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Excursus: Calvinist Postils? The Pragmatism Of German Reformed Postillators

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Chapter Summary

Zwingli, Calvin and other Swiss reformers may have adamantly rejected the pericopic system and postils born of it, but during the later sixteenth and seventeenth centuries Reformed preachers in Germany realized that the tradition would not simply go away. One of the earliest German Calvinist postils was also the most detailed in its explanation and defense of the genre. Balthasar Cop had preached in Neustadt since at least the early 1570s, and published a Hauskirchen Postill based on the pericopic sermons he had delivered there. Among German Calvinists' most adamant defenders of the pragmatic adoption of the pericopic system before 1620 was Johann von Münster. Munster was not a preacher; rather, he was a highly educated nobleman who had served various princes. Calvinist pragmatism was not the result of the abandonment of ideals; rather, it was conceived and practiced as a means toward eventually achieving them.

Keywords: German Calvinist postils; pragmatism; Reformed preachers



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