Cover Page

The Great Theologians

A comprehensive series devoted to highlighting the major theologians of different periods. Each theologian is presented by a world-renowned scholar.


The Modern Theologians
An Introduction to Christian Theology in the Twentieth Century

David Ford

The Medieval Theologians
An Introduction to Theology in the Medieval Period

G. R. Evans

The Reformation Theologians
An Introduction to Theology in the Early Modern Period

Carter Lindberg

The First Christian Theologians
An Introduction to Theology in the early Church

G. R. Evans


The Pietist Theologians
Carter Lindberg

The Reformation Theologians

An Introduction to Theology in the Early Modern Period

Edited by

Carter Lindberg

School of Theology Boston University



I am grateful to the many people whose support and work made this volume possible. Alex Wright, previous senior commissioning editor of religion at Blackwell, initiated the project; and Joanna Pyke, Blackwell’s editorial controller, has shepherded the volume to completion with her usual competence, attention to detail, and gracious flexibility concerning schedules. Finally, thanks to Clare Woodford and Laura Barry, Blackwell publishing coordinators, for their assistance with numerous details, large and small.

The contributors were a great pleasure to work with. They graciously consented to make room in their busy schedules to participate in this project. I am especially grateful to those who joined late in the game due to the withdrawals of some of the original invitees owing to serious illnesses and other problems. The volume was to include chapters on Martin Bucer and John Fisher, but unfortunately when it became apparent that these chapters would not materialize it was too late to find replacement contributors. I apologize for this impoverishment of the Reformed and Roman Catholic sections, and hope readers may begin to fill in the gaps with the entries in The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Reformation and the Theologische Realenzyklopädie.

I also wish to thank James M. Estes, professor emeritus of the University of Toronto, for both recommending Dr. Hermann Ehmer for the Brenz chapter and then translating the chapter into English. I am responsible for the translations of the chapters on d’Etaples, Luther, Melanchthon, Karlstadt, Müntzer, and Schwenkfeld. Erika Lindberg, our daughter, provided indispensable help with the translations of the French chapters on d’Etaples and Schwenkfeld. And the authors of all the translated chapters were exceedingly gracious in reading and correcting my drafts. Translation errors and infelicities – in spite of so much assistance – remain my own.

Carter Lindberg

Boston, 2001


Gillian T. W. Ahlgren is associate professor of theology at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio. She is the author of Teresa of Avila and the Politics of Sanctity (1996), and the forthcoming Digo Yo, Francisca: Proclaiming Reform in Sixteenth-Century Toledo, as well as numerous articles on women in sixteenth-century Spain.

Oswald Bayer is professor of systematic theology at the University of Tübingen and editor of the Neue Zeitschrift für systematische Theologie und Religionsphilosophie. His numerous articles have appeared in a variety of European and American journals. The more recent of his many monographs include Theologie (Handbuch systematischer Theologie 1) (1995), Freiheit als Antwort: Zur theologischen Ethik (1995), and Gott als Autor: Zu einer poietologischen Theologie (1999).

Guy Bedouelle, OP is professor of church history at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland, and President of the Dominican Center of Studies, Le Saulchoir, Paris. Besides his publications on Lefèvre d’Etaples, he is the author (in collaboration with Patrick Le Gal) of Le “divorce” du roi Henry VIII, Textes et documents (1987) and (in collaboration with Bernard Roussel) Le temps des Réformes et la Bible (1989). He is also the editor of volume 83 of the Collected Works of Erasmus in English (1998) for which he provided the Introduction and the annotations on the Apologia ad Fabrum.

Peter Newman Brooks, fellow emeritus of Robinson College, Cambridge, was lecturer in Church History in the Cambridge Faculty of Divinity from 1970 to 1998. He is currently professor of Reformation studies and director of graduate studies at Cranmer Theological House, Shreveport, USA. His many publications on the continental and English Reformations include editing Seven-Headed Luther (1983), Cranmer in Context: Documents from the English Reformation (1989), and his monograph Thomas Cranmer’s Doctrine of the Eucharist (2nd ed., 1992).

