Karlstadt as the Father of the Baptist Movements the Emergence of Lay Protestantism

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Presents a revolutionary appraisal of the origins of lay Protestantism in the Radical Reformation. Karlstadt's creative contributions are analysed, and the traditional picture of Karlstadt as an epigone of Luther, challenging his mentor out of spite, are discarded. Among the many surprises this book offers are the highly probably authorship by Karlstadt of most of Felix Mantz's Manifest to the Council of Zurich; the fact that the first Baptists of Zurich financially supported the printing of Karlstadt's treatises on the Lord's Supper, the contacts between Karlstadt and Melchior Hoffman; and finally the contacts between John Smyth and Thomas Murton with Mennonites in Amsterdam. The early history of the Reformation in Estonia, Latvia, and Sweden is newly and radically reinterpreted, and made available in English for the first time. (Reprint)


"This study offers a radically new interpretation of Andreas Karlstadt which extends the previous studies by Sider and Bubenheimer. . . . Pater has convincingly rehabilitated Karlstadt, and has provided the scholarly community with much fodder for discussion. His use of original sources is impressive, judicious, and insightful. He builds his case with care and tenacity. . . . One of the more valuable contributions of this work is the complete primary source bibliographies of Karlstadt and Hoffman, and a secondary source bibliography that is quite extensive. The usefulness of the volume is also enhanced by a large name and subject index." - Sixteenth Century Journal

". . . this study is a major contribution to our understanding of Karlstadt as a significant Reformer, and of the beginning of Swiss Anabaptism and of its Dutch variation." - K.R. Davis "There is new excitement within free-church studies, and Pater has identified and wrestled with the very heart of this." -- Leonard Gross

"Certain chapters of Pater's volume are outstanding in profundity. No one who has mastered the chapter on predestination can ever again maintain that at first Luther and Karlstadt were fellow travelers. . . . Pater in his thorough and hence provocative study might have been hailed as another Schweitzer or Bultmann in Reformation church dogmatics, so sharp and insightful is his discernment of the difference from the start of the two erstwhile preeminent colleagues in the Reformation university that was Wittenberg. . . " -- George H. Williams

"Although there have been other recent and valuable studies of Karlstadt in German and English by Ronald Sider, James S. Preus and Ulrich Bubenheimer, Pater's book occupies an important niche in the scholarly literature distinct from any of them. . . . he

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