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Zwingli, Huldreich

(Ulrich; 1484–1531). 1. Founder of Swiss Ref. Ch.; b. Wildhaus, Switz.; received humanistic educ.; parish priest at Glarus 1506–16 (took time out to be chaplain at battles of Novara 1513 and Marignano 1515, both in Italy; preached against hiring out of Swiss soldiers as mercenaries, arousing animosity against him); at Einsiedeln 1516–18 (opposed indulgences); and at Zurich, where he stayed from 1519 to end of life. Studied a great deal, esp. the NT and the ch. fathers; met Erasmus 1515. He gave up his papal pension 1520, but his reformatory work did not really begin until 1522, when he wrote against compulsory fasting. That yr. he contracted a secret marriage, which was publicly solemnized 1524. In a disputation January 29, 1523, Zwingli successfully defended 67 theses he had drawn up, in which he maintained that the Gospel alone should be the rule of faith and practice, etc.. In a few months he expanded these and published them under the title Auslegung und Begründung der Schlussreden—the 1st Ger. Ev. dogmatics. A 2d disputation (in which Zwingli attacked the RC Mass) took place October 26–28, 1523, and a 3d on January 19–20, 1524. Pictures and statues were removed from chs.; even ch. music was abolished; services were held in the vernacular; monasteries were closed. Ca. 1523 Zwingli adopted C. H. Hoen's* doctrine of the Eucharist. On Maundy Thursday, April 13, 1525, the Lord's Supper was celebrated in Zurich with men and women sitting on opposite sides of a table extending down the middle aisle. Zwingli strongly opposed the Anabaptists. In 1529, in his only meeting with Luther, he attended the Marburg Colloquy (see Luther, Controversies of, g). When the Diet of Augsburg convened on June 30, 1530, Zwingli sent his own confession of faith to the emperor. He set on foot far-reaching politico-religious schemes, but the 5 Forest Cantons remained staunchly RC, and war broke out bet. them and Zurich. He went out with the army as chaplain and was killed.

2. It is hard to determine to what extent Zwingli was dependent on Luther. He always maintained that he arrived at his theol. conclusions independently, but he read Luther's writings and some influence is highly probable. Interesting comparisons can be drawn bet. the 2 men: Like Luther, Zwingli was a born musician and fond of company, also an excellent teacher; unlike Luther, he defended the death penalty for unbelievers and was always ready to engage in politics; both recognized Scripture as the only authority in religion, but Zwingli was inclined to be influenced by reason and humanism. See also Reformed Confessions, A 1; Switzerland, 2–4.

W. Köhler, Zwingli and Luther (1924 and 1953); J. Rilliet, tr. H. Knight, Zwingli: Third Man of the Reformation (Philadelphia, 1964); H. Sasse, This Is My Body (Minneapolis, 1959); J. P. Whitney, “The Helvetic Reformation,” Cambridge Modern History, II, 305–41 (voluminous bibliography of material published to the time of the printing of this work on pp. 773–78).

Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
©Concordia Publishing House, 2000, All rights Reserved. Reproduced with Permission

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