The Italian Reformers and the Zurich Church, c.1540-1620: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Italian Reformers and the Zurich Church, c.1540-1620

1st Edition

By Mark Taplin


382 pages

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Hardback: 9780754609780
pub: 2003-11-28
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315238852
pub: 2017-05-15
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Recently scholars have become increasingly aware of Zurich's role as an intellectual and cultural centre of the European Reformation. This study focuses on a little-known aspect of the Zurich church's international activity: its relationship with Italian-speaking evangelicals during the period 1540-1620. The work assesses the importance of Zwinglian influences within the early Italian evangelical movement and Zurich's contribution to the spread of the Reformation in Italian-speaking territories such as Locarno and southern Graubünden. It shows how, following the establishment of the Roman Inquisition in July 1542, senior Zurich churchmen emerged as important points of contact for Italian reformers in exile. A central concern of the study is the threat to the integrity of the Zwinglian settlement posed by religious radicals within the Italian exile community. Although the radicals were relatively few in number, their activities had a profound influence on the way in which the community as a whole came to be perceived by the Swiss and other Reformed churches. In Zurich, the turning point was a series of doctrinal disputes during the mid-sixteenth century, which culminated in the dissolution of the city's Italian church in November 1563. The alliance forged in the course of those disputes between the leadership of the Zurich church and theologically conservative Italian exiles became the basis for close co-operation in subsequent decades. Drawing heavily on unpublished sources from Swiss archives, the volume sheds light on the processes by which the boundaries of Reformed orthodoxy came to be defined. In particular, it demonstrates the importance of theological controversy and polemic as catalysts for the systematisation of doctrine during this period.


'Mark Taplin's work convincingly demonstrates the significance of boh entities as encapsulated in the title. An impressive array of archival materials, equally wide-ranging primary and secondary materials, and a combination of nuanced historiographical awareness and theological acumen all contribute to making this an indispensable source.' Sixteenth Century Journal 'Mark Taplin has given us a thoroughly researched, clearly written and richly informative study that makes contributions in a number of areas: the Italian Reformation, reformed dogmatics, Zurich and Swiss church history, and Radical Reformation.' Renaissance Quarterly

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction; Zurich and the Italian reformers to 1955; The Locarnese exiles and Zurich's Italian church; The Ochino affair and its aftermath; Defining and defending orthodoxy: the Zurich church's response to Italian religious radicalism in eastern Europe; The Zurich church and the confrontation with the Italian 'heretics' of Rhaetia, 1561-72; From heretics to martyrs: Zurich and the Italian Reformed churches of Graubünden, 1572-1620; Conclusion; Bibliography; Index.

About the Series

St Andrews Studies in Reformation History

With the publication of its 100th book in 2012, the St Andrews Studies in Reformation Studies series celebrated an impressive publishing achievement. Since its establishment in 1995 the series has consistently offered high-quality, innovative and thought-provoking research in the field of early modern religious history. By encouraging authors to adopt a broad and inclusive interpretation of ’Reformation’, the resultant publications have done much to help shape current interdisciplinary interpretations of early-modern religion, expanding attention far beyond narrow theological concerns. Each title within the series has added to a body of international research showing how the ripples of the Reformation spread to virtually every corner of European society, both Protestant and Catholic, and often beyond. From family life, education, literature, music, art and philosophy, to political theory, international relations, economics, colonial ventures, science and military matters, there were few aspects of life that remained untouched in some way by the spirit of religious reform. As well as widening conceptions of the Reformation, the series has for the last fifteen years provided a publishing outlet for work, much of it by new and up-and-coming scholars who might otherwise have struggled to find an international platform for their work. Alongside these monographs, a complementary selection of edited volumes, critical editions of important primary sources, bibliographical studies and new translations of influential Reformation works previously unavailable to English speaking scholars, adds further depth to the topic. By offering this rich mix of approaches and topics, the St Andrews series continues to offer scholars an unparalleled platform for the publication of international scholarship in a dynamic and often controversial area of historical study.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General