Christ's Churches Purely Reformed: A Social History of by Philip Benedict

By Philip Benedict

This sweeping booklet tells the tale of Calvinism’s origins, enlargement, and impression throughout Europe from the upheavals of the early Reformation to the top of the 17th century. The faith’s basic doctrines, varied ecclesiastical associations, and important outcomes for lived adventure are all explored, revealing the continuing interaction among a dynamic non secular culture and the worlds within which it took root. "This is a unprecedented and nice success: a wide survey . . . that's instantaneously a gripping narrative and a clean interpretation of the topic, as masterful with the small info as with the large picture." —Carlos ireland, Yale college

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Early in October, having lost faith in the value of private masses and the monastic rules, a number of members of the Augustinian order sought to quit the order or ceased saying commissioned masses. Faced with growing pressure for change, Frederick the Wise established a committee of theologians to investigate the actions of the Augustinians and to determine the proper shape for the liturgy. After a public disputation on the subject presided over by Karlstadt, the members of the committee associated with the theology faculty presented a report calling for major reforms in the liturgy.

This latter process would continue through the 1520s on the western marches of the confederation, where Germanic dialects gave way to Franco-Provençal. The Italian wars also offered the Swiss the opportunity to conquer the region around Lugano and Locarno from Milan and to place it under direct confederal lordship. The boundaries of what 19 T H E F O R M AT I O N O F A T R A D I T I O N is Switzerland today thus encompassed in the sixteenth century a hodgepodge of self-governing rural cantons, urban cantons in which a single dominant city ruled over a surrounding contado that often vastly exceeded it in population, independent but allied cities and territories, and regions under the lordship of one, several, or all of the members of the confederation.

9 Furthermore, humanism was hardly unknown in north and central Germany. 10 What Moeller’s stress on preexisting regional differences within the German-speaking world chiefly neglects is the importance of certain crucial decisions taken by Luther under the impress of immediate circumstances that subsequently became fixed principles of his outlook, notably his views on the Eucharist and on the presence of images within churches. These decisions assumed enormous sway because of Luther’s exceptional charisma.

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