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Abstract from Article

Calling and resistance: Huldrych Zwingli’s (1484-1531) political theology and his legacy of resistance to tyranny
Andries Raath & Shaun de Freitas

Published: Koers, 66(1), (2002), 45-76


The ground-breaking contribution by Huldrych Zwingli to Reformed political theory has not been met with the necessary exposure that it deserves. Zurich and Genevan Reformed thought during the fifteenth century owes much of its political insight to Zwingli’s expositions pertaining to the functions of the offices of magistracy and ministry, as well as on resistance theory. Zwingli also heralded the idea of the Christian community, where church and society are not to be viewed as two separate entities - the Christian nation was both church and political community under the rule of God. Not only was this inheritance of Zwingli’s thought limited to the continent but also manifested itself in the English and Scottish Reformational worlds. Consequently, this article serves as a reminder that the more familiar proponents of early Reformational thought (in the context of Reformed political expositions) such as Heinrich Bullinger, and to a lesser degree John Calvin, were preceded and influenced by the legacy of Huldrych Zwingli’s Reformed political theology.

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