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Conrad Bröske’s dispute with the reformed preachers in Elberfeld, 1704–1706

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Chapter Summary

In his Rechtmäßige Schutz-Rede (Legitimate Defense) of March 12, 1705, Conrad Bröske endeavoured to defend himself against accusations being made against him by preachers in the Elberfeld Classis. His main complaint was that Johann Grüter and the Classis had been spreading rumours and insults about him and his teaching behind his back, in order to "disgrace his good name" and turn the affections of truth-loving people against him. They praised him to his face, but then spread insults and scorned him before others. Bröske attributed this behaviour to want of judgement and a complete lack of love. In the "Second Appendix" to his Schutz-Rede, Bröske provided his own brief account of the course of the conflict. Bröske's account highlights what are best described as the personal points at issue, matters of reputation and respect, rather than theological issues.

Keywords: Rechtmäßige Schutz-Rede; Conrad Bröske; Elberfeld Classis; Johann Grüter; Reformed preachers

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