Christology of Caspar Schwenckfeld Spirit and Flesh in the Process of Life Transformation

Author: Séguenny, André
Erb, Peter
Nieuwolt, Simone
A translation of Séguenny's 1975 Homme charnel, Homme spirituel. Etude sur la christologie de Caspar Schwenckfeld (1489-1561), with a preface by André Séguenny in which he gives his reasons for leaving this work unrevised. In this study Séguenny places Schwenckfeld's theology between Catholicism and Protestantism, arguing that Schwenckfeld's theology can be understood better in relation to the Renaissance, Christian humanism, and Erasmus than to the Reformation and Luther.


"Despite real reservations about the historical accuracy of Séguenny's presentation, there is something appealing about it. His work belongs in the tradition of Cassirer, Garin, and Baron, each of whom projected the twentieth-century struggle against repression and irrationality back upon an earlier age, creating a heroic lineage and example for those struggling against the darkness. Séguenny's continuing concern with religious dissidents points in the same direction. For such scholars history remains a branch of moral philosophy. Erasmus and Schwenckfeld would certainly have approved." - Religious Studies Review

"The author, the translators, and the publishers are to be congratulated for making the essay available to English readers. . . . [It] offers a discriminating contribution to the intellectual history of the Reformation period. The special virtue of this book is that it adds clarity to the `heavenly flesh' doctrine without once mentioning Hans Joachim Schoeps. . . . Séguenny rejects frequent earlier claims that Schwenckfeld's theology can only be understood as derivative from Luther. . . . It is the author's central contention that `the doctrine of Schwenckfeld represents a radical continuation of the postulates of Erasmus.' . . . Séguenny's conclusion is that the `study of Schwenckfeld . . . does not belong solely to the history of the Reformation but also to the study of the final period of Christian humanism and of the Renaissance.' . . . This concise essay increases awareness of the complex warp and woof of the currents of thought of the early sixteenth century. It should also increase the vigilance of those who work at the profile of the Radical Reformation in general and of Anabaptism in particular." - Church History