reformation was no monolith.

Who, then were the Reformers who gave birth to the Reformations most closely associated with them? They were Huldrych Zwingli, Martin Luther, and John Calvin, in just that order.

In 1515 while he was Pastor of the village Church in Glarus, Huldrych Zwingli began to call into question the dependence of the Church on the teachings of the Scholastics. He also questioned the value of the Vulgate for preaching and began earnest study of the Greek New Testament. There, memorizing the letters of Paul (in Greek) he discovered the Gospel which would come to feature so prominently in his Reforming efforts: Salvation is by grace, through faith, and not through works as proclaimed by the Scholastic theologians. By 1519, when he moved to Zurich to become the Pastor of the Great Minster, Zwingli was already well on his way to Reforming the worship of the Church and the administration of the ‘Sacraments’. In short order, within a few years, the Mass was abandoned and replaced by the ‘Lord’s Supper’ and the fixation of the Church on images was denounced and those images removed in due course.

Zwingli’s Reformation was carried out with the cooperation of the City government, which is why Zwingli, along with Luther and Calvin, were to be known to history as ‘Magisterial Reformers’. Not because they were ‘Magisterial’ but because each had the support of their city’s magistrates.

North of Zurich, in Wittenberg, Luther’s Reformatory efforts were coming to full steam around the same time. In 1520 he broke with Rome irrevocably with the publication of his stunning ‘On The Babylonian Captivity of the Church’. From there, there was to be no turning back. And here we must remind ourselves that at this juncture Luther was not dependent on the work of Zwingli, nor was Zwingli dependent on the work of Luther. Both were pursuing reform along parallel tracks, separately.

Further to the West of Switzerland a decade later John Calvin, an exile from France, a lawyer by training and a theologian by training and desire, began his own efforts at Reform. Several years after Zwingli’s death and long after Luther’s demise Calvin plodded away in Geneva attempting manfully to bring that raucous city to heel under the power of the Gospel.

Each of these Reformers were ‘Fathers’ of their own Reformation. Each was, originally, independent of the other and in many ways they tried very hard to retain that independence even when their common foe, the Church of Rome, was the target as their common enemy. Each contributed to ‘The Reformation’ in their own unique way.

If, then, we wish to honor their memory and their efforts, it behooves us to set aside our preconceptions or our beliefs that ‘The Reformation’ began on October 31, 1517. It didn’t. It began in 1515 in Glarus. And it began in 1517 in Wittenberg. And it began in Geneva in 1536.

Happy Reformations Days.

PhD in Reformation History at Baylor

Baylor University, Department of Religion, in Waco TX, invites applications for a PhD Scholarship (funded for up to five years) in Reformation studies. Baylor’s Religion Department is ranked among the top 10 nationally and offers generous funding, teaching experience, and has an excellent placement track-record. The department has expertise in the Magisterial and Anabaptist Reformations. Deadline for applying for Fall 2016 is 14 December 2015. For more information, please visit the department’s website.  Contact information: David M. Whitford.

Via

The Myth of the Reformation

978-3-525-55033-5On June 8-10, 2011, the first conference of RefoRC, the Reformation Research Consortium (www.reforc.com), was held at the Institute for Swiss Reformation History at the Theological Faculty of the University of Zurich. The overall title The Myth of the Reformation, encouraged critical perspectives on traditional beliefs about the sixteenth century Reformation(s).

Peter Opitz provides a selection of the papers that were presented at the Zurich conference. He assembles many diverse perspectives, which refute at least one myth: that the Reformation era is a boring period where not much is left to discover behind the traditional myths.

The good folk at ISD and V&R have sent along a copy for review, which is posted here.

And, remember, the next big event at the University of Zurich is in August, 2014, just a bit less than a  year from now.  No doubt when the time is right the papers from that conference will also be published.

Reformation Cities Tourism

From Refo500

HasseltkerkbodeRefo500 now has a website for tourists and visitors of the reformation cities: RefoCities.eu. Visitors to the website can find information there about the reformation and are invited to acquaint themselves personally with places in Europe that were important for the reformation. RefoCities.eu was launched officially March 6, 2013, during a press conference in Homberg/Efze when also the partnership agreement with this city was officially signed. Click here to go to RefoCities.eu.

