Philip Melanchthon, Speaker of the Reformation: Wittenberg's Other Reformer, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Philip Melanchthon, Speaker of the Reformation

Wittenberg's Other Reformer, 1st Edition

By Timothy J. Wengert


322 pages

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Hardback: 9781409406624
pub: 2010-09-28

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The studies in this volume illuminate the thought and life of Philip Melanchthon, one of the most neglected major figures in Reformation history and theology. Melanchthon was one of the most widely published and respected thinkers in his own day, who authored some of the sixteenth-century's most important books on Latin and Greek grammar, rhetoric, dialectics, and history, to say nothing of his theological output, which included the first overview of Protestant theology, the first Protestant commentaries on Romans, 1 & 2 Corinthians, and John. He was also the chief drafter of the Augsburg Confession and wrote its defense, the Apology. These essays, written over the past twenty years, commemorate the 450th anniversary of Melanchthon's death in 2010. The articles provide a wide-ranging picture of Melanchthon's thought and life with topics including his view of free will, approaches to biblical interpretation, his perspective on the church fathers and world history, and comparisons to other important figures of the age, including Calvin, Luther and Erasmus.


'… an accessible handbook of exceptional studies…' Religious Studies Review '… much of Wengert’s further work has been scattered in essays in a variety of venues. This collection brings together thirteen of those essays, demonstrating his effectively focused, finely crafted way of approaching historical theology. Each adds in some way interesting and significant detail to our understanding of Melanchthon.' Lutheran Quarterly 'Drawn from thirty years of research and writing on Melanchthon, Wengert’s essays survey the Reformer’s fascinating career and offer profound insights into his impact on the Reformation.' Catholic Historical Review '… a handy collection of useful Melanchthon articles gathered together in one place … Wengert’s exacting research is a necessary point of call for any modern researcher of Melanchthon.' Ecclesiastical History 'Wengert is a Lutheran scholar in very high standing, and the contributions here are first rate, covering aspects of Melanchthon's theology.' Churchman

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction; Part 1 Philip Melanchthon's Theology; Beyond stereotypes: the real Philip Melanchthon; Philip Melanchthon's 1522 annotations on Romans and the Lutheran origins of rhetorical criticism; 'Qui vigilantissimis oculis veterum omnium commentarios excusserit': Philip Melanchthon's patristic exegesis; Philip Melanchthon and Augustine of Hippo; Philip Melanchthon on time and history in the Reformation; Philip Melanchthon's contribution to Luther's debate with Erasmus over the bondage of the will; The day Philip Melanchthon got mad; Luther and Melanchthon on consecrated communion wine (Eisleben 1542-43); Philip Melanchthon and a Christian Politics. Part 2 Philip Melanchthon and His Contemporaries: Melanchthon and Luther / Luther and Melanchthon; 'We will feast together in Heaven forever': the epistolary friendship of John Calvin and Philip Melanchthon; Famous last words: the final epistolary exchange between Erasmus of Rotterdam and Philip Melanchthon in 1536; 'Not by nature Philoneikos': Philip Melanchthon's initial reactions to the Augsburg interim; Index.

About the Author

Dr Timothy J. Wengert is the Ministerium of Pennsylvania Professor at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, USA.

About the Series

Variorum Collected Studies

The first title in the Variorum Collected Studies series was published in 1970. Since then well over 1000 titles have appeared in the series, and it has established a well-earned international reputation for the publication of key research across a whole range of subjects within the fields of history.

The history of the medieval world remains central to the series, with Byzantine studies a particular speciality, but the range of titles extends from Hellenistic philosophy and the history of the Roman empire and early Christianity, through the Renaissance and Reformation, up to the 20th century. Islamic Studies forms another major strand as do the histories of science, technology and medicine.

Each title in the Variorum Collected Studies series brings together for the first time a selection of articles by a leading authority on a particular subject. These studies are reprinted from a vast range of learned journals, Festschrifts and conference proceedings. They make available research that is scattered, even inaccessible in all but the largest and most specialized libraries. With a new introduction and index, and often with new notes and previously unpublished material, they constitute an essential resource. 

For further information about contributing to the series please contact Michael Greenwood at

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MUSIC / General