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date: 21 January 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Letter exchange occupies a significant and growing role in the activities of the Protestant Reformers. This chapter offers explanations for its growing significance in the evolution of the Protestant Reformation. It analyses what over a century of investment in editing the correspondence of the magisterial Reformers has achieved. It offers a yearly profile of the surviving editorial correspondence. At the same time, it underlines the limitations of our concentration on the letters of magisterial Reformers by examining the role of letter exchange in the political evolution of the Protestant Reformation in the sixteenth century, and especially in the context of the coalitions at a distance that sustained it. It ends by evoking martyr letters, as found in the martyrologies of John Foxe and Jean Crespin, but also in a devotional context in Hutterite and Anabaptist dissenting traditions.

Keywords: Letters, scribal community, the Protestant Reformation, Protestant Reformers, evolution of Protestantism

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