1st Edition

Radical Reformation Studies Essays Presented to James M. Stayer

    This review brings together new research in three areas of Anabaptist studies and the Radical Reformation. Part One focuses on sixteenth-century Anabaptism, re-examining the ’polygenesis model’ of Anabaptism articulated by Stayer, Packull and Depperman. Part Two deals with the connections between Anabaptists and other Reformation dissenters, their marginalisation as social groups and their relations with the intellectual movements of the age. The final section addresses historiographic and comparative issues of writing the history of marginalised groups, investigating some preconceptions which influence historians’ approaches to Anabaptism and their implications for understanding other religious groups.

    Contents: Introduction; Part One: Polygenesis and beyond? New research into Anabaptism: The decline of Hutterite community of goods, Taira Kuratsuka; A Reformed-Anabaptist dialogue in Augsburg during the early 1530s, Werner O. Packull; Harmonizing the Scriptures: Swiss Brethren understandings of the relationship between the Old and New Testament during the last half of the sixteenth century, John D. Roth; The ’Perfection of Christ’ reconsidered: the later Swiss Brethren and the sword, C. Arnold Snyder; Part Two: Anabaptists, witches and Reformation radicalism: ’A common future conversation’: a revisionist interpretation of the September 1524 Grebel Letters to Thomas Müntzer, Hans-Jürgen Goertz; Sebastian Franck and the Münster Anabaptist kingdom, Geoffrey L. Dipple; Andreas von Karlstadt as a humanist theologian, Bill McNiel; Between the devil and the inquisitor: Anabaptists, diabolical conspiracies and magical beliefs in the sixteenth-century Netherlands, Gary K. Waite; Part Three: the theory and practice of writing histories of radical or non-conformist religious groups; Stepchildren of the Reformation or heralds of modernity: Ernst Troeltsch on sixteenth-century Anabaptists, sectarians and Spiritualists, Sonia Riddoch; Crossing Max Weber’s ’Great Divide’: comparing early modern Jewish and Anabaptist histories, Michael Driedger; Are Mormons Anabaptists? The case of the Mormons and heirs of the Anabaptist tradition on the American frontier, c. 1840, Clyde R. Forsberg Jr.; James M. Stayer: Publications; Index.


    Werner O. Packull is Professor of History at Conrad Grebel College, University of Waterloo. Among his publications on the history of Anabaptism and the Radical Reformation are Mysticism and the Early South German-Austrian Anabaptist Movement (1977), Rereading Anabaptist Beginnings (1991) and Hutterite Beginnings: Communitarian Experiments during the Reformation (1995). Geoffrey L. Dipple is Assistant Professor of History at Augustana College in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. His research into Reformation History includes Antifraternalism and Anticlericalism in the German Reformation (1996).

    '... (an) impressive collection of essays... Some readers will want to dip into this book. Libraries should buy it!' Anabaptism Today 'This volume of essays dedicated to Stayer represents some of the best recent attempts to continue his agenda of expanding and deepening our notion of Anabaptism and its place within the spectrum of Radical Reformation thought.' Reformation