Huldrych Zwingli or Ulrich Zwingli was a leader of the Reformation in Switzerland. Born during a time of emerging Swiss patriotism and increasing criticism of the Swiss mercenary system, he attended the University of Vienna and the University of Basel, a scholarly center of Renaissance humanism, he continued his studies while he served as a pastor in Glarus and in Einsiedeln, where he was influenced by the writings of Erasmus. In 1519, Zwingli became the pastor of the Grossmünster in Zürich where he began to preach ideas on reform of the Catholic Church. In his first public controversy in 1522, he attacked the custom of fasting during Lent. In his publications, he noted corruption in the ecclesiastical hierarchy, promoted clerical marriage, attacked the use of images in places of worship. In 1525, Zwingli introduced a new communion liturgy to replace the Mass. Zwingli clashed with the Anabaptists, which resulted in their persecution. Historians have debated; the Reformation spread to other parts of the Swiss Confederation, but several cantons resisted, preferring to remain Catholic.
Zwingli formed an alliance of Reformed cantons which divided the Confederation along religious lines. In 1529, a war between the two sides was averted at the last moment. Meanwhile, Zwingli's ideas came to the attention of other reformers, they met at the Marburg Colloquy and although they agreed on many points of doctrine, they could not reach an accord on the doctrine of the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. In 1531 Zwingli's alliance applied an unsuccessful food blockade on the Catholic cantons; the cantons responded with an attack at a moment. Zwingli died on the battlefield, his legacy lives on in the confessions and church orders of the Reformed churches of today. The Swiss Confederation in Huldrych Zwingli's time consisted of thirteen states as well as affiliated areas and common lordships. Unlike the modern state of Switzerland, which operates under a federal government, each of the thirteen cantons was nearly independent, conducting its own domestic and foreign affairs; each canton formed its own alliances without the Confederation.
This relative independence served as the basis for conflict during the time of the Reformation when the various cantons divided between different confessional camps. Military ambitions gained an additional impetus with the competition to acquire new territory and resources, as seen for example in the Old Zürich War of 1440–1446; the wider political environment in Europe during the 15th and 16th centuries was volatile. For centuries the relationship with the Confederation's powerful neighbour, determined the foreign policies of the Swiss. Nominally, the Confederation formed a part of the Holy Roman Empire. However, through a succession of wars culminating in the Swabian War in 1499, the Confederation had become de facto independent; as the two continental powers and minor regional states such as the Duchy of Milan, the Duchy of Savoy, the Papal States competed and fought against each other, there were far-reaching political and social consequences for the Confederation. During this time the mercenary pension system became a subject of disagreement.
The religious factions of Zwingli's time debated vociferously the merits of sending young Swiss men to fight in foreign wars for the enrichment of the cantonal authorities. These internal and external factors contributed to the rise of a Confederation national consciousness, in which the term fatherland began to take on meaning beyond a reference to an individual canton. At the same time, Renaissance humanism, with its universal values and emphasis on scholarship, had taken root in the Confederation. Within this environment, defined by the confluence of Swiss patriotism and humanism, Zwingli was born in 1484. Huldrych Zwingli was born on 1 January 1484 in Wildhaus, in the Toggenburg valley of Switzerland, to a family of farmers, the third child of nine, his father, played a leading role in the administration of the community. Zwingli's primary schooling was provided by his uncle, Bartholomew, a cleric in Weesen, where he met Katharina von Zimmern. At ten years old, Zwingli was sent to Basel to obtain his secondary education where he learned Latin under Magistrate Gregory Bünzli.
After three years in Basel, he stayed a short time in Bern with the humanist, Henry Wölfflin. The Dominicans in Bern tried to persuade Zwingli to join their order and it is possible that he was received as a novice. However, his father and uncle disapproved of such a course and he left Bern without completing his Latin studies, he enrolled in the University of Vienna in the winter semester of 1498 but was expelled, according to the university's records. However, it is not certain that Zwingli was indeed expelled, he re-enrolled in the summer semester of 1500. Zwingli continued his studies in Vienna until 1502, after which he transferred to the University of Basel where he received the Master of Arts degree in 1506. Zwingli was ordained in Constance, the seat of the local diocese, he celebrated his first Mass in his hometown, Wildhaus, on 29 September 1506; as a young priest he had studied little theology. His first ecclesiastical post was the pastorate of the town of Glarus, where he stayed for ten years.