J. Laurel Carrington is professor of Renaissance and Reformation history at St. Olaf College, Minnesota. She is currently working on the annotations for Erasmus’s Epistola contra Pseudoevangelicos and Epistola ad Fratres Germaniae Inferioris for volume 78 of the Collected Works of Erasmus.

Hermann Ehmer is Director of the Landeskirchliche Archiv of the Evangelische Landeskirche in Württemberg and lecturer on Württemberg church history at the University of Tübingen. From 1977 to 1988 he was the manager of the Wertheim Staatsarchiv. He is also the coeditor of the Blätter für württembergischen Kirchengeschichte and of the Quellen und Forschungen zur württembergischen Kirchengeschichte. He has contributed numerous publications in the areas of the history and church history of Baden-Württemberg.

Daniel F. Eppley is assistant professor of the history of Christianity at McMurry University in Texas. His doctoral dissertation (University of Iowa, 2000) is titled “A Convenient Faith: Royal Supremacy and the Definition of Christian Doctrine in Tudor England.” His recent research focusses on the defense of the royal supremacy in Tudor England.

Bruce Gordon is lecturer in modern history at the University of St. Andrews and associate director of the St. Andrews Reformation Studies Institute. He is the author of Clerical Discipline and the Rural Reformation (1992), editor of Protestant History and Identity in Sixteenth-Century Europe (2 vols., 1996) and, with Peter Marshall, editor of The Place of the Dead: Death and Remembrance in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe (2000). He is currently writing a book on Zwingli.

Scott Hendrix is James Hastings Nichols professor of Reformation history and doctrine at Princeton Theological Seminary. He is the author of numerous articles on Luther and Rhegius as well as Luther and the Papacy: Stages in a Reformation Conflict (1981), Tradition and Authority in the Reformation (1996), and, with Günther Gassmann, The Fortress Introduction to the Lutheran Confessions (1999).

Frank A. James, III is professor of historical theology at the Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando Florida, and regular visiting professor of Reformation history at the Centre for Reformation Research, Oxford. His publications include The Peter Martyr Reader, coedited with J. P. Donnelly and J. C. McLelland (1999), Peter Martyr Vermigli and Predestination: The Augustinian Inheritance of an Italian Reformer (1998), and Via Augustini: The Recovery of Augustine in the Later Middle Ages, Renaissance and Reformation, coedited with Heiko A. Oberman (1991). Since 1996, Professor Frank has been general editor of the Peter Martyr Library (with J. C. McLelland and J. P. Donnelly).

Ralph Keen is associate professor of religion at the University of Iowa School of Religion. He is the editor and translator of Responsio ad Johannem Bugenhagium Pomeranum (1988) and the author of Divine and Human Authority in Reformation Thought: German Theologians on Political Order, 1520–1555 (1997). He is presently working on a comparative study of varieties of sixteenth-century Catholicism.

Robert Kolb is professor in the Institute for Mission Studies at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis. He is the author of numerous books in the field of Reformation studies, including Luther’s Heirs Define His Legacy (1996) and Martin Luther as Prophet, Teacher, and Hero: Images of the Reformer, 1520–1620 (1999). His most recent work, with Timothy Wengert, is a new translation of The Book of Concord, The Confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church (2000).

Carter Lindberg is professor of church history at the Boston University School of Theology. He is the author of the textbook, The European Reformations (1996), and Beyond Charity: Reformation Initiatives for the Poor (1993), and editor of The European Reformations Sourcebook (2000).

Peter Matheson is fellow of the Department of History and principal of the Theological Hall at the University of Melbourne. In addition to his studies and translations of Argula von Grumbach, he is the translator and editor of The Collected Works of Thomas Müntzer (1988). His most recent books are The Rhetoric of the Reformation (1998), and The Imaginative World of the Reformation (2000).

