Talk:Martin Bucer

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GA nomination is too early[edit]

I just wanted to mention that I think it is too early for GA nomination. I have been working on this for about half a year and a large part of it is not finished yet. I have just started the Champion for Protestant unity section and the England, Theology, Legacy, and Works sections still need to be done. I will probably add some sections before the England section (something on the Reformation in the Empire). I also need to consult other sources (see References) and add in some cites. I hope to get back to this within the next few weeks. --RelHistBuff (talk) 13:29, 15 January 2009 (UTC)

Ah ha! I was going to tell you that if you still view the article as a work in progress then you should withdraw the GA nomination, but now I see you're not the one who nominated it. This appears to be a rare instance of someone nominating an article who hasn't worked on it. When everything is rounded out the lead should definitely be longer than one sentence, but the lead is generally one of the last things to work on. PSWG1920 (talk) 17:06, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
Yes, I was going to keep the template, but it got kind of bothersome seeing it each time I updated the article, so I removed it. I usually write the lead just before I submit to GA or PR. Do you know if I can remove the GA nomination myself? It seems like it is one of these drive-by nominations and I think it will be a waste of a GA reviewer's time. --RelHistBuff (talk) 17:17, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
See if you can find a reason to quick-fail it. Actually if you restore the template that will be a reason. Alternatively you could go to Wikipedia talk:Good article nominations and explain the situation. PSWG1920 (talk) 17:26, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

Christianity importance rating[edit]

Based on what I can see from the other banners on this page, a "Low" rating would probably make sense. The highest importance ratings I see for the article are from two groups directly influenced by the subject, and they both only give the subject "Mid" importance. Presumably, the Orthodox churches and Catholic churches give the subject a "Low" rating. Averaging them all out, I tend to see that, based on the available data, a "Low" rating for the generalized project is probably appropriate. However, if, upon consideration, other Christianity projects were to raise their importance assessment of the subject, then that higher assessment could likely affect the broader importance assessment. John Carter (talk) 18:53, 23 March 2009 (UTC)

I understand what you are trying to do, but I must disagree with your assessment. Using an average of the importance ratings from other Christianity-related projects is a faulty method. Any biography of a prominent figure from one major branch would be brought down by "averaging" over other branches bringing it to a low importance. Hence articles such as Duns Scotus (Catholic), Charles Wesley (Methodist), and Heinrich Bullinger (Zwinglian) should not merit their mid-importance because all other branches of Christianity would rate them lower. In my opinion, the article should be rated by the Christianity project's proper criteria. Martin Bucer has an added boost in that both Lutheran and Calvinism projects rate the article as mid (and perhaps even the Anglican project as well). The definition from the Editor's experience definition for mid-importance articles says the following:
  • Articles at this level will cover subjects that are well known but not necessarily vital to understand Christianity. Due to the topics covered at this level, Mid-importance articles will generally have more technical terms used in the article text. Most people involved in Christianity will be rated in this level.
Therefore I would request that Martin Bucer be placed at mid-importance level along with Scotus, Wesley, and Bullinger. --RelHistBuff (talk) 22:39, 23 March 2009 (UTC)
Um, actually, that's not what I was trying to do, although I understand that my phrasing my poor. And you might be right. I personally don't know how the other articles in question got their own importance ratings, so I'm not sure whether comparing them is something I'm qualified to do. Maybe (maybe not, I'm not that good at expressing myself on complicated ideas) a better way of saying it would be that the impact of this party seems to have been comparatively limited to a small area, both in terms of time, degree of impact, and amount of people impacted, certainly compared to some others. That would be the same justification for saying that some of the really small bodies/denominations/what have you which have had at best limited impact won't be very important to the project, based on that.
The whole matter of importance assessments, and the existing criteria for determining importance assessments, is another matter entirely. I've recently tried (admittedly, badly) to start conversation on maybe having something like WP:NOVELS uses to determine its importance rankings, using consensus to determine importance. Initially, that discussion might only be for the Top and maybe High, but in the process we would have the opportunity to more effectively delineate the importance assessments for the project as a whole. Honestly, I don't think that, when the terms on the assessment page were written, we really had any idea just how many articles we would be dealing with, and the amount of impact of varying degrees they would have on the topic of Christianity as a whole. I'm virtually certain they didn't have any idea there would be so many related projects. I do think that the terms of assessment as per that page need to be changed, but don't think I myself am necessarily qualified to unilaterally make those changes, but I still have to call them as I see them, right or wrong.
If you would want to join in the discussion regarding importance assessments at Wikipedia:WikiProject Christianity/General Forum regarding this topic, you're more than welcome to do so. Also, if you would wish to formally relist the article on the assessments page, feel free to do so, indicating that you disagreed with the assessment given. But, personally, I'm not particularly comfortable doing a lot of these importance ratings anyway, and am kinda at a loss to defend myself. Probably not the kind of response you were looking for, but the best I've got, I'm afraid. John Carter (talk) 22:54, 23 March 2009 (UTC)
It's a v. nice article and he's a mid-importance figure in the history of protestantism but on the stated criteria by no stretch of the imagination could be rated as mid for Christianity as a whole. NBeale (talk) 21:56, 2 April 2009 (UTC)
I beg to differ. Which criterion are you referring to? The one for Wikiproject Christianity states "The article covers a topic that has a strong but not vital role in the history of Christianity." Under editor's experience it says, "Most people involved in Christianity will be rated in this level." This fits Martin Bucer. One does not have to be too imaginative to believe that he would fit within one sigma from the mean. --RelHistBuff (talk) 22:09, 2 April 2009 (UTC)
Low="The article is not required knowledge for a broad understanding of Christianity" "Few readers outside the Christianity field or that are not adherents to atheism may be familiar with the subject matter." Most people would consider me something of an expert on Christianity, and even I - a Cambridge man - had only dimly heard of Bucer. NBeale (talk) 08:37, 3 April 2009 (UTC)
I know nothing about how the ratings work, but I know that Bucer is one of the great figures of the Reformation. To bring this down to the kind of league-table basics we are talking here, I will quote Patrick Collinson in The Reformation, who says that Bucer "is usually placed number four in the premier league of reformers, after Luther, Zwingli and Calvin". Bucer's significance to the history of Christianity is that he opposed the great split between Lutheran and other reformed Churches that characterises Protestant Christianity to this day and which arrested the Protestant onslaught on Catholicism at the time. qp10qp (talk) 10:42, 3 April 2009 (UTC)
Perhaps his name is not well-known, but then other names like Scotus, Bullinger, and maybe even Zwingli are not so well-known either. All these persons, however, were major enough characters in the history of Christianity to merit at least mid-level importance. Jonathan Edwards is also set at mid-importance, but his impact is basically centred in the US. Is he well-known in the UK? Bucer's impact was much wider, although admittedly mainly on the Continent rather than in England; he only lived the final two years of his life in Cambridge. But he did enough for England so that a significant article on him exists in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. As the blurb of the ODNB says: "the people who shaped the history of the British Isles and beyond". --RelHistBuff (talk) 13:33, 3 April 2009 (UTC)
There is no doubt that he is notable, and pretty important in the history of the Reformation, but that is only one episode in the c.2,000 years Christianity. BullingerIMHO should be Low as well (another person I've only dimly heard of). NBeale (talk) 15:43, 5 April 2009 (UTC)
If one takes that logic, then Martin Luther who participated in one episode of 2000 years should also be considered Low-importance. One should look at the individual's impact on Christianity. In my opinion, someone like Bucer had less impact on Christianity than Luther, but certainly more than Jonathan Edwards who was restricted to the US. In any case, the determination of an article's level of importance should not be based on a single editor's opinion on whether he/she had "heard of" of the character. It should be based on criteria. --RelHistBuff (talk) 16:51, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
It is based on the criteria, esp that "The article is not required knowledge for a broad understanding of Christianity." imples Low Importance. The only basis under which this article could be considered Mid importance is the highly illogical sentence in part of Mid which says "Most people involved in Christianity will be rated in" Mid Importance. This is inconsistent with the rest of the criteria and I think there is a consensus on the talk page to remove it, which I have done. NBeale (talk) 20:32, 7 April 2009 (UTC)
So how do you define "most"? Are Duns Scotus, Jonathan Edwards, etc. included in "most"? It is not quite fair to suddenly change the goalpost. Rather than picking on one article and arbitrarily setting the article low because you happen to have not "heard of" the character, the criteria ought to be improved and agreed. --RelHistBuff (talk) 22:34, 7 April 2009 (UTC)

FAC comments[edit]

The following are comments from User:Xandar from the FAC page. I have taken the liberty to divide them into subsections.

