Building a New Church

Amy Nelson Burnett

in Teaching the Reformation

Published in print December 2006 | ISBN: 9780195305760
Published online September 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780199784912 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in Historical Theology

  Building a New Church

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The leaders of Basel’s Protestant church had to work out a new relationship with the city’s magistrate, recruit new pastors to assist and eventually replace them, and reform the university’s curriculum in order to train this new generation of pastors. In these tasks they were only partially successful. Although the pastors and Senate initially worked together in establishing synods and visitations to oversee church affairs, divisions within the clergy helped the Senate change this partnership to a more hierarchical relationship. A new stipendiary system failed to recruit young men to the ministry, and high turnover among the university faculty undermined its stability and effectiveness. Theology instruction reflected the humanist commitment to the text of Scripture, but its content and niveau did not differ substantially from what was contained in sermons intended for the laity. At mid-century, the city’s reformers could lament their lack of success, but by destroying essential elements of the late medieval church, they had cleared the way for the introduction of more lasting changes by the generation that would begin to enter the ministry in the 1550s.

Keywords: synods; visitations; magistrate; clergy; stipendiary system; theology instruction; university; generation

Chapter.  10722 words. 

Subjects: Christianity

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