It’s Time For Melanchthon: An Open Letter to Logos Bible Software

Dear Logos,

melanchthon4First, thanks for your great work.  I am sure I am not alone in finding your collections of Luther’s, Calvin’s, and of course especially Zwingli’s works both useful and important.

Second, however, I think it’s time for you to offer a Melanchthon collection which should include both biographical material and several of his most important books.

Melanchthon is just simply too important to ignore, his contributions too universal, and his work just too valuable to overlook any longer.

So, dear Logos, how about it?  Bring a worthy (and one of the worthiest) of all theologians to a wider public.  Earn merit with heaven.  Or at least with me.  And honestly, what could be better?

Your friend,

Jim

The Death of Emperor Maximilian: January 12, 1519

The Emperor’s death – along with all such political stuff – was of interest to the Reformers.  Indeed, everything was of concern to them.  This snippet from Jackson’s biography of Zwingli describes the fact:

As his correspondence for the year 1519 plainly shows, Zwingli and his friends were deeply interested in the news and rumours, hopes and fears, plans and plots, which agitated all Europe between January 12, 1519, when the Emperor Maximilian died, and June 28th, when the electors chose Charles V. as his successor.

Zwingli was opposed to the Swiss as a nation taking any part in the bargains, and, alas, bribery, preliminary to the choice. He is reported to have said:  “Charles is a young prince, Spain is a grasping, restless, proud, dissolute people. Why should the Germans so inconsiderately put such a prince over them as their head? It was perfectly evident such a prince would rule the Germans to their injury, and under the cover of zeal for the faith, abuse their confidence and rob them of the Word of God.”

Zwingli was a very fine judge of character.  He pinned Charles V for what he was.

Fun Facts from Church History

Adrian VI., the Dutch Pope, entered on his office on the 9th of January, 1522, just as Reform in Zurich was getting up to speed.

adrian-vi-1-sizedKnown to him was the independent stand taken by Zurich, [so] he wrote to the Zurich authorities a pleasant letter, in which he expressed no blame, but on the contrary promised to pay the debt the papal treasury owed Zurich, when in funds [i.e., when it had the money to do so]. Well were it if it had been, for the money was not forthcoming, and the fact embittered the people against the papacy.*

It’s difficult not to wonder what would have happened had Zurich been paid the money it was owed by Rome. Would the Reformation had some of the wind taken out of its sails by virtue of Rome’s financial consideration? Money has a strange way of forming opinion. But we shall, I suppose, never know.

_____________________
*S.M. Jackson, Huldreich Zwingli: The Reformer of German Switzerland (1484–1531), pp. 174-175.

Johannes Calvin, 1509-2009: Würdigung aus Berner Perspektive

TVZ sent this volume  for review:

9783290176105Johannes Calvin – wie können wir diese profilierte und umstrittene Gestalt des 16. Jahrhunderts heute noch verstehen? Welches Licht fällt aus dem 21. Jahrhundert auf sein Leben und Wirken? Und fällt möglicherweise auch ein Licht aus seiner Zeit in unser Leben und Wirken? Diesen Fragen ging eine Ringvorlesung der Theologischen Fakultät Bern zum Calvin-Jubiläum 2009 nach. 12 Beiträge führen an ausgewählten Themen in Leben und Wirken des Genfer Reformators ein und zeigen kritisch seine Relevanz für theologische, gesellschaftliche und politische Fragen auf. 

Mit Beiträgen von Maurice Baumann, Mariano Delgado, Isabelle Grasslé, J. Christine Janowski, Hans Rudolf Lavater-Briner, Wolfgang Lienemann, Christine Lienemann-Perrin, Andreas Marti, Moisés Mayordomo, Martin Sallmann, Heinrich Richard Schmidt, Andreas Wagner.

My review is here.