Murner & Treger[edit]

Comment from FAC:

  • Thomas Murner was not just a "satirist" who attacked Luther, he was a poet and Franciscan who published pro-Catholic tracts, and whose press was attacked.
The wording "satirist" came from Eells. There is a wikilink to Murner's article and as it is only one sentence, I don't see the need for more details on him. However, additional word or two can be added. Eells mentioned that he was a monk. --RelHistBuff (talk) 08:36, 31 March 2009 (UTC)
Murner is mentioned in several books as one of the two defenders of Catholicism in the city and district. In Katharina Schütz Zell: The life and thought of a sixteenth century reformer By Elsie Anne McKee, p59-60, Murner is described as a Franciscan who had a printing press in the city, which was attacked in the riot of 1524. Xandar 22:59, 31 March 2009 (UTC)
  • The article says that "emotions reached boiling point", and "angry mobs formed and broke into the monasteries, looting and destroying" without saying anything about the role of Bucer's preaching in this.
There is no specific statement in either Greschat or Eells that Bucer's preaching was the cause of the mob riot. For certain the people were inflamed by the heated exchange between Treger and the reformers: Treger published a tract and Capito responded with another; Bucer, Lambert, and Capito invited Treger to a disputation which ended in a draw; etc. Some of the citizens petitioned the council to arrest Treger. Other, wilder citizens broke into the cloister and brought Treger to the council themselves. The paraphrase "emotions reached the boiling point" captures what is in Greschat and Eells. --RelHistBuff (talk) 08:36, 31 March 2009 (UTC)
Greschat does mentions the intimidating menaces of the preachers in similar contexts, however. Xandar 22:59, 31 March 2009 (UTC)
  • Treger, "left Strasbourg" after the riot and imprisonment. Nothing is mentioned about the many other priests and canons forced to flee.
Although the sources do not mention it specifically, I would assume others had to flee. The article says many opponents were arrested and overt opposition came to an end. Basically, Treger (and Murner) had to flee. These were the main characters and certainly there were others, but it does not add anything to mention this for every conflict during the Reformation. --RelHistBuff (talk) 08:36, 31 March 2009 (UTC)
Mention could be mentioned of Treger and other priests having to flee. Xandar 22:59, 31 March 2009 (UTC)

Strasbourg church[edit]

Comment from FAC:

  • Bucer's four year campaign, described by others as intimidatory, for the suppression of Catholicism in Strasbourg is not mentioned.
It was a time of conflict. Either Catholicism in a location flourished or it was suppressed. Either Protestantism flourished or it was suppressed. It is evident that if Bucer was pushing for the reformation of Strasbourg then at least certain doctrines and liturgical practices of Catholicism would be suppressed. --RelHistBuff (talk) 09:23, 31 March 2009 (UTC)
But what initiated the conflict? There was no necessity for the enforced state suppression of Catholic beleif and practice - and the Strasbourg council certainly did not see a necessity for this. There was no inevitability about non-tolerance, and toleration was attempted in several places, most prominently Poland, parts of Switzerland, and France. In this case the pressure for intolerance came clearly from Bucer and his allies, who ran a five year campaign, described in Greschat p88 as intimidatory, menacing and insulting. There are more extensive details in Wolfgang Capito By James M. Kittelson, pp 131-141. Xandar 00:07, 1 April 2009 (UTC)
Page 88 in Greschat is about the political development of the Empire and has nothing to do about Bucer. --RelHistBuff (talk) 13:12, 3 April 2009 (UTC)
  • The article here uses weasel words like, the reformers asked the council to "completely abandon the mass". No. Those who wanted to had abandoned the mass. Bucer demanded that the worship and preaching of Catholics in the city be completely banned and suppressed. He argued the same in Ulm, Augsburg and Bern.
In two sections above, it is mentioned that the holding of mass was retained in four churches. The reformers asked that those remaining four to also abandon the mass, hence the adverb "completely". I see no weasel words here, but I came up with different wording in any case. --RelHistBuff (talk) 09:23, 31 March 2009 (UTC)
There were four official churches where public mass was retained by the Council, but also, as Kittelson shows, numerous other churches which held monastic or private masses. It was feared that a significant proportion of the population was attending these masses, and so they aroused the ire of Bucer and the other reformers, who wished to see them suppressed, and people forced to follow their teachings. Your new wording states: "The Strasbourg ministers pressed the council to stop the practice of mass in the remaining churches." 'Ban' might be a more accurate word than 'stop' here. Especially when his covers a campaign which takes up well over ten pages in Kittelson. Greschat p 107 shows Bucer involved in banning of the mass in Ulm also. The mincing of words with regard to Bucer is in sharp contrast with the language used of Emperor Charles, who elsewhere in the article is accused of "coercing the Protestants to return to Catholicism. Isn't this what Bucer had already done the other way round? Xandar 00:07, 1 April 2009 (UTC)
I will use Kittelson's word "abolish". For me, it is the same as the original wording, but I see you have a particular opinion about this. --RelHistBuff (talk) 11:13, 1 April 2009 (UTC)
"Suppress" in my opinion would be most accurate word, but "Abolish" better reflects the factual situation than the previous wording. The important thing is not my "particular opinion", but making the facts clear. There is often a tendency to write hagiographies of the reformers. But if they used coercive techniques, that needs to be said as much for them as for the Catholics. Xandar 22:59, 4 April 2009 (UTC)
  • There is the same pussyfooting with regard to the Anabaptists, who Bucer wanted to recant or be expelled from Strasbourg. The article says only that he and his pastors were "calling for better enforcement of ethical standards and the preaching of true doctrine." The expulsion is blamed on the Council, with no mention of Bucer's role in this.
But the sentence right after the "enforcement" sentence says this was triggered by the Anabaptists presence. That is pretty explicit. The petition came from the reformers (which included Bucer). The expulsion is not "blamed" on the council; on the contrary, it is pretty clear that the pastors were pushing for action ("threatening resignation"). --RelHistBuff (talk) 10:32, 31 March 2009 (UTC)
Greschat p 118 clearly states that the impetus for coercive action against the Anabaptists came from Bucer. "Bucer was convinced that such measures (preaching and pursuasion) were not enough. Rather God's revelation had to be staunchly asserted as the whole truth and then imposed on the city with all available means, including governmental force. Tolerance.. was tanatamount to negligence.." This is nowhere reflected in the article, and needs to be. The article only states the pastors pressed for action against Hoffman and Schwenckfeld, not mentioning the Anabaptists, and never states what action they were pressing for - expulsion. Instead it states "the pastors and wardens presented a petition on 30 November 1532 calling for better enforcement of ethical standards and the preaching of true doctrine." The expulsion, when it is finally mentioned is distanced from Bucer as an action of the council. Although in page 122 of Greschat it states that Bucer was prominent on the commission and took a main role in the interrogations of dissidents. Xandar 00:07, 1 April 2009 (UTC)
According to Greschat, Bucer wanted to either win back the Anabaptists or demand their expulsion; he did this by pressing the council to establish a norm. But it was the council that eventually decided to elevate Bucer's documents as statements of faith. Again this is clearly in the source and reflected in the article. There is no bad faith attempt to distance Bucer from the council's final decision; it is clear he and the other pastors pressed the council to set a norm. --RelHistBuff (talk) 13:12, 3 April 2009 (UTC)
I think the sources show that the Council was extremely reluctant to use compulsion both against the Catholics and the Anabaptists, and that the campaign for this came forcefully from Bucer and his allies. This is an important point not fully enough reflected in the wording of the 1529-1534 section. It is clear from Greschat that there were far more groups in Strasbourg than those of Hoffman and Schwenckfeld, and that these were in competition with Bucer for followers. p112 "Bucer thought people who took their Christian faith seriously joined the Anabaptists or spiritualists... The official preachers felt like powerless fighters for a lost cause." The key article sentence: "However, the council still refused to take any corrective action against Hoffman and Schwenckfeld." is one which I think needs to be amended. "Corrective" is an approving word, implying that the two were in the wrong and needed to be "corrected". The problem is reduced to two people, rather than to thousands of religious dissidents of varying pursuasions, and the nature of the action Bucer and others desired is not specified. A more accurate sentence would be something like: "However, the council still refused to take coercive action against religious dissidents." Xandar 22:59, 4 April 2009 (UTC)
There were other groups (Anabaptists and spiritualists) and they are mentioned in the article, but there were at least three notable leaders (mentioned in both Greschat and Eells). In any case, I removed the adverb corrective. --RelHistBuff (talk) 14:10, 7 April 2009 (UTC)
  • Another serious omission is the failure to deal with Bucer's beliefs that the State had authority to rule the Church in all respects including doctrine and appointments. In the section "Organising the Strasbourg church " blame again is placed on the Council while no attempt is made to portray Bucer's views.
This is not omitted. The section notes that the reformers requested the council again and again to take decisions, i.e., the council were given the authority, but at times did not act. This is not something unique about Bucer. All the major reformers (Luther in Wittenberg, Cranmer in England, Knox in Scotland, Zwingli in Zürich, Calvin in Geneva) advocated that the State rather than the Church (the papacy) to take the lead. That was the whole point of the Reformation. --RelHistBuff (talk) 10:22, 31 March 2009 (UTC)
Maybe. But it needs to be stated for the reader that these were Bucer's views pp 113 - 115 of Grechat expound Bucer's important views on the subordination of Church to the state, and the state's right to impose its uniformity. The sentences in the section "Organising the Strasbourg Church" don't give the reader any idea of these influential views of Bucer. Instead a commission is presented as granting controls to the city. This doesn't state what Bucer's views were at all. And the doctrine that the Church was subordinate to the State had a great effect on germany right through to Hitler's time. Xandar 00:07, 1 April 2009 (UTC)
Bucer's views on civil authority as described on pages 113-115 are based in another context, i.e., later in 1535 when he was in Augsburg. These views were not stated in the context of the Strasbourg reformation of 1534. In any case it is a gross exaggeration to say that his views corresponded simply to the dictatorial subordination of the Church to the state and the imposition of uniformity. According to Greschat, Bucer argued that the civil authorities had the right and duty to carry out church reforms. And Greschat properly defines "civil authorities" by explicitly warning the reader that they are not the "modern, anonymous, and almost omnipotent state apparatus we know today", but weak entities that were only starting to develop at the time. --RelHistBuff (talk) 13:12, 3 April 2009 (UTC)
All the same, the church-state is an important issue, which the article does not sufficiently discuss. If large sections can be devoted to intra-protestant negotiations and the eucharist, surely a small paragraph needs to be given to this subject. I don't think the concern is whether it needs to be linked in with the Strasbourg, Augsburg or Ulm episodes, when he was promoting a German national church, or even his influence in England, we just need this element of Bucer's philosophy explicitly, rather than tangentially discussed. I notice that Greschat comes back to these issues on pp125-126, where he quotes Bucer: "..pressure and force on the part of the authorities were meaningful ways of educating people on becoming Christians. He wrote: "For it has been quite beneficial for many, as we have learned by experience and still remain convinced, to have been compelled first through fear and pain in order to become wiser, or to have followed with deeds what already had been learned with words." The State's right to determine and impose uniformity was a key element of Bucer's philosophy which needs to be made clear. Xandar 22:59, 4 April 2009 (UTC)
That Bucer quote on pp 125-126 was written in the context of a response to Engelbrecht in describing how to deal with the "Epicureans". It is not wise to take bits and quotes from various situations and different contexts and then attempt to make a conclusion that was not made in the source. That would be an example of WP:OR. The current text in the article reflects the source and it is fine as it is. --RelHistBuff (talk) 14:32, 7 April 2009 (UTC)