Elsie Anne McKee is Archibald Alexander professor of Reformation studies and the history of worship at Princeton Theological Seminary. In addition to her publications on Katharina Schütz Zell, her books include John Calvin on the Diaconate and Liturgical Almsgiving (1984), Elders and the Plural Ministry: The Role of Exegetical History in Illuminating John Calvin’s Theology (1988), and Diakonia: In the Classical Reformed Tradition and Today (1989). With B. Armstrong, she is editor of Probing the Reformed Tradition: Historical Studies in Honor of Edward A. Dowey, Jr. (1989).

Gregory J. Miller is associate professor of history at Malone College, Ohio. Since his dissertation, Holy War and Holy Terror: Views of Islam in German Pamphlet Literature 1520–1545 (Boston University, 1994), much of his work has focussed on early modern European responses to Islam. He is currently writing a book on Zwingli’s successor, Theodor Bibliander.

Richard A. Muller is professor of historical theology at Calvin Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan. His extensive studies of Reformed Orthodoxy include Christ and the Decree: Christology and Predestination in Reformed Theology from Calvin to Perkins (1988), God, Creation, and Providence in the Thought of Jacob Arminius (1991), and Post-Reformation Reformed Dogmatics (2 vols., 1987, 1993). His most recent study is The Unaccommodated Calvin: Studies in the Foundation of a Theological Tradition (2000).

Oliver K. Olson, emeritus professor of theology, Marquette University, was a career chaplain in the US navy. His Matthias Flacius and the Survival of Luther’s Reform is forthcoming.

John W. O’Malley, SJ is professor of church history at Weston Jesuit School of Theology. Author of numerous studies on Reformation subjects and early modern

Catholicism, his most recent books include The First Jesuits (1993) and Trent and All That: Renaming Catholicism in the Early Modern Era (2000).

Heinz Scheible is director of the Melanchthon-Forschungsstelle, Heidelberger Akademie der Wissenschaften, where he is engaged in the preparation of the critical edition of Melanchthon’s correspondence. Among his many studies are the articles on Melanchthon in The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Reformation and the Theologische Realenzyklopädie, and the major biography, Melanchthon: Eine Biographie (1997).

Gottfried Seebass is professor of church history at the University of Heidelberg and serves as an editor of numerous scholarly works including the Theologische Realenzyklopädie. The wide range of his contributions to Reformation studies may be sampled in the recent collection of his essays edited by Irene Dingel, Die Reformation der Aussenseiter. Gesammelte Aufsätze und Vorträge (1997).

André Séguenny is research fellow at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, University of Strasbourg. He is editor of the Bibliotheca Dissidentium series (20 vols. to date), and author of The Christology of Caspar Schwenckfeld (1987) and Les Spirituels: Philosophie et religion chez les jeunes humanistes allemands au seizième siècle (2000).

Sjouka Voolstra is professor of Mennonite history and theology at the Mennonite Seminary (Amsterdam) and at the University of Amsterdam. His publications on Menno Simons include Het Woord is vlees geworden. De melchioritisch-menniste incarnatieleer (1982) and Menno Simons: His Image and Message (1997).

Jared Wicks, SJ has been active in the study of Reformation theology since his dissertation on Luther under Erwin Iserloh at Münster (1967). A number of his essays appeared in his Luther’s Reform: Studies in Conversion and the Church (1992). Besides his studies on Cajetan, he has contributed entries on sixteenth-century Catholic theologians for the Encyclopedia of the Reformation (1995). He currently teaches in the Faculty of Theology at the Gregorian University, Rome.

Randall C. Zachman is associate professor of Reformation studies in the Department of Theology at the University of Notre Dame, where he is also Director of the MA and MTS programs in theology. He is the author of The Assurance of Faith: Conscience in the Theology of Martin Luther and John Calvin (1993) and numerous articles in various theological journals.

