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Zwingli’s Ambivalent Anniversary 2019: An Ereignisbericht

Zwingli’s Ambivalent Anniversary 2019: An Ereignisbericht By Bruce Gordon and Randolph C. Head 2019 marked the five-hundredth anniversary of Huldrych Zwingli’s arrival in Zurichaspeople’spriestattheGrossmünster,thefirststeptowardshisdecisive influence on the early Reformation movement in the city, across the Swiss Confederation, into the southwestern Empire, and beyond. Unlike the com- memorationsin2017thatlookedtoMartinLuther’sNinety-FiveThesesasthe genesis of the Reformation, however, 2019 lacked any uniquely dramatic mo- menttomark.On1January1519,Zwinglibegantopreachthroughthewhole of the Gospel of Matthew, setting aside the church lectionary to establish the practice of lectio continua that would become central to the Reformed tradi- tion.Thecontrast between thetwo anniversariesis strikingand informative. Zwingliisnotaneasyfiguretocommemorate,andmanymodernZurichers have little inclination to do so.Even before Catholic Swiss troops on the Kap- pel battlefield in 1531 put an abrupt end to his prophetic mission to reform churchandsocietyintheSwissConfederation,Zwingli’scareerevokedconflict andambiguitiesamonghiscolleaguesandcritics,areactionthatonlydeepened andbecamemorecomplexinsubsequentcenturies.InDecember1518hehad been elected to his priestly post in the Grossmünster in a divided vote, a con- troversial figure with a reputation for sexual promiscuity and outspoken views onsensitivesubjectssuchasmercenary service,pensions,andthealliancewith the King of France. He was also known for his passionate preaching at the BenedictineAbbeyofEinsiedeln,wheremanycivicleadershadheardhimdur- ing the annual pilgrimage from the city to the Black Madonna. Disagreement amongthecanonsoftheGrossmünsterinDecember1518foreshadowedwhat was to follow. Zwingli divided the city, his native land, and the Reformation with his uncompromising views on the nature of God’s Word and imminent divine judgment on http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Archiv für Reformationsgeschichte - Archive for Reformation History de Gruyter

Zwingli’s Ambivalent Anniversary 2019: An Ereignisbericht

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Publisher
de Gruyter
Copyright
© 2020 by Gütersloher Verlagshaus
eISSN
2198-0489
DOI
10.14315/arg-2020-1110102
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Abstract

By Bruce Gordon and Randolph C. Head 2019 marked the five-hundredth anniversary of Huldrych Zwingli’s arrival in Zurichaspeople’spriestattheGrossmünster,thefirststeptowardshisdecisive influence on the early Reformation movement in the city, across the Swiss Confederation, into the southwestern Empire, and beyond. Unlike the com- memorationsin2017thatlookedtoMartinLuther’sNinety-FiveThesesasthe genesis of the Reformation, however, 2019 lacked any uniquely dramatic mo- menttomark.On1January1519,Zwinglibegantopreachthroughthewhole of the Gospel of Matthew, setting aside the church lectionary to establish the practice of lectio continua that would become central to the Reformed tradi- tion.Thecontrast between thetwo anniversariesis strikingand informative. Zwingliisnotaneasyfiguretocommemorate,andmanymodernZurichers have little inclination to do so.Even before Catholic Swiss troops on the Kap- pel battlefield in 1531 put an abrupt end to his prophetic mission to reform churchandsocietyintheSwissConfederation,Zwingli’scareerevokedconflict andambiguitiesamonghiscolleaguesandcritics,areactionthatonlydeepened andbecamemorecomplexinsubsequentcenturies.InDecember1518hehad been elected to his priestly post in the Grossmünster in a divided vote, a con- troversial figure with a reputation for sexual promiscuity and outspoken views onsensitivesubjectssuchasmercenary service,pensions,andthealliancewith the King of France. He was also known for his passionate preaching at the BenedictineAbbeyofEinsiedeln,wheremanycivicleadershadheardhimdur- ing the annual pilgrimage from the city to the Black Madonna. Disagreement amongthecanonsoftheGrossmünsterinDecember1518foreshadowedwhat was to follow. Zwingli divided the city, his native land, and the Reformation with his uncompromising views on the nature of God’s Word and imminent divine judgment on

Journal

Archiv für Reformationsgeschichte - Archive for Reformation Historyde Gruyter

Published: Oct 1, 2020

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