Philip of Hesse[edit]

Comment from FAC:

  • Again, amazingly, there seems to be no reference at all to one of the most controversial and scandalous events in Bucer's career - his promotion and advocacy of the bigamous marriage of the powerful Philip Landgrave of Hesse.
Here I will add a paragraph on this, but it is most certainly false to say that Bucer promoted and advocated the bigamous marriage. It was Philip who wanted the marriage and he asked Luther, Melanchthon, and Bucer for theological support for a bigamous marriage without making clear his intentions; he had already picked out the bride, but he did not reveal this. All were quite unhappy and appalled with this request. Given the fact that they relied on Philip for political support, they conceded on making a written statement, but would not make a public defense of the practice. The weak theological support was all that Philip wanted to see to go ahead with the marriage. When the wedding took place, Melanchthon and Bucer who happened to be nearby and were not informed of what Philip had done, became unwitting wedding guests. --RelHistBuff (talk) 10:03, 31 March 2009 (UTC)
By coincidence, I was looking into this issue yesterday for the Luther article. The passage on it here, as it stands now, seems fair, except that the reformers' behaviour appears rather extraordinary, as described, without some explanation of their reasoning. I think the reformers felt that since marriage was no longer a sacrament, the matter was secular and in Philip's hands rather than theirs: hence their refusual to make a public ruling on it. And they stuck to the line—how disingenuously I don't know—that their advice to Philip was confessional, not official. In advising him that if he really was bent on this, he should keep it secret, they were making the best of a bad job, as they might in pastorally advising others mired in complex secular relationships. Politically, this position was unsustainable, but it helps explain what, on the face of it, seems astonishing behaviour by the three reformers. To them it was consistent with reformed theology, though it may also have been a sophistry to keep Hesse on their side in the war.qp10qp (talk) 16:06, 31 March 2009 (UTC)
The Selderhuis source that I have goes into deeper details and I am not sure if the reformers thought of it in such a "hands-off" way. Bucer clearly was troubled by the request and he took the matter of marriage as something instituted by God, not something that could be cast off as a secular matter. Selderhuis has an interesting theory. Given that Bucer believed in broad provisions for divorce, why did he not advise Philip to divorce his first wife? Bucer did so with other marriages that were equally troubled. Selderhuis believes that he was motivated out of concern for Philip's first wife who would suffer if he were to continue to have concubines. This seems to agree with Bucer's usual pastoral motivation. Whatever the reason, after Philip went ahead with the marriage, it is clear the reformers were in a bad situation with no way out. --RelHistBuff (talk) 17:09, 31 March 2009 (UTC)
The new paragraph on this is certainly an improvement. Martin Luther By Michael A. Mullett, p231, goes further than this by stating that Bucer was willing to confer "a kind of blessing" on the marriage. Xandar 00:15, 1 April 2009 (UTC)
RelHistBuff, I suspect the fact that divorce was not an option may be down to Luther (and Melanchthon). I still believe that the passage needs at least to take a stab at what was going through the reformers' minds. Why would they advocate lying? The only possible reason would be that, in Bainton's words, "to guard the secrets of the confessional a lie is justified". If this was their justification, it explains (but does not, of course, validate) their motivation. It's part of a priest's discretion to keep confidential information secret and to advise those who come to them with problems, even where that means advising one evil over another (in this case, secret bigamy over open adultery). qp10qp (talk) 14:35, 1 April 2009 (UTC)
I will reread the sources and give it a shot. I have Bainton as well so I can take a look at what he says. --RelHistBuff (talk) 14:50, 1 April 2009 (UTC)
Eells mentions that Luther disagreed with a divorce. None of the sources that I have (Selderhuis, Eells, or Greschat) give any theories on why the reformers would advocate lying. None of them have an explicit statement like the one made by Bainton on Luther's justification. I think the best I can do is to add a footnote about this. --RelHistBuff (talk) 11:10, 17 April 2009 (UTC)
Brecht, in effect, says the same as Bainton. And it is simple: the confessional is secret and so lying may be necessary to protect that secrecy. The article's present paragraph on the bigamy contains no rationale and therefore jolts the reader, who may be forgiven for asking why priests and theologians would blithely support bigamy and lies to cover it up. Brecht explains: "The theologians thus clearly indicated that they could give Philip nothing but extraordinary, pastoral advice in his predicament of conscience, and in no way was it to be made public. This sort of pastoral counsel, which declared that action that deviated from the norm was conscientiously permissible, was not all that unusual ... Such action was neither immoral nor a matter of double standards, but it was rather exercising Christian freedom, which a pastoral counselor, unlike a judge, could do" (Martin Brecht, Martin Luther: the Preservation of the Church, 1532–1546, Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1993, ISBN 0800627040, p. 206). Clearly Bucer, Melanchthon, and Luther—whatever their subconscious motives—rationalised their action together and believed they were acting in good faith and secrecy in confessional counsel. qp10qp (talk) 14:55, 17 April 2009 (UTC)
With a statement from Brecht, I think this is more solid. Bainton had only one sentence, so the theory did not appear well-supported. I added a few sentences based on the two sources. --RelHistBuff (talk) 09:39, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
Xandar, it's true Mullett says that, and it's a good book, but he seems to be the only source who does, and so it's not necessary to go quite so far out on his limb. I think all three reformers were reluctant over the matter and embarrassed by it. If they appeared to give the bigamy any sort of blessing, it was wrung out of them by Philip. qp10qp (talk) 14:35, 1 April 2009 (UTC)