It was in Glarus, whose soldiers were used as mercenaries in Europe, that Zwingli became involved in politics. The Swiss Confederation was embroiled in various campaigns with its neighbours: the French, th
Martin Luther, was a German professor of theology, priest, a seminal figure in the Protestant Reformation. Luther was ordained to the priesthood in 1507, he came to reject several practices of the Roman Catholic Church. Luther proposed an academic discussion of the practice and efficacy of indulgences in his Ninety-five Theses of 1517, his refusal to renounce all of his writings at the demand of Pope Leo X in 1520 and the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V at the Diet of Worms in 1521 resulted in his excommunication by the pope and condemnation as an outlaw by the Holy Roman Emperor. Luther taught that salvation and eternal life are not earned by good deeds but are received only as the free gift of God's grace through the believer's faith in Jesus Christ as redeemer from sin, his theology challenged the authority and office of the Pope by teaching that the Bible is the only source of divinely revealed knowledge, opposed sacerdotalism by considering all baptized Christians to be a holy priesthood. Those who identify with these, all of Luther's wider teachings, are called Lutherans, though Luther insisted on Christian or Evangelical as the only acceptable names for individuals who professed Christ.
His translation of the Bible into the German vernacular made it more accessible to the laity, an event that had a tremendous impact on both the church and German culture. It fostered the development of a standard version of the German language, added several principles to the art of translation, influenced the writing of an English translation, the Tyndale Bible, his hymns influenced the development of singing in Protestant churches. His marriage to Katharina von Bora, a former nun, set a model for the practice of clerical marriage, allowing Protestant clergy to marry. In two of his works, Luther expressed antagonistic views towards Jews, his rhetoric was not directed at Jews alone, but towards Roman Catholics and nontrinitarian Christians. Luther died with his decree of excommunication by Pope Leo X still effective. Martin Luther was born to Hans Luder and his wife Margarethe on 10 November 1483 in Eisleben, County of Mansfeld in the Holy Roman Empire. Luther was baptized the next morning on the feast day of St. Martin of Tours.
His family moved to Mansfeld in 1484, where his father was a leaseholder of copper mines and smelters and served as one of four citizen representatives on the local council. The religious scholar Martin Marty describes Luther's mother as a hard-working woman of "trading-class stock and middling means" and notes that Luther's enemies wrongly described her as a whore and bath attendant, he had several brothers and sisters, is known to have been close to one of them, Jacob. Hans Luther was ambitious for himself and his family, he was determined to see Martin, his eldest son, become a lawyer, he sent Martin to Latin schools in Mansfeld Magdeburg in 1497, where he attended a school operated by a lay group called the Brethren of the Common Life, Eisenach in 1498. The three schools focused on the so-called "trivium": grammar and logic. Luther compared his education there to purgatory and hell. In 1501, at the age of 17, he entered the University of Erfurt, which he described as a beerhouse and whorehouse.
He was made to wake at four every morning for what has been described as "a day of rote learning and wearying spiritual exercises." He received his master's degree in 1505. In accordance with his father's wishes, he enrolled in law but dropped out immediately, believing that law represented uncertainty. Luther sought assurances about life and was drawn to theology and philosophy, expressing particular interest in Aristotle, William of Ockham, Gabriel Biel, he was influenced by two tutors, Bartholomaeus Arnoldi von Usingen and Jodocus Trutfetter, who taught him to be suspicious of the greatest thinkers and to test everything himself by experience. Philosophy proved to be unsatisfying, offering assurance about the use of reason but none about loving God, which to Luther was more important. Reason could not lead men to God, he felt, he thereafter developed a love-hate relationship with Aristotle over the latter's emphasis on reason. For Luther, reason could be used to question institutions, but not God.
Human beings could learn about God only through divine revelation, he believed, Scripture therefore became important to him. On 2 July 1505, while returning to university on horseback after a trip home, a lightning bolt struck near Luther during a thunderstorm. Telling his father he was terrified of death and divine judgment, he cried out, "Help! Saint Anna, I will become a monk!" He came to view his cry for help as a vow. He left university, sold his books, entered St. Augustine's Monastery in Erfurt on 17 July 1505. One friend blamed the decision on Luther's sadness over the deaths of two friends. Luther himself seemed saddened by the move; those who attended a farewell supper walked him to the door of the Black Cloister. "This day you see me, not again," he said. His father was furious over. Luther dedicated himself to the Augustinian order, devoting himself to fasting, long hours in prayer and frequent confession. Luther described this period of his life as one of deep spiritual despair, he said, "I lost touch with Christ the Savior and Comforter, made of him the jailer and hangman of my poor soul."
