Karlstadt and the Origins of the Eucharistic Controversy

A Study in the Circulation of Ideas

by

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ISBNs
  • 9780199753994
  • 9780199781249
The debate over the Lord's Supper had momentous consequences for the Reformation, causing the division of the evangelical movement, influencing the formation of political alliances, and contributing to cultural differences among the Protestant territories of Germany and Switzerland. Karlstadt and the Origins of the Eucharistic Controversy is the first full-length study of the beginning of that debate. Going beyond the traditional focus on Martin Luther and Ulrich Zwingli, it emphasizes the diversity of the "sacramentarian" challenge to traditional belief in Christ's corporeal presence in the bread and wine of the Eucharist, and it re-evaluates the significance of Luther's colleague, Andreas Bodenstein von Karlstadt, for the debate. Burnett describes Luther's earliest criticisms of the mass and the efforts in Wittenberg to reform liturgical praxis to correspond with his ideas. She then looks at pamphlets written by other reformers to show how Luther's understanding of the sacrament was adapted and modified outside of Wittenberg. Ultimately, Burnett shows how Karlstadt's eucharistic pamphlets introduced into the public debate arguments that would become standard Reformed criticisms of the Lutheran position. The book also demonstrates the influence not only of Erasmus but also of John Wyclif and the Hussites for discussions of the sacrament, highlights the role of the reformers of Basel and Strasbourg for developing the "Zwinglian" understanding of the Lord's Supper, and draws attention to the early eucharistic theology of the Silesians Kaspar Schwenckfeld and Valentin Krautwald. This book will be an indispensable guide for readers seeking to understand the issues surrounding the outbreak of the eucharistic controversy in the sixteenth century.
  • Oxford University Press; January 2011
  • ISBN 9780199781249
  • Read online, or download in secure PDF format
  • Title: Karlstadt and the Origins of the Eucharistic Controversy
  • Author: Amy Nelson Burnett
  • Imprint: Oxford University Press
Subject categories
ISBNs
  • 9780199753994
  • 9780199781249

In The Press

"This is an extremely important book that re-charts the topography of early Eucharistic debates in the Reformation. Burnett succeeds admirably in placing Karlstadt and the other reformers in their proper historical and theological contexts. Readers will benefit greatly from her skillful treatment of the debates in the pamphlet literature, where issues of print, theology, and polemic are considered alongside the personal relationships of the reformers. A magnificent achievement."-- Bruce Gordon, author of Calvin
"By focusing on the pivotal figure of Karlstadt and showing the development of his theology in the 1520s, Burnett has succeeded in breaking through the logjam of preconceived theological agenda held by many researchers and in placing the historical and intellectual twists and turns of Eucharistic theology during the early Reformation front and center. In the process she has rehabilitated the central role played by Karlstadt. Moreover, by providing cogent analysis of critical texts she allows the English-speaking reader access to another side in this crucial debate in the history of the Reformation."-- Timothy J. Wengert, Ministerium of Pennsylvania Professor of the History of Christianity, The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia
"Amy Burnett has written yet another excellent book: a study of a significant early Reformation figure on a very important topic in the period. Karlstadt has been neglected and sometimes misrepresented--and this study provides a solution to both problems. Burnett deals well with Karlstadt's background and looks carefully into the theology of his contemporaries, going beyond merely the obvious comparison with Luther. In addition, her study is so carefully textual and so balanced in its analysis that scholars working in Luther and Melanchthon will find analysis of these thinkers sound and insightful as well."-- Richard A. Muller, P. J. Zondervan Professor of Historical Theology, Calvin Theological Seminary
"Burnett's book breaks important ground for the historian and theologian alike. Like a good work of scholarship, it also hints at new areas of creative inquiry. As a landmark study, it will be of use for students of religious history and theology for many years to come."--The Catholic Historical Review
"Throughout her book, Burnett makes good on her subtitle, pursuing the circulation and impact of Karlstadt's ideas upon other reformers...an excellent initial study for her long-term project to assess 'the eucharistic controversy from its beginning through the signing of the Consensus Tigurinus in 1549.'"--Lutheran Quarterly
"This book is an 'absolutely-must have' in graduate classes and continuing education on this topic."--Journal of Ecumenical Studies

About The Author

Amy Nelson Burnett is professor of history at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She is the author of Teaching the Reformation: Ministers and their Message in Basel, 1529-1629 and The Yoke of Christ: Martin Bucer and Christian Discipline, as well as numerous articles on the Reformation in Switzerland and south Germany.

Subject categories
ISBNs
  • 9780199753994
  • 9780199781249