Resolving remaining issues[edit]

After recent changes, while I still have minor concerns with some of the other wording, only two (connected) issues now remain outstanding in the article which I feel cause it to fall short of the FA criteria on comprehensiveness. These are the failure to clearly state Bucer's beliefs about the State-Church relationship, and to make clearer his influence on the banning of the Anabaptists and others. While, ideally, I would like to see a full paragraph on the former subject; both of these issues could quite easily be dealt with in the final paragraph of the section: Organising the Strasbourg church (1529–1534).

Amending the paragraph as follows would go a long way to meeting these concerns:

"Following the synod, the city council took no action for several months. Bucer strongly believed that the state had supreme authority to establish a rule of faith and to impose uniformity of belief on its citizens. The synod commission, which included Bucer and Capito as members, therefore took the initiative in producing a draft of an ordinance for the regulation of the church. This draft proposed that the city council should retain almost complete control of the church, with responsibilities for supervising doctrine, appointing church wardens, and maintaining moral standards. However, the council still refused to take any action against Hoffman, Schwenckfeld, or their followers. The pastors pressed their demands, even to the point of threatening resignation, and the council finally took action when followers of Hoffman seized power in Münster. On 4 March 1534, wishing to avoid a similar incident, the council announced that Bucer’s Tetrapolitan Confession and his sixteen articles on church doctrine were official church statements of faith. All Anabaptists had to either subscribe to these documents or leave the city. With this announcement a new church was established in Strasbourg, at which Capito declared, "Bucer is the bishop of our church.""

Looking at the paragraph directly above this, I also spotted the sentence. "the pastors and wardens presented a petition on 30 November 1532, calling for better enforcement of ethical standards and the preaching of true doctrine." For NPOV reasons, should this not say "what the pastors believed to be true doctrine"? Or (if the words are a direct quotation,) "true doctrine" should be in inverted commas. Xandar 22:42, 8 April 2009 (UTC)

The word "true" was used by the source because the sentence was written from the point-of-view of the reformers. Still, to avoid misunderstandings, I changed it to "reformed". The only difference with your paragraph proposal and what is currently in the article is the addition of the sentence mentioning "supreme authority" and "impose uniformity". This has already been discussed in the section above. This sentence is not supported by Greschat and without such support, it would be WP:OR. I took a look at Eells and using that source I added a sentence in the second paragraph of the section about Bucer's personal motivation on dealing with the Anabaptists. Your proposal, however, cannot be supported; Eells clearly states that the struggle between the Anabaptists and the established Strasbourg church was not about intolerance, but the perception of the council to establish law and order (p. 146). --RelHistBuff (talk) 14:28, 17 April 2009 (UTC)
What you say in the last sentence is in clear contradiction to Greschat. The Council did indeed finally act when Melchiortes took over Munster. However Bucer and his allied pastors had been pressing them to take coercive action against all other groups in the city for a lengthy period before this. You link all the dissident groups with Melchior Hoffman and his radical views. But the other groups were no threat to law and order. Greschat p 119 mentions Melchior and Hut as radicals, but also Schwenkfeld and Ziegler who were quiet spiritualists, and Marpeck and the Swiss brethren, who were peaceable anabaptists. Bucer explicitly admits the "deep piety and exemplary moral conduct" of the anabaptists. Greschat (119-120) specifically states the main quarrel was about intolerance: "Bucer complained repeatedly about the growing influence of the sectarians and the fateful consequences their activities had for the creation of new evangelical church structures in Strasbourg." ..."As a result, Bucer thought, people who took their Christian faith seriously joined the Anabaptists or spiritualists out of disappointment with the fruits of the Reformation. The official preachers felt like powerless fighters for a lost cause." From p 120 - 123 we see the preachers again and again going to a reluctant Council pressing for action to be taken against dissenters - all before any rebellion in Munster. The issues were doctrinal. I notice you have not included my suggested additional wording in the third paragraph in the 129-33 section which would help rectify matters. AT present it reads: "However, the council still refused to take any action against Hoffman and Schwenckfeld." This gives the misleading impression, particularly when allied with the following sentence, that only a couple of (dangerous) individuals were targetted by Bucer. More accurate would be to say: "However, the council still refused to take any action against Hoffman, Schwenckfeld, the spiritualists or the anabaptists." Along with the additions you have already made, that should cover the issue enough fpr most purposes. Xandar 03:19, 19 April 2009 (UTC)
There is some confusion between what was done by the synod in June 1533 and the actions (or lack of actions) of the council afterwards. This has been rectified. I have already added the sentence about Bucer's personal motivation against the anabaptists and spiritualists that addresses the points you are raising now. However, a sentence stating Bucer wanted "supreme authority" for the state and to "impose uniformity" is an extrapolation of various bits from the sources and is not supportable by the sources, both Eells and Greschat. --RelHistBuff (talk) 17:29, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
However your most recent changes have altered the problem. Reference to action against hoffman and Schwenkfeld has been removed from the 3rd to the 2nd paragraph. The relevant statement in that paragraph is "Significant numbers of the refugees were Anabaptists, and spiritualists such as the followers of Melchior Hoffman, Caspar Schwenckfeld, and Clemens Ziegler. Bucer personally took the responsibility of attacking their teachings in order to minimise their influence and to secure their expulsion." This formulation would wrongly give the impression that Bucer only desired the expulsion of the three persons mentioned, whose teachings he attacked. The addition of the words "and that of their followers" would solve this final problem. Xandar 20:59, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
Eells specifically referred to "the leaders" and then proceeded to describe each one. So your clause goes beyond what the source says. But it is not difficult to imagine that anyone else who kept to their teachings would have been treated similarly, so for the sake of ending this, I added the clause. --RelHistBuff (talk) 06:34, 21 April 2009 (UTC)
Thank you. I think that clarifies matters and deals with my concerns. Xandar 23:01, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