Celebrating the Memory of Johannes Oecolampadius

After the victory of the Reformation, [Johannes] Oecolampadius continued unto the end of his life to be indefatigable in preaching, teaching, and editing valuable commentaries (chiefly on the Prophets). He took a lively interest in French Protestant refugees, and brought the Waldenses, who sent a deputation to him, into closer affinity with the Reformed churches.

He was a modest and humble man, of a delicate constitution and ascetic habits, and looked like a church father. He lived with his mother; but after her death, in 1528, he married, at the age of forty-five, Wilibrandis Rosenblatt, the widow of Cellarius (Keller), who afterwards married in succession two other Reformers (Capito and Bucer), and survived four husbands. This tempted Erasmus to make the frivolous joke (in a letter of March 21, 1528), that his friend had lately married a good-looking girl to crucify his flesh, and that the Lutheran Reformation was a comedy rather than a tragedy, since the tumult always ended in a wedding. He afterwards apologized to him, and disclaimed any motive of unkindness.

Oecolampadius had three children, whom he named Eusebius, Alitheia, and Irene (Godliness, Truth, Peace), to indicate what were the pillars of his theology and his household. His last days were made sad by the news of Zwingli’s death, and the conclusion of a peace unfavorable to the Reformed churches. The call from Zurich to become Zwingli’s successor he declined. A few weeks later, on the 24th of November, 1531, he passed away in peace and full of faith, after having partaken of the holy communion with his family, and admonished his colleagues to continue faithful to the cause of the Reformation. He was buried behind the Minster.*

I’ll have more to say about this giant throughout the day.  He is unfairly unknown but, fortunately, his works at least are now easily accessible (unlike in Schaff’s day).

More anon…
___________________
*P. Schaff, History of the Christian church. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons.

Today is the Day!

Emidio Campi will be at Union Theological Seminary in New York tonight presenting on ‘The Reformers and Islam’. You will WANT TO GO if you are nearby. Campi is stunningly brilliant and his work is top of the line.

Date: November 6, 2012
Time: 7:00 pm
Place: Union Theological Seminary, New York
Topic: The Reformers and Islam

Don’t miss it.  

Professor Campi was educated at the Waldensian (reformed) Theological Faculty in Rome, at the University of Tübingen and at the Comenius Theological Faculty in Prague, where he completed doctoral studies in Theology and History. He holds doctoral degrees from both the Comenius Faculty and the University of Tübingen.

He has served as General Secretary of the World Student Christian Federation, based in Geneva, and as Pastor to the Waldensian Congregation in Florence. From 1989 until his retirement in 2009 he taught at the University of Zürich, latterly serving as Professor Ordinarius of Church History and Director of the Swiss Reformation Studies Institute in the University.

Professor Campi’s many scholarly publications include Michelangelo e Vittoria Colonna. Un dialogo artistico teologico ispirato da Bernardino Ochino, Torino: Claudiana, 1994; Peter Martyr Vermigli. Humanism, Republicanism, Reformation, Geneva: Droz, 2002 [ed. in collaboration with Frank James III and Peter Opitz]; Heinrich Bullinger und seine Zeit. Eine Vorlesungsreihe, Zurich: Theologischer Verlag, 2004; The Architect of the Reformation. An Introduction to Heinrich Bullinger (1504–1575), Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House 2004 [ed. with Bruce Gordon].

His current research projects include scholarly editions of the church ordinances of the major Swiss reformed cities, and continuing research on the Italian reformer Pietro Martire Vermigli. He is also preparing a history of the World Student Christian Federation. Professor Campi serves on many editorial boards in the fields of Reformation scholarship and church history more generally.

Registration is required, RSVP online

For the Last Time, Concerning ‘Reformation Day’

‘Reformation Day?  No!’

‘The Reformation’ is a misnomer if ever there were one, for in fact there was no ‘one’ Reformation any more than there was just one Reformer. ‘The Reformation’, when used by students and the general public, usually refers to the Reformation of Martin Luther which commenced at the end of October in the year of our Lord, 1517.

