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Dialogue and Disputation in the Zurich Reformation: Utz Eckstein’s «Concilium» and «Rychsztag»

Edition, Translation and Study

Nigel Harris and Joel, Rev. Love

This volume contains the first modern critical editions of Concilium (1525) and Rychsztag (1526), two vernacular verse dialogues by the Zurich-based Zwinglian author Utz Eckstein, together with translations of both into English prose. These works are of interest not just for their literary qualities (which differ markedly from those conventionally associated with ‘Reformation dialogues’), but also because of what they reveal about Zwingli’s theological and socio-political priorities in the mid-1520s. Along with many other aspects of the contemporary Swiss context, these features are examined in an introduction and in extensive elucidatory notes. An underlying thread of the authors’ interpretation is that, for all their evident desire to express and establish Evangelical perspectives, the Concilium and Rychsztag make imaginative and constructive use of specifically Swiss traditions of dialogue, which were expressed, for example, both in the consultative decision-making processes of rural communities and in the increasingly influential procedures of the formalized urban disputation.


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Preliminary remarks 7 Introduction 9 Utz Eckstein (c. 1490–1558) 14 Eckstein’s works 18 Eckstein, contemporary Zurich, and beyond 27 Eckstein and the Swiss communal consultation 32 Eckstein’s Zwinglian theology 37 Eckstein on politics and society 46 The Concilium and Rychsztag as literature 51 Textual history of the Concilium and Rychsztag 54 Approach to editing and translating 61 Edition and translation of the Concilium 63 Edition and translation of the Rychsztag 311 Appendix (additional material from the 1526 text 457 of the Concilium) Bibliography 487 Index 493

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