Bucer and the Jews[edit]

I think something should be said about Bucer's views on the Jews, which were not so vitriolic as Luther's but along the same lines. I read several things on Bucer yesterday before reading the article, and they all mentioned this. qp10qp (talk) 15:08, 1 April 2009 (UTC)

I know Greschat had a section on this. I will need to check Eells as well. --RelHistBuff (talk) 22:23, 1 April 2009 (UTC)
I added a section. It probably needs a copy-edit though. --RelHistBuff (talk) 15:48, 17 April 2009 (UTC)
Fine. Now copyedited. qp10qp (talk) 16:21, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

The FAC[edit]

I don't want to comment there for the moment because I'm not ready to support but haven't really got the time to review the article bit by bit or undertake an intense copyedit. The article is superbly referenced and extensive, but for me it is still quite stodgy, and I'm not sure I can really encapsulate why in a way that would be actionable or helpful at FAC. It felt a bit like a trudge through the events without any overarching structure. I felt the material needed an overview and sense of what was distinctive and characteristic in Bucer's thought (apparently, for example, he was comically verbose: Collinson has some very witty remarks on this). Possibly the narrative needs to focus more on Bucer's most crucial views and to trim the less notable aspects of his career.

The article gave me no real geographical sense of the dissemination of the reformation and of the strategy of Catholic resistance. I think to grasp Bucer, it might be necessary to explain the nature of the empire: which parts were controlled directly by the emperor, which by Protestant rulers, as well as the nature of free imperial cities. I feel it would help if the article incorporated a distinction between Lutheran and Reformed regions. A map might help. Bucer at Strassburg was working in the context of the non-Lutheran Reformed religion, broadly in the west and southwest of Germany and in a string of cities in Switzerland. In a sense, unlike Lutheranism, this movement grew out of humanism and traditions of civic freedom. In this context, Bucer thrived, but as soon as the Interim dealt its blow to Reformed Protestantism while in effect allowing Lutheranism to persist under certain conditions, Bucer and Strassburg were left in disarray, and a split was created in the Reformed bloc whereby the Swiss cities could continue to develop idiosyncratically and the imperial ones either became more Catholic or more Lutheran.

I don't know if you agree with this reading, but it would give an overarching shape to the article, which at the moment seems to describe many of Bucer's actions without fitting them into a pattern or establishing which were the most significant. qp10qp (talk) 15:08, 1 April 2009 (UTC)

The sources mentioned his verbosity, Greschat in particular, and yes, I thought it livened up those books. Luther and Calvin themselves wrote some funny comments (something like "Bucer cannot lift his pen off the paper"). It is kind of difficult to put this kind of info in an article. In a book the joke regularly appears and one starts to smile while in an article a statement on his verbosity might appear a bit non sequitur. I will have to see what I can do. Concerning the map and context, I did add a historical context section in the Huldrych Zwingli article after Awadewit's WillowW's advice and I think that really helped. I agree that it will help here as well. I couldn't find an appropriate map of the HRE divided between Lutheran and Reformed regions (analogous to the Swiss Confederation map), so I will probably have to make one myself. --RelHistBuff (talk) 20:39, 1 April 2009 (UTC)
Well, even a map of the Empire with Electoral Saxony and Hesse marked would help, plus a few relevant cities. The importance of Bucer to Hesse would then become geographically apparent, though it is not explained in the article. As would Hesse's strategic importance (and vulnerability).qp10qp (talk) 10:51, 3 April 2009 (UTC)
I am working on a map using File:Schmalkaldic war 1947.jpg as a starting basis. Do you know if I could use this to derive another map since the original map is in the public domain? --RelHistBuff (talk) 19:23, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
If you just copy it, no. But if you use it at a basis for a map that may omit certain of its information and add information from other maps, I don't see how you could be challenged on copyright. I think it's best to use information from, say, three or more maps, and then cite them on the image page. Referring to several maps is also a good way to offset any idiosyncrasies in individual maps. qp10qp (talk) 21:10, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
I added a new context section. I was looking at WP:Public domain and it looks like I could conceivably work with the public domain map and make some changes. I would have to properly attribute the source of course. What I had intended to do is to largely keep the map as it is and to note the major cities in red (e.g., Wittenberg, Strasbourg, etc.). In that way the reader could quickly see the geographical spread of Bucer's field of influence. For the moment, I am using the original public domain map, but if a modified map is legal to upload, then I could replace it. --RelHistBuff (talk) 12:23, 21 April 2009 (UTC)
If it's PD, it's modifiable. It's not ideal for scene-setting, though, because it shows Saxony after the Schmalkaldic War; but it does serve a useful purpose in allowing readers to see where the cities and territories were in relation to each other, which does help the context section. I think the map and the section are certainly worthwhile because the geography of the Reformation is so complex to picture at this time, and Bucer zipped about a bit. qp10qp (talk) 17:45, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

Context section[edit]

This could do with some rewriting: "In the sixteenth century, the Holy Roman Empire was a centralised state in name only. The Empire was partly divided by mini-states controlled by the prince-electors and they provided a powerful check on the rule of the Holy Roman Emperor. It was this division of power that made the Reformation in Germany possible. Within the Electorate of Saxony, Martin Luther was supported by the elector Frederick III and his successors John and John Frederick. Another elector, Philip I, Landgrave of Hesse was to figure largely in the life of Martin Bucer. The Emperor Charles V had to balance the demands of his subjects and at the same time three rival states, France, the Papal States, and the Ottoman Empire occupied his full attention. The political rivalry among all the players would greatly influence the ecclesiastical developments within the Empire."

  • "The Empire was partly divided by mini-states" - "The Empire was divided into mini-states" would be better. What was the un-divided part?
  • The 6 (the Emperor himself was the 7th) prince-electors were only a handful, though major players, of the dozens if not hundreds of princely rulers.
  • It is misleading to say:"three rival states, France, the Papal States, and the Ottoman Empire" - rather like saying "Russia, Sweden and China" today. The Papal states were not in the same league by a million miles, nor any sort of rival to the Empire or the other 2, & when they later allied with France they were occupied by Imperial mutineers with resistance limited to a few hours getting over the walls of Rome Sack of Rome (1527).
  • Nor did the 3 "occupy his full attention" as he had plenty left for German affairs, which he probably spent more time on than anything else, together with governing Spain. Johnbod (talk) 01:06, 22 April 2009 (UTC)
Thanks, Qp, that's far better! Johnbod (talk) 16:50, 22 April 2009 (UTC)
Knotty stuff. qp10qp (talk) 17:38, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

Cologne and Electorate of Cologne[edit]

I think I read in a source somewhere that there is a difference between the imperial free city of Cologne and the Electorate of Cologne. Hermann von Wied's archbishopric covered the area around Cologne, but not Cologne itself. His capital was in Bonn. I didn't try to explicitly explain this distinction, but that is why I used the "Electorate of Cologne" in the subsection title. I also used a wikilink to the Electorate article so that the reader would be able to read about the difference. This might be worthwhile to preserve. --RelHistBuff (talk) 23:16, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

Covered here; it had only been the case since 1475, and the archbishop retained some jurisdiction in criminal matters in the city. Johnbod (talk) 01:04, 23 April 2009 (UTC)
I was trying to make the heading less unwieldy, but, now you point that out, I agree that it should be changed back to "Electorate of Cologne". I did read that the archbishop was only allowed in the city with permission from the authorities by Bucer's time, owing to earlier reactions against church power, but I had assumed that the church wouldn't have recognised that. Certainly all the action for Bucer was in Bonn, so I can see that the word "Electorate" should go back. Actually, I found so many names and titles for this entity today that I threw my hands up in despair. qp10qp (talk) 01:40, 23 April 2009 (UTC)

Archived FAC[edit]

