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Godly Magistrates and Church Order: Johannes Brenz and the Establishment of the Lutheran Territorial Church in Germany, 1524-1559

Johannes Brenz (1499-1570), the reformer of the city of Schwäbisch Hall (1522-1548) and the leading churchman in the Duchy of Württemberg (1550-1570), was the most important champion of the Lutheran Reformation in Southern Germany. An articulate advocate of the view that the office of secular government includes the divinely imposed obligation to provide for the establishment and maintenance of true religion, he was also the most gifted ecclesiastical organizer of all the Lutheran reformers. His unique achievements as a creator of church order set a standard for others to imitate. The texts in this collection record his views on the office of Christian magistrate and chronicle the development, during his years in Schwäbisch Hall, of the essential elements of the system of church government that would be fully realized in practice and achieve broad historical significance only in the 1550s in Württemberg. As a result, the documents in this volume provide an excellent basis for tracing the development, both theoretical and practical, of the Lutheran territorial church during the early Reformation.

James M. Estes is professor emeritus of history at Victoria College, University of Toronto as well as past director and distinguished senior fellow of the Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies at Victoria University in the University of Toronto. He is the author of Christian Magistrate and State Church: The Reforming Career of Johannes Brenz (Toronto: 1982).

Johannes Brenz (1499-1570), the reformer of the city of Schwäbisch Hall (1522-1548) and the leading churchman in the Duchy of Württemberg (1550-1570), was the most important champion of the Lutheran Reformation in Southern Germany. An articulate advocate of the view that the office of secular government includes the divinely imposed obligation to provide for the establishment and maintenance of true religion, he was also the most gifted ecclesiastical organizer of all the Lutheran reformers. His unique achievements as a creator of church order set a standard for others to imitate. The texts...

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book Details

  • Page Count:

    219 pages

  • Publication Year:

    2001

  • Publisher:

    Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies
  • Series:

    • Renaissance and Reformation Texts in Translation 9

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