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Tag Archives: Ulrich Zwingli

Quote of the day: Ulrich Zwingli…


“The Christian life, then, is a battle, so sharp and full of danger that effort can nowhere be relaxed without loss…” -Ulrich Zwingli, 16th Century Swiss Reformer


Heinrich Bullinger: The Day Zwingli Died

So, did Pastor Ulrich Zwingli (the Reformer) die hacking and water boarding enemy soldiers in battle as some snidely suggest? I will leave that bit of history for the urban myth busters to refute. However today we will go through the Heinrich Bullinger’s account of the day Zwingli died.

On the battlefield, not far from the line of attack, Mr. Ulrich Zwingli lay under the dead and wounded. While men were looting . . . he was still alive, lying on his back, with his hands together as if he was praying, and his eyes looking upwards to heaven. So some approached who did not know him and asked him, since he was so weak and close to death (for he had fallen in combat and was stricken with a mortal wound), whether a priest should be fetched to hear his confession. …Read More!

Church History: Ulrich Zwingli at a Glance

[Adapted from an article by Steven Lawson]: Other than Martin Luther, Heinrich Bullinger, and John Calvin, the most important early Reformer was Ulrich Zwingli. A first-generation Reformer, he is regarded as the founder of Swiss Protestantism. Furthermore, history remembers him as the first Reformed theologian. Though Calvin would later surpass Zwingli as a theologian, he would stand squarely on Zwingli’s broad shoulders.

Less than two months after Luther came into the world, Zwingli was born on January 1, 1484, in Wildhaus, a small village in the eastern part of modern-day Switzerland, forty miles from Zurich. His father, Ulrich Sr., had risen from peasant stock to become an upper-middle-class man of means, a successful farmer and shepherd, as well as the chief magistrate for the district. This prosperity allowed him to provide his son with an excellent education. He presided over a home where typical Swiss values were inculcated in young Ulrich: sturdy independence, strong patriotism, zeal for religion, and real interest in scholarship. …Read More!

Who Was Martin Bucer?

He may have been apparently forgotten as a theological light weight but to the keen eye Martin Bucer’s role in the reformation was and is invaluable. Bucer was an ecclesial diplomat pastor with deep coherent theological conviction.

Martin Bucer played a part in the Reformation and his impact was in the city of Strasburg. Martin Bucer is not as well known as Martin Luther and John Calvin but he did make an impact on Strasburg until he was forced to flee the city.

Bucer was born on November 11th 1491. He was influenced by the Humanistic teachings of Erasmus and he read and accepted the arguments of Martin Luther. He had been a Dominican monk but he left in 1521 and became the chaplain to Franz von Sickingen, a protestant knight, and in 1522 became pastor of Landstuhl in the Palatinate. Here he married Elizabeth Silbereisen – a former nun. In 1523, Bucer became a minister in Strasburg where he preached in the cathedral.

Strasburg had long suffered from poor priests in terms of quality and absentee bishops. The city was also a major centre of the book trade so it was very susceptible to the influence of the printed word. The writings of Martin Luther and Melancthon were widely circulated and as early as 1521, preachers had arrived in Strasburg to “preach the pure Gospel”. Read More

The Role of Women in The Reformation

Women had a most significant impact upon the Reformation, and the social changes that came about in turn changed the place and role of women in the centuries to follow. Two groups of women had decisive impact upon the Reformation – the royal women, and the wives of the Reformers.

In 16th Century Europe, 85% of the population were peasants living in villages of less than 100 people, 10% were Middle Class: merchants, tradesmen, townsmen, and the remaining 5% were either the Nobility or Clergy. Most of the wealth and power was concentrated in the latter. The average life span was 30 for men and 24 for women; anyone who reached 40 was considered old. Women had an average of 6 or 7 children, if they survived childbirth in an unsanitary age, and 40-50% of the children would die before the age of 12…About 10% of the men would never marry. About 12% of the women found themselves in convents – and often unwillingly – as that was a good way to get rid of unwanted female children…

Royal women had much to do with shaping the events of the Reformation era. One needs only consider Henry the 8th and his six wives (and the politics behind them); or Catherine de Medici and her daughters Elizabeth of Valois; and Marguerite of Valois; or Mary Tudor; Elizabeth I; and Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots to know that these women shaped history. But there are others too. Marquerite of Navarre and Jeanne d’Albret; who served the Huguenot cause in France, or Charlotte of Bourbon and Louise de Coligny in the Netherlands.

The other group of women who impacted that era and the centuries to come were the wives of the Reformers. Read More