Relhistbuff, I am sorry your FAC was archived. I thought the article was FA quality and I was going to post my support after those minor adjustments asking for a bit more on his personal family life. I thought the article was an excellent overview of his life otherwise. If it is any consolation, they closed my FAC too (Ten Commandments in Roman Catholicism) even though the oppose was asking for information that is not even covered in the scholarly works that cover the topic.NancyHeise talk 19:11, 26 April 2009 (UTC)


  • Lead -
    • Second paragraph, need something to connect him with Strasbourg, how'd he get there? Was he always there?
Added clause. --RelHistBuff (talk) 10:51, 1 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Context -
    • About how many states were in the HRE at the time?
The sources I have do not say, but I am sure the numbers changed even within Bucer's lifetime as the various entities fought each other (or new ones created when someone died). Also, I guess it depends on how one defines a "state". --RelHistBuff (talk) 10:51, 1 May 2009 (UTC)
    • What distracted Charles in Italy? I believe it was wars there also, but it reads odd now that you say "..distracted by war with France and the Ottoman Empire, and in Italy." It's not clear if you mean wars in Italy also or if something else distracted him in Italy.
I've taken the comma out. It's difficult to write cleanly, because some of his wars in Italy weren't directly against France, for example the one against Florence. qp10qp (talk) 18:49, 28 April 2009 (UTC)
  • Early Years -
    • Do we have an article on Latin schools? If not, should probably explain what it is briefly in this article
Greschat gives a lot of details about the Sélestat school. I put in a note to the source if a reader is curious about it. --RelHistBuff (talk) 16:46, 30 April 2009 (UTC)
    • You say it was likely that he attended the latin school, but in the next sentence you say "By the time he completed his studies in the summer of 1507, he was able to read and speak Latin fluently, and in the same year he joined the Dominican order as a novice." which implies that he DID attend a school, which negates the "likely" in the previous sentence.
Removed the clause. --RelHistBuff (talk) 16:46, 30 April 2009 (UTC)
    • Third paragraph - Link for baccalaureat degree?
Added. --RelHistBuff (talk) 20:37, 30 April 2009 (UTC)
    • Fourth paragraph - the fourth sentence "Bucer was sympathetic to Luther and humanism, and established contacts with other humanists and reformers including Ulrich von Hutten and Wolfgang Capito." seems pretty odd in here. You've already established that Bucer was sympathetic to Luther in the previous paragraph, and I'm thinking the other information would be better in the third paragraph, which establishes his sympathy with the reform.
Rewritten. --RelHistBuff (talk) 10:24, 1 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Reformer -
    • Fourth paragraph, first sentence - probably need to explain "order of service" somehow, most folks not steeped in ecclesiastical matters aren't going to realise you mean a church service here.
Wikilinked. --RelHistBuff (talk) 10:24, 1 May 2009 (UTC)
    • Same paragraph, last sentence "... but the city council decided to allow masses to continue in the cathedral and in the collegiate churches, St Thomas', Young St Peter's, and Old St Peter's." do you mean that the three named churches are collegiate churches or were masses allowed to be said in any collegiate church PLUS the three named churches?
I've made it clear there were just these three collegiate churches in Strasbourg. qp10qp (talk) 18:57, 28 April 2009 (UTC)
  • Dialogue
    • I believe the "also" in this sentence is unneeded "Bucer also promoted a doctrinal position of his own."
I've removed that sentence because I think the sense is clear without it. qp10qp (talk) 19:03, 28 April 2009 (UTC)
    • Picky detail but generally you've given book/treatise titles in the original and then a translation in ()'s, but in the second paragraph here you give just a translation of Conciliation between.... Can we be consistent within the article?
Unfortunately the source does not always remain consistent either. Fortunately I got the title from the other source. --RelHistBuff (talk) 13:34, 30 April 2009 (UTC)
  • Competing -
    • second paragraph ".. face military suppression." sound very stilted, any chance of a reword to something else?
Changed to ".. or he would use military force to suppress them". qp10qp (talk) 19:13, 28 April 2009 (UTC)
    • You first mention that the Schmalkaldic league was Protestant in the last sentence of this section, which is a bit of a jar for those who might not know that it was Protestant. Suggest incorparting in the first sentence of the third paragraph " defend the reformed religion, often known as Protestant." or something similar.
Clarified. qp10qp (talk) 19:18, 28 April 2009 (UTC)
  • Organising -
    • Will look at this later after qp gets his section up.
  • Champion -
    • Suggest you make it clear that Bucer was attempting to secure agreement between the various cities, as they never quite got agreement.
Could you explain a bit more what you mean, and say where you think this is needed? The paragraph does say that his initiatives were to achieve agreement. qp10qp (talk) 19:26, 28 April 2009 (UTC)
    • "They rejected even a mild statement suggesting a union of Christ with the elements of the Eucharist." is going to be so much gobbledygook to non-ecclesiastical folks. I know what it means but i know I probably know more about theological matters than most non-theologians. Surely there is a better way to word this?
Changed to: "They rejected even a mild statement on Christ's real presence in the bread and the wine." qp10qp (talk) 19:26, 28 April 2009 (UTC)
  • Regulation -
    • This one paragraph section feels very awkward and tacked on. Suggest working it into either the preceeding or following paragraphs. (I favor the following part, as it's clearly a controversy.. but I'm wondering if this isn't a bit of UNDUE weighting on the issue)
Neither this nor the bigamy paragraph were in the article as RelHistBuff submitted it, which is why they might seem a bit tacked on. I believe that both issues are significant to an appraisal of Bucer. The article's subtextual narrative, in my opinion, is "Bucer the Reformer", and in that respect it tends, in the way of these things, to paint him slightly as a Reformation hero. These parts reveal him in a less favourable light and are justified by their treatment in the sources I've read, which tend to be more general than the biographical ones used by Rel. Anyway, I've joined the two paragraphs together in a retitled section "Advice to Philip of Hesse". What's lacking is a unification of these two matters with the overall biography. In my opinion, Bucer's harshness to the Jews, like Luther's, was of a piece with his attitude to non-Christians or heretics; and his submissiveness to Philip was of a piece with his general sucking up to secular authorities. Don't know of a source that says that outright, but at at least this section shows some flaws in Bucer's thinking. qp10qp (talk) 19:50, 28 April 2009 (UTC)
It was Xandar who suggested adding Philip's bigamous marriage. This, I definitely agree should be in the article. The ODNB article on Bucer mentions it, although it does not say much about it, but the controversy is well-known so it should be included. It was Qp10qp who suggested putting in Bucer's advice on the Jews of Hesse. That one seems more of an example of undue weight (the ODNB does not mention it at all). But his role is noted in both Greschat and Eells and it shows one distasteful aspect of Bucer. --RelHistBuff (talk) 13:34, 30 April 2009 (UTC)
