Biography (Dictionary of World Biography: Renaissance)
Article abstract: Zwingli led the Swiss Reformation against Roman Catholic ecclesiastical abuses, sharing both the rhetoric and the theology of Germany’s own reformer, Martin Luther, until the two disagreed over the nature of the Eucharist. Overshadowed in church history by both Luther and John Calvin, Zwingli’s most lasting contribution to Church history is his incipient Reformed theology and his recognition of the role that secular government might play in ecclesiastical matters.
Huldrych Zwingli was born in Wildhaus, Swiss Confederation, to wealthy, devout parents. Zwingli’s father served as a village magistrate and sought early to train his son in the ways of his Catholic faith—a Catholic faith invigorated by the new Humanism, which recognized and bestowed upon mankind more human responsibility and involvement in divine affairs. His father earnestly desired that Zwingli be educated as a priest and sent the boy at age ten to a Latin school in Basel, where he excelled in grammar, music, and dialectics. In 1498, Zwingli entered college study at Berne, where he came under the tutelage of Heinrich Wölflin, an influential Humanist scholar, who planted the initial seeds of intellectual independence in Zwingli. At Berne, Zwingli, now called Ulrich, distinguished himself as a musician and singer and was urged by the Dominican Order in Berne to join their choir and study music further. Zwingli initially...
(The entire section is 3453 words.)
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