*** Notes for Today’s Show ***
It is the 12th of May 2021. Welcome to the Christian History Almanac brought to you by 1517 at 1517.org. I’m Dan van Voorhis.
Today we travel back to the 16th century and the Swiss Cantons
Q: Why are there so many different kinds of Protestants?
Because the Reformation was affected by the soil it took root in.
Today we look at an event that illuminates the particular place of Switzerland during the Reformation and the direction that a reformed church would take.
It was on this, the 12th of May in 1531 that Swiss protestants formed a blockade against the Roman Catholic Swiss Cantons. This would lead to the disastrous 2nd Battle of Kappel which would forever alter the direction of the Reformation in Switzerland and Beyond
The Swiss giving the Empire trouble is not a new thing in 1531.
Swabian League and a confederacy of Swiss cantons would go to war at the end of the 15th c. and the Treaty of Basel in 1499 gave the Swiss a kind of independence from the empire.
in 1521 the priest Huldrych Zwingli would begin advocating for Reformation ideas- the 1520s saw an uneasy alliance between would-be Reformers who had theological and political reasons for going at their own speed and with their own theological assumptions.
Two important things in 1529- Luther and Zwingli meet to discuss their disagreements over the Lord’s Supper and the so-called first War of Kappel saw troops deployed but ultimately nothing cm of it.
In 1530 the German Lutherans presented the Augsburg Confession to the Emperor as a pan-Protestant confession of Faith, but the Swiss provided their own metropolitan Confession which is parallel to the Augsburg Confession but presented the presence of Christ in the Lord’s supper as more spiritual than physical and this would forever divide the Lutheran and Reformed.
In this context, the blockade of Protestant Swiss Cantons against 5 Catholic Cantons would be a local clash- and this one was. The blockade that began on this day in 1531 led to the second battle of Kappel in which the Protestant Cantons would be crushed and their leader Zwingli would be killed. The Swiss Reformation would soon turn towards France and the Frenchman John Calvin who would help develop a distinct Reformed protestant tradition apart from the Lutherans.
The last word for today comes from the Psalmist - this from Psalm 2.
Why do the nations conspire,
and the peoples plot in vain?
The kings of the earth set themselves,
and the rulers take counsel together,
against the Lord and his anointed, saying,
“Let us burst their bonds asunder,
and cast their cords from us.”
He who sits in the heavens laughs;
the Lord has them in derision.
Then he will speak to them in his wrath,
and terrify them in his fury, saying,
“I have set my king on Zion, my holy hill.”
I will tell of the decree of the Lord:
He said to me, “You are my son;
today I have begotten you.
Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage,
and the ends of the earth your possession.
This has been the Christian History Almanac for the 12th of May 2021 brought to you by 1517 at 1517.org. The show is produced by Christopher “hoc est corpus meum” Gillespie. The show is written and read by Dan “nihilne sanctum est" van Voorhis. You can catch us here every day- and remember that the rumors of grace, forgiveness, and the redemption of all things are true…. Everything is going to be ok.