Even then, though, Luther’s intent wasn’t as earth-shattering as later ages took it to be. For Luther, the placement of a series of theses in Latin on the Church Door at Wittenberg Castle was nothing more than an invitation to debate. In other words, Luther didn’t see his act as the commencement of a revolution; he saw it as an academic exercise.

‘The Reformation’ is, then, little more than a label derived from historical hindsight gazing mono-focularly at a series of events over a period of time across a wide geographical landscape. Each Reformer had roots sunk in fertile ground and their work was simply the coming to fruition of generations of shift in the Roman Catholic Church.

Hence, it would be more appropriate to speak of ‘Reformations’ in the same way that we now speak of ‘Judaisms’ and ‘Christianities’. The Reformation was no monolith.

Who, then were the Reformers who gave birth to the Reformations most closely associated with them? They were Huldrych Zwingli, Martin Luther, and John Calvin, in just that order.

In 1515 while he was Pastor of the village Church in Glarus, Huldrych Zwingli began to call into question the dependence of the Church on the teachings of the Scholastics. He also questioned the value of the Vulgate for preaching and began earnest study of the Greek New Testament. There, memorizing the letters of Paul (in Greek) he discovered the Gospel which would come to feature so prominently in his Reforming efforts: Salvation is by grace, through faith, and not through works as proclaimed by the Scholastic theologians. By 1519, when he moved to Zurich to become the Pastor of the Great Minster, Zwingli was already well on his way to Reforming the worship of the Church and the administration of the ‘Sacraments’. In short order, within a few years, the Mass was abandoned and replaced by the ‘Lord’s Supper’ and the fixation of the Church on images was denounced and those images removed in due course.

Zwingli’s Reformation was carried out with the cooperation of the City government, which is why Zwingli, along with Luther and Calvin, were to be known to history as ‘Magisterial Reformers’. Not because they were ‘Magisterial’ but because each had the support of their city’s magistrates.

North of Zurich, in Wittenberg, Luther’s Reformatory efforts were coming to full steam around the same time. In 1520 he broke with Rome irrevocably with the publication of his stunning ‘On The Babylonian Captivity of the Church’. From there, there was to be no turning back. And here we must remind ourselves that at this juncture Luther was not dependent on the work of Zwingli, nor was Zwingli dependent on the work of Luther. Both were pursuing reform along parallel tracks, separately.

Further to the West of Switzerland a decade later John Calvin, an exile from France, a lawyer by training and a theologian by training and desire, began his own efforts at Reform. Several years after Zwingli’s death and long after Luther’s demise Calvin plodded away in Geneva attempting manfully to bring that raucous city to heel under the power of the Gospel.

Each of these Reformers were ‘Fathers’ of their own Reformation. Each was, originally, independent of the other and in many ways they tried very hard to retain that independence even when their common foe, the Church of Rome, was the target as their common enemy. Each contributed to ‘The Reformation’ in their own unique way.

If, then, we wish to honor their memory and their efforts, it behooves us to set aside our preconceptions or our beliefs that ‘The Reformation’ began on October 31, 1517. It didn’t. It began in 1515 in Glarus. And it began in 1517 in Wittenberg. And it began in Geneva in 1536.

Happy Reformations Days.

On ‘Reformation Day’- Again, On this ‘Reformation Sunday’

‘Reformation Day?  No!’*

The Reformation’ is a misnomer if ever there were one, for in fact there was no ‘one’ Reformation any more than there was just one Reformer. ‘The Reformation’, when used by students and the general public, usually refers to the Reformation of Martin Luther which commenced at the end of October in the year of our Lord, 1517.

Even then, though, Luther’s intent wasn’t as earth-shattering as later ages took it to be. For Luther, the placement of a series of theses in Latin on the Church Door at Wittenberg Castle was nothing more than an invitation to debate. In other words, Luther didn’t see his act as the commencement of a revolution; he saw it as an academic exercise.

‘The Reformation’ is, then, little more than a label derived from historical hindsight gazing mono-focularly at a series of events over a period of time across a wide geographical landscape. Each Reformer had roots sunk in fertile ground and their work was simply the coming to fruition of generations of shift in the Roman Catholic Church.

