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date: 15 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Twentieth-century scholarship interpreted Luther's relationship to 'radical' Christian groups, whom he labelled 'Schwärmer', in various ways. Through engaging the ideas and challenges of the 'Zwickau prophets', 'sacramentarians' such as Karlstadt, Zwingli, and Oecolampadius, Anabaptists, and Spiritualists, Luther shaped significant elements of his thinking, including the nature of divine revelation; the necessity of trust in the external Word found in Scripture, proclamation, and sacramental forms of the Word; baptism; the Lord's Supper; and Christology. These groups also influenced his definition of and reaction to what he regarded as heresy and the limits of public tolerance of divergent Christian views.

Keywords: Schwärmer, Zwickau prophets, Karlstadt, Zwingli, Oecolampadius, revelation, baptism, Lord’s Supper, Christology

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