Reformation history

Cyril Lucaris – A Contested Reformer On June 27, 1638, a man was ordered to board a boat, presumably to move to a different location. Instead, the boat had barely left shore when some guards strangled him and threw his body overboard. This man, Cyril Lucaris, had risen to the highest rank in the...
Anna Reinhart Zwingli and the Swiss Reformation Most Protestants know the story of Katharina Van Bora, Martin Luther’s wife. Many books and articles have been written about her and her impact on Luther’s life and consequently on the Reformation. Fewer people have heard about Anna Reinhart, wife of...
Justitia Sengers – a Forgotten Sixteenth-Century Exegete Blindness was common in ancient, medieval, and early modern Europe, due to the frequency of infections, malnutrition, accidents, and acts of violence, as well as to the lack of effective treatments. Some men, such as Jan Žižka, a commander of...
Anne Askew and Her Influence on the English Reformation On July 16, 1546, Anne Askew was burned at the stake after suffering terrible tortures – the only woman on record to have tortured in the Tower of London. What caused such a fury against her? Anne was born around 1521 to Sir William Askew and...
Visitors to Geneva, Switzerland, will find at the heart of the Parc des Bastions – the largest historical park in the city center - an impressive monument with giant statues of the main protagonists of the Geneva Reformation: John Calvin, William Farel, Theodore Beza and John Knox (better known for...
Katharina Schütz Zell – Church Mother of the Reformation Often described as “Church Mother,” Katharina Zell was one of the pillars of the Protestant Reformation and one of the most prolific women writers of her time. Unlike other well-known writers such as Katherine Parr, Marguerite of Navarre,...
Robert Norman
Historic testimony to Luther is grand. Not only have many of his letters, books, tracts, and sermons survived, but so have his table talks. Table Talk is a collection of Luther’s sayings amongst his friends. Thankfully, they have been preserved for our benefit. There we see glimpses of the real...
Elisabeth Cruciger – The First Lutheran Female Hymnwriter Elisabeth Cruciger is considered the first Lutheran female hymnwriter. Born around 1500 as Elisabeth von Mezerite to a noble family in Pomerania (a region in today’s Poland), she entered as a child the cloister at Marienbush Abbey, near...
The Dispute of Tirano and the Trial of Calvin’s Orthodoxy In the eventful sixteenth century, few people took notice of a court trial in a small town on the Italian side of the Alps. And yet, the stakes were high. It all started on May 1, 1595, when Simone Cabasso, parish priest of Tirano, preached...
Pomponio Algerio and His Resolute Faith Most tourists to Rome stop by Gian Lorenzo Bernini's Fountain of the Four Rivers, in Piazza Navona. Some drop a coin in the water and make a wish. Hardly anyone is aware that in the same square a young Italian man was boiled in a cauldron of oil, pitch, and...