Hence, it would be more appropriate to speak of ‘Reformations’ in the same way that we now speak of ‘Judaisms’ and ‘Christianities’. The Reformation was no monolith.

Who, then were the Reformers who gave birth to the Reformations most closely associated with them? They were Huldrych Zwingli, Martin Luther, and John Calvin, in just that order.

In 1515 while he was Pastor of the village Church in Glarus, Huldrych Zwingli began to call into question the dependence of the Church on the teachings of the Scholastics. He also questioned the value of the Vulgate for preaching and began earnest study of the Greek New Testament. There, memorizing the letters of Paul (in Greek) he discovered the Gospel which would come to feature so prominently in his Reforming efforts: Salvation is by grace, through faith, and not through works as proclaimed by the Scholastic theologians. By 1519, when he moved to Zurich to become the Pastor of the Great Minster, Zwingli was already well on his way to Reforming the worship of the Church and the administration of the ‘Sacraments’. In short order, within a few years, the Mass was abandoned and replaced by the ‘Lord’s Supper’ and the fixation of the Church on images was denounced and those images removed in due course.

Zwingli’s Reformation was carried out with the cooperation of the City government, which is why Zwingli, along with Luther and Calvin, were to be known to history as ‘Magisterial Reformers’. Not because they were ‘Magisterial’ but because each had the support of their city’s magistrates.

North of Zurich, in Wittenberg, Luther’s Reformatory efforts were coming to full steam around the same time. In 1520 he broke with Rome irrevocably with the publication of his stunning ‘On The Babylonian Captivity of the Church’. From there, there was to be no turning back. And here we must remind ourselves that at this juncture Luther was not dependent on the work of Zwingli, nor was Zwingli dependent on the work of Luther. Both were pursuing reform along parallel tracks, separately.

Further to the West of Switzerland a decade later John Calvin, an exile from France, a lawyer by training and a theologian by training and desire, began his own efforts at Reform. Several years after Zwingli’s death and long after Luther’s demise Calvin plodded away in Geneva attempting manfully to bring that raucous city to heel under the power of the Gospel.

Each of these Reformers were ‘Fathers’ of their own Reformation. Each was, originally, independent of the other and in many ways they tried very hard to retain that independence even when their common foe, the Church of Rome, was the target as their common enemy. Each contributed to ‘The Reformation’ in their own unique way.

If, then, we wish to honor their memory and their efforts, it behooves us to set aside our preconceptions or our beliefs that ‘The Reformation’ began on October 31, 1517. It didn’t. It began in 1515 in Glarus. And it began in 1517 in Wittenberg. And it began in Geneva in 1536.

Happy Reformations Days.

____________________

*Posted previously but reposted here once again.

Conference Announcement: Reformations and Ethics

The Theological Faculty of the Humboldt University organizes a symposium on Sisterreformations II, Reformations and Ethics, September 13-15, 2012 in Berlin.

In the light of the fruitful collaboration between Reformation historians trained in the German and Anglo-Saxon academic traditions during the 2009 Berlin symposium ‘Sister Reformations: The Reformation in Germany and in England’, a second gathering will now take place in 2012 to examine the theme ‘Reformation and Ethics’. For, although all parties in the Sixteenth Century accepted moral renovation as intrinsic to the Christian life, the exact place of ethics in this process, especially in relation to faith, was one of the most disputed points not only between the Reformers and their adversaries but also between the different strands of the Reformation itself. Consequently, this new symposium, jointly planned by the chairs of Reformation History in Berlin and Durham (UK), shall consider the principal ethical and theological questions involved as well as the actual moral decisions and patterns of behaviour associated with the English and German Reformations.

Click here to read more information.

Huldrych Zwingli’s ‘Sermones XXX. in undecimum caput epistolae ad Hebraeos’

With thanks to the Post Reformation Digital Library for the head’s up:  Sermones XXX. in undecimum caput epistolae ad Hebraeos : in quo de iustificatione, quae fit per fidem, agitur.  Published decades after Zwingli’s death, these sermons represent his interpretation of the Letter to the Hebrews (in the ‘Prophezei’).  The relevant segment of the volume commences here.  Before and after that central section are prefaces and letters to rulers and that sort of typical 16th century book stuff.

