Christian Magistrate and Territorial Church: Johannes Brenz and the German Reformation

By James M. Estes - ES12

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As an early reformer in the south German town of Schwäbisch-Hall, Johannes Brenz exercised an enormous impact on the single-most powerful city in the Holy Roman Empire, Nuremberg. Later in life, he became the chief theological advisor to the dukes of Württemberg, influencing Christian worship and theology then as it still does today. Outliving Martin Luther, Philip Melanchthon, and their Wittenberg colleagues, Brenz continued to affect church life and shape the Reformation in German-speaking countries well into the 1560s.

James M. Estes is professor emeritus of history at the University of Toronto and distinguished senior fellow of the Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies.

243 pp.
ISBN: 978-0-7727-2034-4 softcover
Published: 2007


"One of Brenz’s most important contributions to his age is the chief subject of this book: the relationship between local political authorities and the developing evangelical churches. The wealth of scholarship collected on the subject since the 1982 publication Christian Magistrate and State Church: The Reforming Career of Johannes Brenz warranted this new and updated edition." Timothy J. Wengert, The Lutheran Theological Seminary of Philadelphia

The Sixteenth Century Journal, 40:2 (Summer 2009), pp. 522-523. Reviewed by Rebecca C. Peterson. (Hard copy available at CRRS.)

Renaissance Quarterly, 61:2 (Summer 2008), pp. 579-577. Reviewed by Amy N . Burnett.

The Journal of Theological Studies, 59:1, pp. 398-400. Reviewed by Peter Matheson.

The Catholic Historical Review, 95:2 (April 2009), pp. 386-387. Reviewed by Robert Kolb





Preface to the First Edition

1. Brenz's Career in Brief
2. The Background of the Territorial Church
3. The Justification of the Territorial Church
4. The Organization of the Church in Württemberg
5. The Discipline of Morals
6. Resistance and Toleration