  • Colloquies -
    • Okay, you're going to have to explain briefly the difference between Ducal and Electoral Saxony. Suggest it happen in the context section, which honestly probably needs a bit of expansion to cover the main background events of the German reformation (i.e. Luther as leader, any other events that are major that Bucer didn't take a leading role in, who the leading figures on each side are, etc.)
On Saxony, I've added more to the caption in the Context section's map. I'm reluctant to do so in the body of that section because really Saxony isn't a crucial part of Bucer's life. But since that map is based on the partitions of Saxony and is not at all self-explanatory, the info seems appropriate there. In the Colloquies section, I have made it clear that Electoral Saxony was Lutheran and added a note guiding the reader to check the map for more on the Saxonies.qp10qp (talk) 20:22, 28 April 2009 (UTC)
    • ".. a former Lutheran who had converted.." wouldn't that be reconverted? I suspect he was baptised a Catholic since he was born in 1501.
Done. qp10qp (talk) 20:29, 28 April 2009 (UTC)
    • "... Melanchthon withdrew, feeling that doctrinal unity was a prerequisite." A prerequisite to what?
I've added "of a reform plan". qp10qp (talk) 20:36, 28 April 2009 (UTC)
    • At some point you need to explain briefly, not just link to articles on, colloquy, disputation, etc.
    • "Aware of the risks of such apparent collusion, he was determined to forge unity among the German churches." I'm unclear what is meant here, do you mean "Aware of the risks of such apparent collusion, he was nevertheless determined to forge unity among the German churches."?
Changed to: "He was prepared to risk apparent collusion in his determination forge unity among the German churches". qp10qp (talk) 20:36, 28 April 2009 (UTC)
    • Is Nathaniel the only child of Bucer's who survived childhood?
He is the only one mentioned. Greschat also mentions that Bucer wrote a letter to him while he was in England. Eells said in a long footnote that it is unknown how many children he had, but most died young. Selderhuis also said the same. --RelHistBuff (talk) 16:46, 30 April 2009 (UTC)
  • Reform -
    • Need to explain what "archbishop-elector" is for the non-medievalist.
Added "As one of the seven electors of the Holy Roman Empire, the archbishop of Cologne was a key political figure for both the emperor and the reformers.". qp10qp (talk) 20:49, 28 April 2009 (UTC)
    • Suggest small explanation of what a cathedral chapter so folks don't have to click through to another article to get a brief idea of what is meant.
Added. --RelHistBuff (talk) 10:24, 1 May 2009 (UTC)
    • "The hostility of the clergy towards Bucer induced Gropper to retreat from their friendship." Stilted. Suggest "The hostility of his cathedral clergy caused Gropper to distance himself from Bucer."
Changed to: "The hostility of the clergy soon caused a rift between Bucer and Gropper". qp10qp (talk) 20:49, 28 April 2009 (UTC)
    • Second paragraph - again with the translated title for a work when we've been working with mainly original language titles.
Done. --RelHistBuff (talk) 13:34, 30 April 2009 (UTC)
    • Third paragraph, first sentence ... very long and awkward. Suggest reworking somehow, perhaps splitting it into two? Maybe "These first steps toward reform were halted on 17 August 1543 when Charles V and his troops entered Bonn. Charles was conducting a harsh campaign to prevent the Protestant Wilhelm, Duke of Jülich-Cleves-Berg, from asserting control over strategically vital lands that Charles claimed for himself." but even that is still awkward.
Changed to: "These first steps toward reform were halted on 17 August 1543 when Charles V and his troops entered Bonn. The emperor was engaged in a harsh campaign to assert his claim over lands contested by Wilhelm, Duke of Jülich-Cleves-Berg. qp10qp (talk) 20:49, 28 April 2009 (UTC)
  • Rejecting -
    • Suggest giving a start date for the Schmalkaldic war
Done. qp10qp (talk) 21:18, 28 April 2009 (UTC)
    • Third paragraph, suggest going with your usual practice and giving original of the Concise Summary.. then the translation in ()'s
Done. --RelHistBuff (talk) 13:34, 30 April 2009 (UTC)
  • Exile -
    • "... imprisoned in the Tower..." you mean the Tower of London, correct? It's not totally clear if that is meant.
Fixed. qp10qp (talk) 21:18, 28 April 2009 (UTC)
HOpe this helps. Ealdgyth - Talk 17:07, 28 April 2009 (UTC)
  • Organising -
    • "On 20 February 1529, Strasbourg openly joined the Reformation when its practice was officially suspended." you are using "its" to refer to the mass? It's a bit unclear
Yes, I changed that almost immediately when I reread it. You were in there quick! qp10qp (talk) 21:18, 28 April 2009 (UTC)
    • "On 5 January 1530, when Strasbourg had allied with the Swiss cities (Christliches Burgrecht or Christian Federation), the council systematically..." did they ally with the Christian Federation or was the new grouping of Strasbourg with the Swiss the Christian Federation? Unclear.
Rewritten. --RelHistBuff (talk) 10:24, 1 May 2009 (UTC)
    • "The petition was largely provoked by the effects of a rapidly rising refugee population, attracted by Strasbourg’s tolerant asylum policies, since the Peasants' War of 1524–25." Suggest making it clearer by "The petition was largely provoked by the effects of a rapidly rising refugee population since the Peasants' War of 1524–25, who were attracted by Strasbourg’s tolerant asylum policies."
Changed to: "The petition's timing was largely provoked by the effects of a rapidly rising refugee population, attracted by Strasbourg’s tolerant asylum policies. Influxes of refugees, particularly after 1528, had brought a series of revolutionary preachers into Strasbourg." This loses mention of the Peasants' War. I found it all very difficult hereabouts because the heading of the section constricts one to 1529–34. This was one of a number of places in the article where I felt the precise dating of sections cramped a more general treatment of Bucer's life and made anything other than tight chronology difficult. Greschat, for example, makes clear that all these events of the early 1530s were the result of a build up of issues from the time of the Peasants' War, when the defeat of the peasants and their subsequent persecution led to a series of migrations of refugees into Strasbourg, creating problems long before 1529. qp10qp (talk) 21:18, 28 April 2009 (UTC)
    • "The three leaders were brought before the synod and questioned by Bucer." Which three leaders?
Clarified. qp10qp (talk) 21:18, 28 April 2009 (UTC)
Hope this helps. Ealdgyth - Talk 17:31, 28 April 2009 (UTC)
Many good points, but I doubt it is feasible to explain all the things mentioned above, even briefly. Johnbod (talk) 20:00, 28 April 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for this useful list: some smart catches. I've addressed the ones where my fingerprints were on the prose and leave the rest to RelHistBuff. I've explained a few of the things you requested, but I think with colloquies, disputations, etc., it's clear enough from the context roughly what they were. I'm not sure the reader would want precise explanations of all terms. It's such a difficulty, though, with "encyclopedic prose", to judge the line between explaining and over-explaining. qp10qp (talk) 21:18, 28 April 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for all the comments, Ealdgyth. And thanks Qp10qp for responding to a few before I can get to them! I am on the road again for the next two days, but will address what is left. --RelHistBuff (talk) 22:32, 28 April 2009 (UTC)
I think everything has been covered now. --RelHistBuff (talk) 10:51, 1 May 2009 (UTC)

