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The Inner Word and the Outer World

A Biography of Sebastian Franck


Patrick Hayden-Roy

This study focuses on one of the most idiosyncratic and interesting figures of the German Reformation, Sebastian Franck (1499-1542). Franck's life traces the margins of sixteenth-century religious dissent and the tolerance of heterodoxy. The book details Franck's appropriation of late medieval mysticism and humanism, which he shaped into a critique of all religious institutions and ideologies of his day, Catholic, Protestant, and Anabaptist. The work also examines the responses of religious and political authorities to Franck's critique; responses which revealed the fissures in the hierarchies of rule of the early Reformation, and the possibility for dissent in the age of religious reform.