Johann von Staupitz, his superior, pointed
John Knox was a Scottish minister and writer, a leader of the country's Reformation. He was the founder of the Presbyterian Church of Scotland. Born in Giffordgate, Knox is believed to have been educated at the University of St Andrews and worked as a notary-priest. Influenced by early church reformers such as George Wishart, he joined the movement to reform the Scottish church, he was caught up in the ecclesiastical and political events that involved the murder of Cardinal David Beaton in 1546 and the intervention of the regent Mary of Guise. He was taken prisoner by French forces the following year and exiled to England on his release in 1549. While in exile, Knox was licensed to work in the Church of England, where he rose in the ranks to serve King Edward VI of England as a royal chaplain, he exerted a reforming influence on the text of the Book of Common Prayer. In England, he married his first wife, Margery Bowes; when Mary I ascended the throne of England and re-established Roman Catholicism, Knox was forced to resign his position and leave the country.
Knox moved to Geneva and to Frankfurt. In Geneva, he met John Calvin, from whom he gained experience and knowledge of Reformed theology and Presbyterian polity, he created a new order of service, adopted by the reformed church in Scotland. He left Geneva to head the English refugee church in Frankfurt but he was forced to leave over differences concerning the liturgy, thus ending his association with the Church of England. On his return to Scotland, Knox led the Protestant Reformation in Scotland, in partnership with the Scottish Protestant nobility; the movement may be seen as a revolution, since it led to the ousting of Mary of Guise, who governed the country in the name of her young daughter Mary, Queen of Scots. Knox helped write the new confession of faith and the ecclesiastical order for the newly created reformed church, the Kirk, he continued to serve as the religious leader of the Protestants throughout Mary's reign. In several interviews with the Queen, Knox admonished her for supporting Catholic practices.
When she was imprisoned for her alleged role in the murder of her husband Lord Darnley and King James VI was enthroned in her stead, Knox called for her execution. He continued to preach until his final days. John Knox was born sometime between 1505 and 1515 in or near Haddington, the county town of East Lothian, his father, William Knox, was a merchant. All, known of his mother is that her maiden name was Sinclair and that she died when John Knox was a child, their eldest son, carried on his father's business, which helped in Knox's international communications. Knox was educated at the grammar school in Haddington. In this time, the priesthood was the only path for those whose inclinations were academic rather than mercantile or agricultural, he proceeded to further studies at the University of St Andrews or at the University of Glasgow. He studied under one of the greatest scholars of the time. Knox was ordained a catholic priest in Edinburgh on Easter Eve of 1536 by William Chisholm, Bishop of Dunblane.
Knox first appears in public records as a priest and a notary in 1540. He was still serving in these capacities as late as 1543 when he described himself as a "minister of the sacred altar in the diocese of St. Andrews, notary by apostolic authority" in a notarial deed dated 27 March. Rather than taking up parochial duties in a parish, he became tutor to two sons of Hugh Douglas of Longniddry, he taught the son of John Cockburn of Ormiston. Both of these lairds had embraced the new religious ideas of the Reformation. Knox did not record when or how he was converted to the Protestant faith, but the key formative influences on Knox were Patrick Hamilton and George Wishart. Wishart was a reformer, he first moved to England. He was forced to make a public recantation and was burned in effigy at the Church of St Nicholas as a sign of his abjuration, he took refuge in Germany and Switzerland. While on the Continent, he translated the First Helvetic Confession into English, he returned to Scotland in 1544.
In December 1543, James Hamilton, Duke of Châtellerault, the appointed regent for the infant Mary, Queen of Scots, had decided with the Queen Mother, Mary of Guise, Cardinal David Beaton to persecute the Protestant sect that had taken root in Scotland. Wishart travelled throughout Scotland preaching in favour of the reformation and when he arrived in East Lothian, Knox became one of his closest associates. Knox acted as his bodyguard. In December 1545, Wishart was seized on Beaton's orders by the Earl of Bothwell and taken to the Castle of St Andrews. Knox was present on the night of Wishart's arrest and was prepared to follow him into captivity, but Wishart persuaded him against this course saying, "Nay, return to your bairns and God bless you. One is sufficient for a sacrifice." Wishart was subsequently prosecuted by Beaton's Public Accuser of Archdeacon John Lauder. On 1 March 1546, he was burnt at the stake in the presence of Beaton. Knox had avoided being arrested by Lord Bothwell through Wishart's advice to return to tutoring.
