Bucer, Melanchthon and Zwingli: Erasmus's Protestants
Michael Mullett shows that key Protestant reformers were influenced by Erasmus's Christian Humanism, as well as by Luther's theology.
The three figures who make up the subject of this article, the Protestant reformer of the German city of Strassburg, Martin Bucer, Martin Luther’s aide Philipp Melanchthon and the reformer of the Swiss city of Zürich, Huldrych Zwingli, are to be considered from the point of view of their common intellectual provenance. In the background was the cultural phenomenon we know as Renaissance humanism, which included a passion for the literature of ancient Greece and Rome. Humanism’s grammatical, textual, critical and literary techniques, largely developed in 15thand early 16th-century Italy, were swiftly adapted to furnish a more specifically Christian endeavour, focused on the pursuit of pure texts of the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as well as of the writings of the early ‘Fathers’ of the Church such as St Augustine.
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