Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Following Zwingli: Applying the Past in Reformation Zurich

Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Following Zwingli: Applying the Past in Reformation Zurich

Article excerpt

Following Zwingli: Applying the Past in Reformation Zurich. Edited by Luca Baschera, Bruce Gordon, and Christian Moser. [St Andrews Studies in Reformation Histone] (Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing. 2014. Pp. x, 300. $134.95. ISBN 978-0-7546-6796-4.)

In grand narratives of the Reformation, the Swiss contribution has often been sidelined, and those dealing with conditions after the integration of Zurich tend to focus on the movement's early leader, Huldrych Zwingli, who died on the battlefield in 1531. This collection of essays exemplifies more recent efforts to challenge these representations, to which many of the authors have already made notable contributions. It explicitly focuses on the period after Zwingli's death and particularly that overseen by his successor, Heinrich Bullinger (1504-75). At the same time, as the title implies, the volume is concerned with the consequences of Zwingli's original break with the Catholic Church and the ways in which models and exempla from the past were used in the development of a new church and society. The opening chapter, written by the editors, is a veritable tour de force: it provides a wide-ranging and highly insightful discussion of the various means by which the past, both distant and more immediate, could provide templates that contributed to the leading Reformers' understanding and helped to shape the direction they took. Despite the radical nature of the break, the connections with the past were also manifest. As the editors wryly note, "The Reformation had to live in its parents' house" (p. 8). The following ten chapters offer a range of case studies that collectively illustrate this complex dynamic.

Mark Taplin examines Josias Simler's engagement with a range of patristic writings that had an importance for Christological debates in his Scripta veterum (1571); Jon Delmas Wood's article is concerned with the idea of "collective episco-. pacy" (p. 81), derived from the Old Testament and expounded by Bullinger in his Sermones synodales. Torrance Kirby's chapter offers a close reading of the letter of praise written by Peter Martyr Vermigli on the accession of Queen Elizabeth I of England in 1558 and demonstrates the varied messages that comparisons with Old Testament figures David and Josiah were meant to convey. …

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