He took shelter with Douglas in Longniddry. Several months he was still in charge of the pupils, the sons of Douglas and Cockburn, who wearied of moving from place to place while being pursued, he toyed with the idea of taking his pupils with him. While Knox remained a fugitive, Beaton was murdered on 29 May 1546, within his residence, the Castle of St Andrews
Protestantism is the second largest form of Christianity with collectively between 800 million and more than 900 million adherents worldwide or nearly 40% of all Christians. It originated with the 16th century Reformation, a movement against what its followers perceived to be errors in the Roman Catholic Church. Protestants reject the Roman Catholic doctrine of papal supremacy and sacraments, but disagree among themselves regarding the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist, they emphasize the priesthood of all believers, justification by faith alone rather than by good works, the highest authority of the Bible alone in faith and morals. The "five solae" summarise basic theological differences in opposition to the Roman Catholic Church. Protestantism is popularly considered to have begun in Germany in 1517 when Martin Luther published his Ninety-five Theses as a reaction against abuses in the sale of indulgences by the Roman Catholic Church, which purported to offer remission of sin to their purchasers.
However, the term derives from the letter of protestation from German Lutheran princes in 1529 against an edict of the Diet of Speyer condemning the teachings of Martin Luther as heretical. Although there were earlier breaks and attempts to reform the Roman Catholic Church—notably by Peter Waldo, John Wycliffe, Jan Hus—only Luther succeeded in sparking a wider and modern movement. In the 16th century, Lutheranism spread from Germany into Denmark, Sweden, Latvia and Iceland. Reformed denominations spread in Germany, the Netherlands, Scotland and France by reformers such as John Calvin, Huldrych Zwingli, John Knox; the political separation of the Church of England from the pope under King Henry VIII began Anglicanism, bringing England and Wales into this broad Reformation movement. Protestants have developed their own culture, with major contributions in education, the humanities and sciences, the political and social order, the economy and the arts, many other fields. Protestantism is diverse, being more divided theologically and ecclesiastically than either the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, or Oriental Orthodoxy.
Without structural unity or central human authority, Protestants developed the concept of an invisible church, in contrast to the Roman Catholic view of the Catholic Church as the visible one true Church founded by Jesus Christ. Some denominations do have a worldwide scope and distribution of membership, while others are confined to a single country. A majority of Protestants are members of a handful of Protestant denominational families: Adventists, Anglicans, Reformed, Lutherans and Pentecostals. Nondenominational, charismatic and other churches are on the rise, constitute a significant part of Protestant Christianity. Proponents of the branch theory consider Protestantism one of the three major divisions of Christendom, together with the Roman Catholic Church and Orthodoxy. Six princes of the Holy Roman Empire and rulers of fourteen Imperial Free Cities, who issued a protest against the edict of the Diet of Speyer, were the first individuals to be called Protestants; the edict reversed concessions made to the Lutherans with the approval of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V three years earlier.
The term protestant, though purely political in nature acquired a broader sense, referring to a member of any Western church which subscribed to the main Protestant principles. However, it is misused to mean any church outside the Roman and Eastern Orthodox communions. Protestantism as a general term is now used in contradistinction to the other major Christian traditions, i.e. Roman Catholicism and Orthodoxy. During the Reformation, the term protestant was hardly used outside of German politics. People who were involved in the religious movement used the word evangelical. For further details, see the section below. Protestant became a general term, meaning any adherent of the Reformation in the German-speaking area, it was somewhat taken up by Lutherans though Martin Luther himself insisted on Christian or evangelical as the only acceptable names for individuals who professed Christ. French and Swiss Protestants instead preferred the word reformed, which became a popular and alternative name for Calvinists.
The word evangelical, which refers to the gospel, was used for those involved in the religious movement in the German-speaking area beginning in 1517. Nowadays, evangelical is still preferred among some of the historical Protestant denominations in the Lutheran and United Protestant traditions in Europe, those with strong ties to them. Above all the term is used by Protestant bodies in the German-speaking area, such as the Evangelical Church in Germany. In continental Europe, an Evangelical is either a Calvinist, or a United Protestant; the German word evangelisch means Protestant, is different from the German evangelikal, which refers to churches shaped by Evangelicalism. The English word evangelical refers to evangelical Protestant churches, therefore to a certain part of Protestantism rather than to Protestantism as a whole; the English word traces its roots back to the Puritans in England, where Evangelicalism originated, was brought to the United States. Martin Luther always disliked the term Lutheran, preferring the term evangelical, derived from euangelion, a Greek word meaning "good news", i.e. "gospel".
