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The Early Reformation on the Continent$
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Owen Chadwick

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780198269021

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198269021.001.0001

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(p.230) 11 Creed
The Early Reformation on the Continent

Owen Chadwick (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The reforming churches all ended up with creeds designed to express their positive beliefs, but also inevitably being criticisms of the Church of Rome. The main creedal statements of the evangelicals were based on the Augsburg Confession of 1530, Melanchthon's Apology in reply to Catholic criticisms of the Augsburg document, and the Schmalkand Articles of 1536, but the Swiss cities made no attempt to produce such statements of general validity, and such doctrinal statements were considered less important than catechisms and forms of worship. The main stumbling block in the way of a generally acceptable evangelical creed was the doctrine of the Eucharist, despite efforts to bridge the gap between Luther and the more radical Swiss. Melanchthon and Martin Bucer both continued to believe in vain that if the right form of words could be found unity would be achieved.

Keywords:   Augsburg Confession, creeds, Eucharist, Martin Luther, Schmalkand Articles, Zwingli

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