Alejandro Zorzin, a pastor in the Iglesia Evangélica del Rio de la Plata, Argentina, has recently accepted a pastoral position in Germany. His dissertation on Karlstadt appeared under the title Karlstadt als Flugschriftenautor (1990). His “Escatología apocalíptica en la Reforma protestante del siglo XVI” is in the volume he coedited, Escatología y espiritualidad: expectativas ante el nuevo milenio (1999).


ARGArchiv für Reformationsgeschichte/Archive for Reformation History
BSLKBekenntnisschriften der Evangelisch-Lutherischen Kirche, Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1963
BSRKBekenntnisschriften der Reformierten Kirche, Leipzig, 1903
CHChurch History
CHRCatholic Historical Review
COIoannes Calvini opera quae supersunt omnia, ed. Wilhelm Baum, Edward Cunitz, and Eduard Reuss, 59 vols. (vols. 29–87 of CR), Brunswick: A. Schwetschke & Son (M. Bruhn), 1863–1900
CRCorpus Reformatorum: Philippi Melanchthonis opera quae supersunt omnia, ed. K. Bretschneider & H. Bindseil, 28 vols., Halle: Schwetschke, 1834–60
CSCorpus Schwenckfeldianorum, 19 vols., Leipzig and Pennsburg, PA, 1907–61
CTJCalvin Theological Journal
CTMThe Collected Works of Thomas Müntzer, trans. and ed. Peter Matheson, Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1988
CWThe Complete Works of St. Thomas More, New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 1963–97
FCFormula of Concord
JEHJournal of Ecclesiastical History
LQLutheran Quarterly
LWLuther’s Works, American edition, ed. Jaroslav Pelikan and Helmut Lehmann, 55 vols., St. Louis and Minneapolis: Concordia Publishing House and Fortress Press, 1955–86
MBWMelanchthons Briefwechsel: Kritische und Kommentierte Gesamtausgabe. Regesten, ed. Heinz Scheible, 8 vols. to date, Stuttgart–Bad Cannstatt: Frommann-Holzboog, 1977–
MBW.T1Melanchthons Briefwechsel: Kritische und Kommentierte Gesamtausgabe. Texte, ed. R. Wetzel, 2 vols. to date, Stuttgart–Bad Cannstatt: Frommann-Holzboog, 1991–
MSAMelanchthons Werke in Auswahl (Studienausgabe), ed. R. Stupperich, 7 vols., Gütersloh: Gerd Mohn, 1951–75
MSBThomas Müntzer, Schriften und Briefe, ed. Günther Franz, assisted by Paul Kirn, Gütersloh: Gerd Mohn, 1968
NZSThNeue Zeitschrift für systematische Theologie
OERThe Oxford Encyclopedia of the Reformation, ed. Hans J. Hillerbrand, 4 vols., New York: Oxford University Press, 1996
OSIoannis Calvini opera selecta, ed. Peter Barth, Wilhelm Niesel, and Dora Scheuner, 5 vols., Munich: Chr. Kaiser, 1926–52
SCJSixteenth Century Journal
TappertThe Book of Concord, ed. Theodore Tappert, Philadelphia: Muhlenberg Press, 1959
TRETheologische Realenzyklopädie
WAD. Martin Luthers Werke. Kritische Gesamtausgabe, 60 vols. to date, Weimar: Böhlaus Nachfolger, 1883–
WA BrD. Martin Luthers Werke. Kritische Gesamtausgabe. Briefwechsel, 15 vols., Weimar: Böhlaus Nachfolger, 1930–78
WA TRD. Martin Luthers Werke. Kritische Gesamtausgabe. Tischreden, 6 vols., Weimar: Böhlaus Nachfolger, 1912–21
ZHuldreich Zwinglis sämtliche Werke, ed. E. Egli et al. (vols. 88– of CR), Berlin, Leipzig, and Zurich, 1905–
ZKGZeitschrift für Kirchengeschichte
ZThKZeitschrift für Theologie und Kirche