What fun!  Especially since this is the first time I’ve seen these lecture/sermons.  So now I’ve something to read when I’m wanting to step away from the usual chores and tasks.

I’d Not Heard of Brad S. Gregory…

Until I got this fascinating book for Christmas from my lovely bride:  The Unintended Reformation:  How a Religious Revolution Secularized Society.  It turns out the guy knows his stuff!

This volume is amazingly insight-filled and tremendously interesting.

Oddly though, it shouldn’t just be of interest to historians of the Reformation or the modern world.  It should be read by biblical scholars so they can see how history ought to be done and Gregory’s method should be adopted, mutatis mutandis, by them.

If you have some Christmas cash or a gift card for your local book-ery, don’t miss this one.

Quote of the Day: Happy Lutheran Reformation Day

“Glaube nicht alles, was Du hörst, sage nicht alles, was Du willst, tue nicht alles, was Du magst.” – Martin Luther

And yes, it’s just Lutheran Reformation Day.  Luther was 2 years late as the initiator of Reformation- Zwingli having begun work in that direction in 1515.  So, congrats, Lutherans- just as was true at Barmen- while the Lutherans slept, the Reformed worked.

Wunderkammer auf Papier. Die Wickiana zwischen Reformation und Volksglaube

This sounds a fascinating volume, summarized in good detail here.  And publication information is here.

In the second half of the sixteenth century, almost thirty years after Zwingli’s death in the Battle of Kappel, Johann Jacob Wick began to collect and note down reports of prodigious events in Zurich where he served the local church. After studying in Tübingen, Marburg and Leipzig, Wick took office as minister at Witikon, a little village close to his home town, while at the same time acting as administrator at the Fraumünster convent school. In 1545 he became minister of Egg and in 1552 of the Predigerkirche in Zurich. Finally, in 1557 he was called to the heart of the church of Zurich, to the Großmünster where he became the second archdeacon and henceforth interacted closely with his mentor Heinrich Bullinger, Zwingli’s successor. When he died in 1588, Wick left twenty-four folio volumes, on average comprising six-hundred pages each. This is probably the largest collection of wonders that has come down to us from the sixteenth century, possibly even the most comprehensive of early modern Europe.

What makes the collection extraordinary is its combination of handwritten notes with a large number of printed materials. 499 pamphlets and more than 430 broadsheets are an exceptional collection for the sixteenth century. Wick himself called his annals »wonder books« (Wunderbücher). As a »conglomeration of sundry curiosities, misfortunes, of stories of murder, witchcraft and heretics« (Bruno Weber), even as »a compendium of superstition« they were repeatedly characterised by others. Such descriptions are a thematic reduction, however. The Wickiana are a mirror of the European history of the second half of the sixteenth century. The era as well as the collection is dominated by the religious conflicts of post-reformatory Europe. Thus, the French Wars of Religion are excellently documented, with news about the »Paris Blood Wedding« of Saint Bartholomew’s Day 1572 almost filling a volume. Extensive parts of the chronicle are dedicated to the Dutch Revolt. Furthermore, the Council of Trent is portrayed from a reformed point of view as is the conflict about the introduction of the Gregorian Calendar in 1582 (Kalenderstreit) and the political dispute between evangelist and catholic towns of Switzerland in the era of the counter-reformation. Also, Wick regularly reports on the situation of the Church of England; or on the Muscovites and the Turks besieging Christian Europe from the east. Thus, the battle of Lepanto, 1571, as well as the atrocities committed by Ivan the Terrible are extensively documented and illustrated in Wick’s chronicle. Documentations about extraordinary natural phenomena like comets, aurorae borealis, »monsters«, halos etc., are particularly numerous. Wick understood these appearances as warning »signs and wonders« – meaningful events in the history of salvation.

And loads more.  Go to the link above.