Calvin and Bullinger on the Lord’s Supper

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Joint Liturgical Studies 12

An investigation of the sixteenth-century Reformed views of the Lord’s Supper requires much more than a detailed presentation of John Calvin’s sacramental theology. Apart from the independent contributions of other Reformed theologians, Calvin’s own views of the Lord’s Supper were clarified and developed through dialogue, especially with his fellow Swiss pastors and with the German Lutherans who became his opponents. Of special interest is the decade of complicated correspondence between Calvin and Zwingli’s successor in Zurich, Heinrich Bullinger. Their numerous letters, exchanged treatises, and occasional visits involved far more than the bilateral doctrinal details emphasized in this volume. Dialogue with other theologians and cities, individual loyalties and suspicions, personality differences, pastoral concerns, and especially the military threat of the Counter-Reformation all played significant roles in these negotiations.

Paul Rorem