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PROTESTANTISM

* v * t * e

The RADICAL REFORMATION was the response to what was believed to be the corruption in both the Roman Catholic Church
Roman Catholic Church
and the expanding Magisterial Protestant movement led by Martin Luther
Martin Luther
and many others. Beginning in Germany and Switzerland in the 16th century, the Radical Reformation
Reformation
gave birth to many radical Protestant groups throughout Europe
Europe
. The term covers both radical reformers like Thomas Müntzer
Thomas Müntzer
, Andreas Karlstadt , groups like the Zwickau prophets and Anabaptist groups like the Hutterites and Mennonites .

In parts of Germany, Switzerland and Austria, a majority sympathized with the Radical Reformation
Reformation
despite intense persecution. Although the surviving proportion of the European population that rebelled against Catholic, Lutheran
Lutheran
and Zwinglian
Zwinglian
churches was small, Radical Reformers wrote profusely and the literature on the Radical Reformation
Reformation
is disproportionately large, partly as a result of the proliferation of the Radical Reformation
Reformation
teachings in the United States .

CONTENTS

* 1 Characteristics * 2 Non-Anabaptist Radical reformers * 3 Early forms of Anabaptism
Anabaptism
* 4 Later forms of Anabaptism
Anabaptism
* 5 Other movements * 6 See also * 7 References * 8 Further reading * 9 External links

CHARACTERISTICS

Unlike the Catholics and the more Magisterial Lutheran
Lutheran
and Reformed ( Zwinglian
Zwinglian
and Calvinist
Calvinist
) Protestant movements, some of the Radical Reformation
Reformation
abandoned the idea that the " Church visible
Church visible
" was distinct from the " Church invisible
Church invisible
." Thus, the Church only consisted of the tiny community of believers, who accepted Jesus Christ and demonstrated this by adult baptism, called "believer\'s baptism" .

While the magisterial reformers wanted to substitute their own learned elite for the learned elite of the Catholic Church
Catholic Church
, the radical Protestant groups rejected the authority of the institutional "church" organization, almost entirely, as being unbiblical. As the search for original Christianity
Christianity
was carried further, it was claimed that the tension between the church and the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
in the first centuries of Christianity
Christianity
was normative, that the church is not to be allied with government sacralism , that a true church is always subject to be persecuted, and that the conversion of Constantine I was therefore the Great Apostasy that marked a deviation from pure Christianity.

NON-ANABAPTIST RADICAL REFORMERS

Though most of the Radical Reformers were Anabaptist, some did not identify themselves with the mainstream Anabaptist tradition. Thomas Müntzer was involved in the German Peasants\' War . Andreas Karlstadt disagreed theologically with Huldrych Zwingli
Huldrych Zwingli
and Martin Luther, teaching nonviolence and refusing to baptize infants while not rebaptizing adult believers. Kaspar Schwenkfeld and Sebastian Franck were influenced by German mysticism and spiritualism .

EARLY FORMS OF ANABAPTISM

Some early forms of the Radical Reformation
Reformation
were millenarian , focusing on the imminent end of the world. This was particularly notable in the rule of John of Leiden over the city of Münster
Münster
in 1535, which was ultimately crushed by the combined forces of the Catholic Bishop of Münster
Münster
and the Lutheran
Lutheran
Landgrave of Hesse . After the Munster rebellion , the small group of the Batenburgers continued to adhere to militant Anabaptist beliefs. Non-violent Anabaptist groups also had millenarian beliefs.

The early Anabaptists
Anabaptists
believed that their reformation must purify not only theology but also the actual lives of Christians, especially their political and social relationships. Therefore, the church should not be supported by the state, neither by tithes and taxes, nor by the use of the sword; Christianity
Christianity
was a matter of individual conviction, which could not be forced on anyone, but rather required a personal decision for it.

Many groups were influenced by biblicism (like the Swiss Brethren ), spiritualism (like the South German Anabaptists) and mainly absolute pacifism (like the Swiss Brethren, the Hutterites and the Mennonites from Northern Germany and the Netherlands). The Hutterites also practiced community of goods . In the beginning most of them were strongly missionary .

LATER FORMS OF ANABAPTISM

Later forms of Anabaptism
Anabaptism
were much smaller, and focused on the formation of small, separatist communities. Among the many varieties to develop were Mennonites , Amish
Amish
, and Hutterites . Typical among the new leaders of the later Anabaptist movement, and certainly the most influential of them, was Menno Simons (1496–1561), a Dutch Catholic priest who early in 1536 decided to join the Anabaptists.

Simons had no use for the violence advocated and practiced by the Münster
Münster
movement, which seemed to him to pervert the very heart of Christianity. Thus, Mennonite
Mennonite
pacifism is not merely a peripheral characteristic of the movement, but rather belongs to the very essence of Menno's understanding of the gospel; this is one of the reasons that it has been a constant characteristic of all Mennonite
Mennonite
bodies through the centuries.

The Anabaptist of the Radical Reformation
Reformation
continue to inspire community groups such as the Bruderhof and movements such as Urban Expression in the UK.

OTHER MOVEMENTS

In addition to the Anabaptists, other Radical Reformation
Reformation
movements have been identified. Notably, George Huntston Williams , the great categorizer of the Radical Reformation, considered early forms of Unitarianism
Unitarianism
(such as that of the Socinians , and exemplified by Michael Servetus
Michael Servetus
as well as the Polish Brethren ), and other trends that disregarded the Nicene christology still accepted by most Christians
Christians
, as part of the Radical Reformation. With Michael Servetus (1511–1553) and Faustus Socinus (1539–1604) anti-Trinitarianism came to the foreground.

SEE ALSO

* Religious Society of Friends
Religious Society of Friends
, a later group influenced by the Radical Reformation * Christian anarchism
Christian anarchism
* Justus Velsius * Martyrs Mirror * Restorationism (Christian primitivism)

REFERENCES

* ^ Horsch, John (1995). Mennonites in Europe. Herald Press. p. 299. ISBN 978-0836113952 . * ^ Euan Cameron (1991). The European Reformation. New York: Oxford University Press . ISBN 0-19-873093-4 . * ^ Maseko, Achim N. (2008), Church Schism & Corruption, South Africa: Lulu.com, p. 236, ISBN 9781409221869 * ^ Justo L. Gonzalez, A History of Christian Thought (Abingdon: Nashville, 1975) * ^ Hein, Gerhard. "Karlstadt, Andreas Rudolff-Bodenstein von (1486-1541).". Global Anabaptist Mennonite
Mennonite
Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 19 April 2014. * ^ A B Gonzalez, A History of Christian Thought, 88. * ^ A B C Gonzalez, A History of Christian Thought, 96. * ^ "Why the Bruderhof is not a cult - by Bryan Wilson Cult And Sect Religion And Belief". Scribd. Retrieved 2017-07-12. * ^ "Eberhard Arnold: Founder of the Bruderhof". www.eberhardarnold.com. Retrieved 2017-05-25. * ^ Gonzalez, A History of Christian Thought, 101.

FURTHER READING

* Estep, William R. , The Anabaptist story: An introduction to sixteenth-century Anabaptism
Anabaptism
(1996). * Roth, John, and James Stayer, eds. A companion to Anabaptism
Anabaptism
and Spiritualism, 1521-1700 (Brill, 2007). * Williams, George H., The Radical Reformation, 3rd ed (Truman State Univ Press, 2000).

EXTERNAL LINKS

* Radical Reformation
Reformation
at

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