Tradition and Authority in the Reformation: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Tradition and Authority in the Reformation

1st Edition

By Scott H. Hendrix


344 pages

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Hardback: 9780860785903
pub: 1996-07-11
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This volume explores how elements of the medieval tradition were transformed into new claims of authority by the Reformation. In theological terms the volume examines how ecclesiastical, biblical and patristic authority were reinterpreted and applied by the reformers. Several essays treat the social context of the German Reformation: the communities which influenced Luther, the positive stance taken toward the Jewish community by Urbanus Rhegius, and a Protestant treatment of domestic relations that incorporates a spirited defense of women. A third group of studies use contextual family theory to understand issues like clerical identity, Luther's own authority as a reformer, and the religious decisions of the princes. As a whole, the essays try to discover what motivated people to choose Protestantism and how they legitimated that choice for themselves and for others whom they attempted to persuade.

Table of Contents

Contents: Luther against the background of the history of biblical interpretation; The authority of scripture at work: Luther's exegesis of the Psalms; The use of scripture in establishing Protestantism: the case of Urbanus Rhegius; Validating the Reformation: the use of the church fathers by Urbanus Rhegius; Deparentifying the fathers, the reformers and patristic authority; In quest of the vera ecclesia: the crises of late medieval ecclesiology; ’We are all Hussites’? Hus and Luther revisited; Considering the clergy's side: a multilateral view of anticlericalism; Luther et la papauté; Urbanus Rhegius and the Augsburg Confession; Toleration of the Jews in the German Reformation: Urbanus Rhegius and Braunschweig 1535-1540; Christianizing domestic relations: women and marriage in Johann Freder's Dialogus dem Ehestand zu Ehren; Luther's loyalties and the Augustinian order; Luther's contribution to the disunity of the Reformation; Luther's communities; Martin Luther and Albrecht von Mainz: aspekte von Luthers reformatorischem selbstbewußtein; Luther's impact in the 16th century; Index.

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:
HISTORY / General