Adding more on theology[edit]

In view of what Awadewit requested at the FAC, I've been looking for spots in the article where something might be included. Obviously, the following can't all be added to, but this is my take on where some expansion on the theology and writings might dovetail:

  • Around this time he became influenced by humanism. Perhaps say in what way, since humanism influences his civic view of the church community in the body politic.
  • He largely agreed with them and perceived the ideas of Luther and Erasmus to be in concordance. This might be a place to introduce a brief summary of Luther's revolution and to report something of Bucer's response, revealing his earliest reforming position.
  • He summarised his convictions in six theses, and called for a public disputation. Perhaps give some content here, summarising what he was actually saying in Wissembourg. I suppose it's fair to say that not all readers will know why the reformers attacked monasticism, or the relation between pieties and faith, which the reformers redefined.
    • This seems like a good idea to me. Awadewit (talk) 18:41, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
Added. --RelHistBuff (talk) 11:04, 8 May 2009 (UTC)
  • One of Bucer's first actions in the cause of reform was to debate with Thomas Murner, a monk who had attacked Luther in satires. Perhaps something on the key issues in this debate.
  • Bucer drafted twelve articles summarising the teachings of the Reformation, including justification by faith (sola fide). Perhaps something on this doctrine.
  • emphasised obedience to the government. Something on the theological basis for this?
    • This seems like a good idea to me. Awadewit (talk) 18:41, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
Unfortunately the exact theological basis is not given in the source. It just says that Bucer used the Bible for his support. But his statement is not really new or controversial; most theologians normally use Romans 13 and I Peter 2. --RelHistBuff (talk) 15:41, 8 May 2009 (UTC)
  • after some exegetical studies and In March 1526, he published Apologia, defending his views. Is there anything more precise to say on Bucer's position on the eucharist, which comes over a bit wishy washy.
    • I agree - I'm not sure I understand yet was his view was. Awadewit (talk) 18:41, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
At the time, Bucer’s and Zwingli’s position on the eucharist were identical. But unlike Zwingli, Bucer was willing to accept Luther's position. Added a sentence.
  • In 1528, when Luther published Vom Abendmahl Christi, Bekenntnis (Confession Concerning Christ's Supper), detailing Luther’s concept of the sacramental union, Bucer responded with a treatise of his own, Vergleichnung D. Luthers, und seins gegentheyls, vom Abendmal Christi (Conciliation between Dr. Luther and His Opponents Regarding Christ’s Supper). It took the form of a dialogue between two merchants, one from Nuremberg who supported Luther and the other from Strasbourg who supported Bucer, with the latter winning over his opponent. Luther harshly rejected Bucer's interpretation. Something on what the thrological distinctions were here?
    • This seems like a good idea to me. Awadewit (talk) 18:41, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
Details added, although it might be a bit esoteric. --RelHistBuff (talk) 11:04, 8 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Bucer did not hesitate to disagree with Zwingli on occasion. Might be worth pick out one or two of the things they discussed and perhaps a disagreement.
    • This seems like a good idea to me. Awadewit (talk) 18:41, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
Unfortunately, specific items were not mentioned. Greschat mentioned some of what they discussed (added a couple items in the text) and I could see how the two might disagree on some of the issues like liturgy, the use of images, the dissolution of monasteries, etc.. But he did not specifically say what they actually disagreed on. --RelHistBuff (talk) 11:04, 8 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Bucer wrote a new confession, the Confessio Tetrapolitana. What was distinctive about this beyond the eucharist thing? How was it different from the Lutheran and Swiss confessions? If history had gone another way, this could have led to a Bucerian denomination, so perhaps it's worth clarifying.
    • This seems like a good idea to me. Awadewit (talk) 18:41, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
There was not much different from the Augsburg Confession save the article on the eucharist. I have always been curious about the differences. There is not much about it in the sources, so I have added the text of the article in the footnote. --RelHistBuff (talk) 06:44, 11 May 2009 (UTC)
  • For this gathering, Bucer provided a draft document of sixteen articles on church doctrine. Anything distinctive about these? Also, it might be worth saying something about his theological basis for a council-controlled church and perhaps relating this to the Calvin version.
  • Bucer and Capito attended and urged the Swiss to adopt a compromise wording on the Eucharist that would not offend the Lutherans. The result was the First Helvetic Confession. Possibly say what this compromise position consisted in.
    • This might help elucidate his views on the Eucharist. Awadewit (talk) 18:41, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
Added. --RelHistBuff (talk) 15:45, 8 May 2009 (UTC)
  • the extent to which Bucer influenced Calvin is an open question among modern scholars. Possibly give an idea of the areas of possible doctrinal influence?
  • Bucer and Witzel agreed on fifteen articles covering various issues of church life. Bucer, however, made no doctrinal concessions: he remained silent on critical matters such as the mass and the papacy. His ecumenical approach provoked harsh criticism from other reformers. What did they agree on that would have offended the Lutherans?
  • The Worms Book laid the groundwork for final negotiations at the Diet of Regensburg in 1541. An example or two of the content? It seems Bucer had signed to a definition of justification by faith that did not satisfy the Lutherans? Was this a new departure. What was the difference in Bucer's position?
    • I found this confusing in the article, so a clarification would be welcome. Awadewit (talk) 18:41, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
Yes, he conceded some issues, took a stand on others. Details added. --RelHistBuff (talk) 06:20, 11 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Simple Consideration Concerning the Establishment of a Christian Reformation Founded upon God’s Word. Some idea of the contents?
    • I think this would be a good idea. Awadewit (talk) 18:41, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
Added. --RelHistBuff (talk) 06:20, 11 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Concise Summary of Christian Doctrine and Religion. Ditto.
    • I think this would be a good idea. Awadewit (talk) 18:41, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
I added a sentence, but unfortunately there was nothing substantial in either Eells or Greschat. --RelHistBuff (talk) 06:20, 11 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Martyr asked Bucer for his support, but Bucer did not totally agree with Martyr’s position and thought that exposure of differences would not assist the cause of reform. Add what the differences were?
  • Bucer had ambitious goals in diffusing the Reformation throughout England. He was disappointed, therefore, when those in power failed to consult him in bringing about change. What were these ambitious goals?
    • I think explaining this would be a good idea. Awadewit (talk) 18:41, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
Expanded. --RelHistBuff (talk) 11:51, 11 May 2009 (UTC)
  • After Bucer's death, his writings continued to be translated, reprinted, and disseminated throughout Europe. An opportunity for a summing up of the main elements of his theology?
Added. --RelHistBuff (talk) 13:16, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

qp10qp (talk) 18:16, 7 May 2009 (UTC)


This is on the main page and there's no vandalism yet. Enigmamsg 00:29, 18 December 2009 (UTC)

It's not as fun vandalising Martin Bucer as compared to Homer Simpson. --RelHistBuff (talk) 08:58, 18 December 2009 (UTC)


This is the type of encyclopedia articles that really makes Wikipedia shine when it is featured. In my younger days, I was a budding Lutheran theologian and I am quite impressed to see such a well research and neutral portrayal of Bucer that tackles some of the complex issues of his life and influences. Great work! AgneCheese/Wine 11:08, 18 December 2009 (UTC)

I agree. I found the article fascinating, especially since I had never heard of him before. My neighborhood in Berlin has streets named after a lot of figures in the history of Protestantism, including the Waldensians (ironically, there's a Roman Catholic Church on Waldenserstraße), Calvin, Zwingli, Sickingen, Hutten, Ufnau, and Wiclef (Berlin also has a Martin-Luther-Straße but it's in a different part of town), but there's no Bucerstraße, Butzerstraße, Martin-Bucer-Straße, or Martin-Butzer-Straße in the whole city. +Angr 16:58, 18 December 2009 (UTC)

Straßburg - Strasbourg[edit]

Bucer came from Straßburg. What is the Wikipedia convention for the names of cities that were different during the life an historical figure? Should it be stated that he was from Straßburg (the name of the city during his life) or Strasbourg the current French name? Just curious. Ozdaren (talk) 14:30, 18 December 2009 (UTC)

I cannot find the guidance in the MoS, but I believe the convention is to use the modern accepted spelling among anglophones. Neither the historical nor current non-anglophone spellings are used. This seems clear when one looks at all the historical articles that use Cologne instead of Köln, Munich instead of München, etc. --RelHistBuff (talk) 16:40, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
As I recall, the outcome of the Danzig/Gdańsk war a few years ago was to use "Danzig" when referring to periods of history when it belonged to Germany* and "Gdańsk" when referring to periods of history when it belonged to Poland. That may be considered to establish a precedent for Strasbourg. Cologne and Munich are different cases, firstly because they've always been part of Germany* and secondly because they're the established English names (whereas Danzig/Gdańsk and Straßburg/Strasbourg don't really have established English names that are distinct from their native names).
* I use "Germany" imprecisely here to refer to any predominantly German-speaking polity, including the Holy Roman Empire, the Kingdom of Prussia, etc. +Angr 16:50, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
I think you would find that in English it was always Strasbourg, Strassborg or similar, even before it was part of France. Since all these are effectively different ways of spelling the same name, without even a Cologne/Köln-type variation, I think Strasbourg should be used, as I think you will find the vast majority of English books do. Johnbod (talk) 01:32, 19 December 2009 (UTC)
Personally I wouldn't mind using Straßburg, although some people might get a bit disturbed with the Eszett (ß). But I do think that Strasbourg is the most widely known spelling among anglophones. My fear is that if the spelling was changed, we might end up re-enacting the Thirty Years' War on Wikipedia. ;-) --RelHistBuff (talk) 19:37, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
Yes I think it's better in this case to let sleeping dogs lie. Thanks Ozdaren (talk) 00:08, 19 December 2009 (UTC)