The followers of
Presbyterianism is a part of the reformed tradition within Protestantism, which traces its origins to Britain Scotland. Presbyterian churches derive their name from the presbyterian form of church government, governed by representative assemblies of elders. A great number of Reformed churches are organized this way, but the word Presbyterian, when capitalized, is applied uniquely to churches that trace their roots to the Church of Scotland, as well as several English dissenter groups that formed during the English Civil War. Presbyterian theology emphasizes the sovereignty of God, the authority of the Scriptures, the necessity of grace through faith in Christ. Presbyterian church government was ensured in Scotland by the Acts of Union in 1707, which created the Kingdom of Great Britain. In fact, most Presbyterians found in England can trace a Scottish connection, the Presbyterian denomination was taken to North America by Scots and Scots-Irish immigrants; the Presbyterian denominations in Scotland hold to the Reformed theology of John Calvin and his immediate successors, although there is a range of theological views within contemporary Presbyterianism.
Local congregations of churches which use presbyterian polity are governed by sessions made up of representatives of the congregation. The roots of Presbyterianism lie in the Reformation of the 16th century, the example of John Calvin's Republic of Geneva being influential. Most Reformed churches that trace their history back to Scotland are either presbyterian or congregationalist in government. In the twentieth century, some Presbyterians played an important role in the ecumenical movement, including the World Council of Churches. Many Presbyterian denominations have found ways of working together with other Reformed denominations and Christians of other traditions in the World Communion of Reformed Churches; some Presbyterian churches have entered into unions with other churches, such as Congregationalists, Lutherans and Methodists. Presbyterians in the United States came from Scottish immigrants, Scotch-Irish immigrants, from New England Yankee communities, Congregational but changed because of an agreed-upon Plan of Union of 1801 for frontier areas.
Along with Episcopalians, Presbyterians tend to be wealthier and better educated than most other religious groups in United States, are disproportionately represented in the upper reaches of American business and politics. Presbyterian tradition that of the Church of Scotland, traces its early roots to the Church founded by Saint Columba, through the 6th century Hiberno-Scottish mission. Tracing their apostolic origin to Saint John, the Culdees practiced Christian monasticism, a key feature of Celtic Christianity in the region, with a presbyter exercising "authority within the institution, while the different monastic institutions were independent of one another." The Church in Scotland kept the Christian feast of Easter at a date different from the See of Rome and its monks used a unique style of tonsure. The Synod of Whitby in 664, ended these distinctives as it ruled "that Easter would be celebrated according to the Roman date, not the Celtic date." Although Roman influence came to dominate the Church in Scotland, certain Celtic influences remained in the Scottish Church, such as "the singing of metrical psalms, many of them set to old Celtic Christianity Scottish traditional and folk tunes", which became a "distinctive part of Scottish Presbyterian worship".
Presbyterian history is part of the history of Christianity, but the beginning of Presbyterianism as a distinct movement occurred during the 16th-century Protestant Reformation. As the Catholic Church resisted the reformers, several different theological movements splintered from the Church and bore different denominations. Presbyterianism was influenced by the French theologian John Calvin, credited with the development of Reformed theology, the work of John Knox, a Scotsman and a Roman Catholic Priest, who studied with Calvin in Geneva, Switzerland, he brought back Reformed teachings to Scotland. The Presbyterian church traces its ancestry back to England and Scotland. In August 1560 the Parliament of Scotland adopted the Scots Confession as the creed of the Scottish Kingdom. In December 1560, the First Book of Discipline was published, outlining important doctrinal issues but establishing regulations for church government, including the creation of ten ecclesiastical districts with appointed superintendents which became known as presbyteries.
In time, the Scots Confession would be supplanted by the Westminster Confession of Faith, the Larger and Shorter Catechisms, which were formulated by the Westminster Assembly between 1643 and 1649. Presbyterians distinguish themselves from other denominations by doctrine, institutional organization and worship; the origins of the Presbyterian churches are in Calvinism. Many branches of Presbyterianism are remnants of previous splits from larger groups; some of the splits have been due to doctrinal controversy, while some have been caused by disagreement concerning the degree to which those ordained to church office should be required to agree with the Westminster Confession of Faith, which serves as an important confessional document – second only to the Bible, yet directing particularities in the standardization and translation of the Bible – in Presbyterian churches. Presbyteria