Swiss Confederation • At the time of the Reformation, Switzerland was a looseconfederacy with 13 autonomous cantons, or states. • The Cantons were divided; some became Protestant while others remained Catholic, and some met a compromise between the two.
2 Causes Behind the Swiss Reformation • A growth of national sentiment because of opposition to foreign mercenary service. (Much of the Swiss’ livelihood came from mercenary service in neighboring countries.) • The desire for church reform which existed long before Luther’s reformation.
Reformation in Zurich Ulrich Zwingli (1484-1531) • Leader of the Swiss Reformation. • Humanistically educated. • Credited Erasmus, not Luther, with setting him on the path to reform.
By 1518, Zwingli was well known for opposing indulgences. • One of Zwingli’s first act as a reformer was petitioning to end clerical celibacy, a traditional Roman Catholic stance. • With the position of people’s priest in Zurich, Zwingli began to reform orthodox teachings of the church and the Swiss Reformation began.
Reform • March, 1522- Zwingli broke the Lenten fast in Zurich. (-Severe form of rebellion) • Zwingli’s Reform guidelines: If it lacked literal support in Scripture, it was not to be believed or practiced. • Caused questioning of orthodox teachings, such as: fasting, transubstantiation, pilgrimages, praying to saints, purgatory, clerical celibacy and some sacraments. • Zurich became the center of the Swiss reformation.
The Marburg of Colloquy • Landgrave Philip of Hesse sought to unite German and Swiss Protestants in a mutual defense pact. • However, the theological differences between Ulrich Zwingli and Martin Luther ruined any of Phillip’s plans for unification.
The most notable theological dispute was their conflicting views on Christ’s presence in the Eucharist. • Zwingli advocated a spiritual presence of Christ in the Lord’s Supper, while Luther advocated a physical presence of Christ, reflecting how Christ has both spiritual and bodily attributes. • Luther believed Zwingli’s position created an abstract, spiritualized Christ. • Zwingli believed Luther’s position held on to medieval sacramental theology.
The Marburg of Colloquy (continued) • Phillip of Hesse brought the two leaders together in his castle in October 1529 to reconcile their differences. • This attempt at reconciliation proved unsuccessful, only hurting the two Protestant leaders’ views of each other. • This disagreement splintered the Protestant movement theologically and politically. • Separate defense leagues formed.
Swiss Civil Wars • Civil wars erupted in Switzerland between the Protestant-leaning cantons and the Catholic cantons. • Two major battles occurred in Kappel, one in June 1529 and the other in October 1531. • The first battle was a Protestant victory, forcing Catholic cantons to recognize the rights of Swiss Protestants. • The second battle resulted in Zwingli’s execution. • Heinrich Bullinger (1504-1575) succeeded Zwingli and became the new leader of the Swiss Reformation.
Anabaptists were distinguished by their rejection of infant baptism, asserting that the reformation only went “half-way” in its reform. • Pointed to Jesus’ baptism as an adult and argued that scripture teaches only consenting adults who can understand should be baptized. • Luther and Zwingli also taught believers must believe themselves but continued infant baptism.
Conrad Grebel, (1498-15260, from whom Anabaptism originates, performed the first adult baptism in January of 1525. • Grebel’s group became the Swiss Brethren, known for adult baptism, their pacifism, refusal to swear oaths and not holding office in secular government. • Anabaptists physically separated themselves from society and modeled themselves after the first Christians. • Political authorities saw this separation as a threat to basic social bonds.
Anabaptism originally drew followers from all social classes. • However, as Lutherans, Zwinglians and Catholics persecuted them within cities, a more rural class began to make up the majority of Anabaptists. • 1529-rebaptism became a capital offense within the Holy Roman Empire. • 1,000-5,000 people were executed for being rebaptized between 1525 and 1618.
Anabaptist Reign in Munster • Anabaptist extremists came to power in Munster, Germany from 1534-1535, led by Dutch emigrants Jan Matthys and Jan Beukelsz. • Forced Catholics and Lutherans in Munste to either convert or leave the city, • The city was blockaded by armies. • Under this pressure, the city transformed into a theocracy with charismatic leaders who practiced polygamy. • This shocked the outside world and both Catholic and Protestant armies joined forces to end the radicalism.
Spiritualists • Isolated individuals • Held disdain for external, institutional religion • Only spiritual authority was the Spirit of God – spoke only here and now in listening people’s hearts and minds • Thomas Muntzer: close contact with Anabaptist lead in Germany and Switzerland; died as leader of peasants’ revolt • Sebastian Franck: criticized dogmatic religion, proclaiming religious autonomy and freedom of every soul • Caspar Schwenckfeld: writer and wanderer; Schwenckfeldian Church
Antitrinitarians • Commonsense, rational, and ethical • Michael Servetus: executed at Geneva for denying Holy Trinity • Strongest opponents of Calvinism, especially against predestination and original sin
John Calvin • 1509-1564; Born into a wealthy French family • At 12, Calvin received law degree at best Parisian college • Identified with the French reform party later • 1534: Calvin converted to Protestantism • Remarkable conversion witnessed to Geneva God’s will and sovereignty • Joined Reformation in Geneva in 1534
Political Revolt & Reform in Geneva • Political revolution against local prince-bishop in Geneva paved way for reform • Geneva officially adopted Reformation • Calvin arrived in Geneva, fleeing from French persecution • Farel (Geneva reformer) persuaded Calvin to aid French Reformation • Popular support declined, as many thought Calvin and Farel were creating a “new papacy” • Conservatives wanted to restore tradition, but they refused and were exiled • Calvin went to Strasbourg (model Protestant city) and became pastor • Institutes of the Christian Religion - definite statement of Protestant faith
Calvin’s Geneva • Geneva elected favorable officials to gain independence from Bern (Geneva’s Protestant ally who exiled Calvin and Farel) • Geneva allowed Calvin to return, and created new ecclesiastical ordinances to reconcile clergy and magistrates • Genevan Church established four offices: • 5 Pastors • Teachers/Doctors to instruct populace and defend doctrine • 12 elders/lay people to “oversee life of everybody” • Deacons to dispense church goods/services
Calvin’s Geneva (cont’d.) • Calvin gained power from the Consistory (aka Geneva’s regulatory court) • Calvin – reputed as a stern moralist • Calvin captured and executed Spanish physician and theologian Michael Servetus as he denied the Holy Trinity • Geneva – became refuge place for exiled French, English, and Scottish (all converted to Calvinistic Protestantism) • Geneva – also reputed as “woman’s paradise” as its laws punished men who beat their wives (acts unbefitting a true Calvinist) • Calvin gained popularity as Geneva became a safe haven for Protestants
SPICED Effects of Calvinism & Protestant Reformation • Social/Societal: More peasant revolts, greater religious tensions • Political: Geneva reconciles political and religious authorities; formerly adopts Protestant Reformation • Intellectual: Institutes of the Christian Religion circulated - Printing Press • Cultural: expanded new ways of thinking in Geneva (but mostly religiously) • Economic: Geneva’s government and Church helped by increase in outside support • Diplomatic: Calvin influenced French exiles, Strasbourg, and Geneva religiously; Calvinism reform in Geneva caused outside refugees to flee to Geneva – connected Geneva and other countries