The Formation of the Evangelical Confession in Germany: Melanchthon and religious polemics in the middle of the 16th century

Natal’ya Aleksandrovna Berezhnaya PhD of History, senior lecturer, Institute of History, Saint-Petersburg State University (Mendeleevskaya liniya, 5, Saint-Petersburg, Russia, 199034)
n.berezhnaya@spbu.ru, natalialandi@mail.ru

Berezhnaya N. A. The Formation of the Evangelical Confession in Germany: Melanchthon and religious polemics in the middle of the 16th century, Religiya. Tserkov’. Obshchestvo. Issledovaniya i publikatsii po teologii i religii [Religion. Church. Society: Research and publications in the field of theology and religious studies], Saint-Petersburg, 2019, vol. 8, pp. 216–253.

doi: 10.24411/2308-0698-2019-00012

Language: Russian

The present article examines the formation of the evangelical denomination in Germany for fifteen years after the death of Martin Luther. The author analyses the relationship and dogmatic disagreements between  Luther and Philipp Melanchthon, Melanchthon’s activities as a leader of German Protestants, his attempts to create a new formula of dogma, which was to unite the supporters of the two versions of the Augsburg Confession, unaltered and altered, and the Gnesio-Lutherans. In addition, the author notes the communication of Melanchthon with the princely elite of Protestant Germany. These communications are of interest, since it was the authority of the imperial princes that helped the theologian lead the Evangelical Church. The main subject of internal protestant discussions in the second half of the 1540–1550s were the adiaphora and the Eucharist. The GnesioLutherans accused Melanchthon of «cryptocalvinism» because of the peculiarities of his views on the Eucharist, and also because of his unwillingness to refuse Calvin in response to the proposal to unite the evangelical and reformist confession. However, Luther himself did not require his comrade to renounce his views, that is, he did not consider them an error. GnesioLutheran theologians would have found it difficult to accuse Melanchthon of apostasy if not for his position on the issue of adiaphora and for the support of the Elector Moritz of Saxony.

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Key words: Philipp Melanchthon, Martin Luther, John Calvin, Evangelical Church, Gnesio-Lutherans, Reformed tradition, Adiaphora, Eucharist

URL: http://rcs-almanac.ru/en/berejhnaya-2019-en/

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The problem of adiaphora and religious controversies in England in the late 1550s–1560s

Vladimir Andreevich Tauber PhD in history, leading researcher, Moscow Kremlin Museums (Kremlin, Moscow, 103132) , vtauber@yandex.ru

Tauber V. A. The problem of adiaphora and religious controversies in England in the late 1550s–1560s, Religiya. Tserkov’. Obshchestvo. Issledovaniya i publikatsii po teologii i religii [Religion. Church. Society: Research and publications in the field of theology and religious studies], Saint-Petersburg, 2017, vol. 6, pp. 344–372.

doi: 10.24411/2308-0698-2017-00017

Language: Russian

The article provides the analysis of two religious conflicts which took place in England in the early years of the «Elizabethan religious settlement», namely, the Crucifix controversy (1559–1560) and the vestiarian controversy (mid-1560s). The investigation of these discussions gives an opportunity to trace the development of the adiaphora concept, i. e. the idea that certain religious matters are indifferent for the salvation. During the first controversy the leading parts were played by the newly appointed bishops. They argued upon the possibility of images to be used at churches and during the Divine services. Whereas some of them considered it as idolatry, which was directly forbidden by the Second Commandment, the others held that images were tolerable as long as they were not worshipped, consequently, it was the right of the Queen either to establish them or to ban them from churches. The discussions of the mid-1560s were different. All participants of the vestiarian controversy agreed that the matters in question belonged to thearea of adiaphora. The ecclesiastical authorities used this statement as a reason to prove the possibility of enforcement of religious uniformity by the Royal decrees. Their opponents, on the contrary, insisted that the «indifference» of vestments and other disputable subjects implied the right of each minister to handle them in compliance with his own consciousness. As a matter of fact both controversies exceeded the limits of particular problems such as tolerability of images or necessity of vestments. Their significance is determined by the discussions of the concept of adiaphora, the understanding of «indifference», and the right of the monarch as the Supreme Governor of the Church of England to interfere in these matters. Thus, the results of the controversies at issue had a significant influence upon the Anglican doctrine of the later ages.
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Key words: Church of England, adiaphora, «Elizabethan religious settlement», Crucifix controversy, vestiarian controversy

URL: http://rcs-almanac.ru/tauber-2017-en/

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