New Publication on the History of the Reformation in Switzerland

A new comprehensive work on the Reformation in Switzerland has now been published for the first time in nearly 40 years. Published by TVZ, the book provides for a regionally differentiated view of the Swiss Reformation, a movement that would become one of Switzerland’s most influential exports over time. In addition to its academic value, the book provides background information in time for the Reformation Anniversary currently being celebrated in Switzerland with challenges to think more about the significance of the Reformation today.
v.l.n.r. Christina Aus der Au, Urs Leu, Frank Mathwig, André Holenstein, Martin Hirzel

Die schweizerische Reformation – ein Handbuch (edited by Emidio Campi and Amy Nelson Burnett) has been published by TVZ, the Zurich-based theological publishing house, and provides a detailed account of the spread of the Reformation movement in the towns of Zurich, Bern, Basel,. St. Gallen, and Schaffhausen, in rural areas such as Graubünden, Appenzell, and the French-speaking part of Switzerland, as well as “failed reformations” and the Anabaptist movement. The book depicts how a diffuse movement developed, in the course of the 16th century, into a disciplined group of churches with defined beliefs and its own culture, and analyses the long-term impact of the Reformation on society, its religious life and everyday culture, on education, communal life, and politics. The book was launched at Bern’s Polit-Forum on November 20.

An international team of experts worked on the 740-page book, originally published in English as A Companion to the Swiss Reformation in Leiden, Netherlands in 2016, with many previously unpublished pictures. The German edition of the work was commissioned by the Federation of Swiss Protestant Churches and edited by Martin Hirzel and Frank Mathwig. As FSPC Council President Gottfried Locher wrote in his preface: “The present volume depicts the Swiss Reformation in a nuanced manner and provides a variety of present views. The articles not only summarize old information from the point of view of current research but also have new and surprising things to offer on matters long forgotten or cast aside, which, however, continue to influence our world today.”