Bern, Geneva, or Rome? The struggle for religious conformity and confessional unity in early Reformation Switzerland

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/280155
Title:
Bern, Geneva, or Rome? The struggle for religious conformity and confessional unity in early Reformation Switzerland
Author:
Bruening, Michael Wilson
Issue Date:
2002
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
The Reformation in French-speaking Switzerland outside of Geneva has received relatively little attention from historians. Unlike the movement in Geneva, the Reformation in its neighboring lands progressed in a completely different manner and was ultimately imposed on the people by the magistrates of Bern. Before 1536, Protestant reformers such as Guillaume Farel and Pierre Viret hardly touched most areas of the Pays de Vaud, which was governed by the Catholic duke of Savoy. Instead, they concentrated their efforts on areas within the jurisdiction of or allied to Protestant Bern, where they met with strong resistance from the people. The reformers focused their attacks---in preaching, in print, and symbolically in acts of iconoclasm directed against church altars---on the Catholic mass. Very few parishes abolished the mass, however. The religious situation shifted dramatically in 1536, however, when Bern conquered Vaud in its war against Savoy. Due to widespread resistance to the Protestant preachers, Bern imposed the Reformed faith on all its subjects following the 1536 Lausanne Disputation. The "new religion" was opposed by many, particularly the former Catholic clergy, many of whom continued to celebrate Catholic ceremonies in secret while waiting for a final resolution by the promised general council. The nobles suddenly found themselves vassals of the "common man," the Bern city council, and were loath to institute religious changes on their lands. The commoners in Vaud continued to practice traditions, such as praying to the saints and observing Catholic feast days. The Bernese magistrates and the Calvinist ministers in Vaud recognized these problems but could not agree on how to fix them. The Bernese saw the Reformation as a long-term process and hoped eventually to effect change by their ordinances. The ministers, led by Pierre Viret and strongly influenced by John Calvin, believed that change was taking place too slowly and that meanwhile the "body of Christ" was being polluted by unworthy communicants taking the eucharist. They argued for the necessity of greater ecclesiastical discipline, including excommunication, and the dispute led to the banishment of Viret and his colleagues, who subsequently moved to Geneva.
Type:
text; Dissertation-Reproduction (electronic)
Keywords:
Religion, History of.; History, European.
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Graduate College; History
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Karant-Nunn, Susan

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoen_USen_US
dc.titleBern, Geneva, or Rome? The struggle for religious conformity and confessional unity in early Reformation Switzerlanden_US
dc.creatorBruening, Michael Wilsonen_US
dc.contributor.authorBruening, Michael Wilsonen_US
dc.date.issued2002en_US
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractThe Reformation in French-speaking Switzerland outside of Geneva has received relatively little attention from historians. Unlike the movement in Geneva, the Reformation in its neighboring lands progressed in a completely different manner and was ultimately imposed on the people by the magistrates of Bern. Before 1536, Protestant reformers such as Guillaume Farel and Pierre Viret hardly touched most areas of the Pays de Vaud, which was governed by the Catholic duke of Savoy. Instead, they concentrated their efforts on areas within the jurisdiction of or allied to Protestant Bern, where they met with strong resistance from the people. The reformers focused their attacks---in preaching, in print, and symbolically in acts of iconoclasm directed against church altars---on the Catholic mass. Very few parishes abolished the mass, however. The religious situation shifted dramatically in 1536, however, when Bern conquered Vaud in its war against Savoy. Due to widespread resistance to the Protestant preachers, Bern imposed the Reformed faith on all its subjects following the 1536 Lausanne Disputation. The "new religion" was opposed by many, particularly the former Catholic clergy, many of whom continued to celebrate Catholic ceremonies in secret while waiting for a final resolution by the promised general council. The nobles suddenly found themselves vassals of the "common man," the Bern city council, and were loath to institute religious changes on their lands. The commoners in Vaud continued to practice traditions, such as praying to the saints and observing Catholic feast days. The Bernese magistrates and the Calvinist ministers in Vaud recognized these problems but could not agree on how to fix them. The Bernese saw the Reformation as a long-term process and hoped eventually to effect change by their ordinances. The ministers, led by Pierre Viret and strongly influenced by John Calvin, believed that change was taking place too slowly and that meanwhile the "body of Christ" was being polluted by unworthy communicants taking the eucharist. They argued for the necessity of greater ecclesiastical discipline, including excommunication, and the dispute led to the banishment of Viret and his colleagues, who subsequently moved to Geneva.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeDissertation-Reproduction (electronic)en_US
dc.subjectReligion, History of.en_US
dc.subjectHistory, European.en_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineHistoryen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorKarant-Nunn, Susanen_US
dc.identifier.proquest3073199en_US
dc.identifier.bibrecord.b43427662en_US
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