Hutterite family 1588
Anabaptists constituted one of the most persecuted and most mobile religious populations of the Reformation and Confessional Ages.
Lacking a durable alliance with the state anywhere in Europe, Anabaptists constituted one of the most persecuted and most mobile religious populations of the Reformation and Confessional Ages. A single, clearly defined magisterial office was also absent from the movement, and the Anabaptists’ migratory experience encouraged regional variations in the movement that built on its distinct starting points and traditions. At the same time, interactions between different Anabaptist groups undermined those regional differences. The result was the formation of distinct yet inter-related traditions that survived the Confessional Age: Mennonites, Swiss Brethren, Amish, and Hutterites.
In many ways, Anabaptists were the quintessential confessional migrants of early modern Europe. Driven by a combination of missionary zeal and persecution, they established communities across 1 As a result, despite the divergent starting points, we can try to understand how migration and resettlement affected the different Anabaptist groups if we trace their developing positions on several issues central to the Anabaptist movement. These concerns included the meaning of baptism and the nature of the church to which baptism is the entrance; the relationship between the true church and the world, with the related question of nonresistance or pacifism; leadership structures and authority of leaders within the community; as well as patterns of mutual assistance and the forms it takes within the community. For the purposes of this study, the term “Anabaptists” will be used for those groups and individuals coming out of the Protestant who chose to baptize adults, which meant in the first generation at least that they were rebaptizers. The focus will be on continental Anabaptism; the Baptist tradition, whose history intersected with that of the Anabaptists during the 17th century, had its own point of departure and trajectory.2 In addition, we will restrict ourselves to the history of these groups during the 16th and 17th centuries, when crucial aspects of their identities were formed.3, ultimately migrating to and the . Perceiving themselves to be the true church in a hostile world, they usually tried to isolate themselves from the surrounding society and culture. Nonetheless, both forced and voluntary put Anabaptists into situations in which they had to adapt their teachings and institutions to new conditions. However, determining what developments in Anabaptist history are the result of their migratory existence is complicated by the fact that we are not dealing with a homogeneous, clearly demarcated confessional group. Those whom history calls Anabaptists (rebaptizers) usually referred to each other simply as Brethren: the term “Anabaptist” was imposed on them by their enemies to justify the use of the death penalty against them. Furthermore, Anabaptist movements arose in different areas at different times. From early on, though, they , ultimately leading to common ground on some issues of theology and practice.
The Beginnings in Switzerland and South Germany
Huldrych Zwingli (1484–1531): Zwingli was a dynamic leader of reform efforts in the early years of the Reformation in the significant Swiss city of Zurich. His vision of discipline emphasized the priority of the civil magistrates in administering discipline and ecclesiastical affairs, and represented the origins of the second major model of relating church discipline and civil affairs. / BnF Gallica
According to The Chronicle of the Hutterian Brethren, on the evening of 21 January 1525 a group of former adherents of the reforming movement led byin gathered in the house of the mother of .
After the prayer, Georg Blaurock stood up and asked Conrad Grebel in the name of God to baptize him with true Christian baptism on his faith and recognition of truth. With this request he knelt down, and Conrad baptized him. . . . Then the others turned to Georg in their turn, asking him to baptize them, which he did.4
While the Chronicle‘s account of the earliest years of the Anabaptist movement is no longer given the same credence as it once was, other sources suggest the first baptisms did, in fact, occur in Zurich about this time.5 This act marked a clear break with Zwingli and the Zurich Reformation. Shortly before this event the city council had decreed that children be baptized as soon as they were born, that and Mantz, both of whom were citizens of the city, be silent, and that other, non-citizen members of the group leave the city.6 This expulsion, combined with the of the early Anabaptists, led to the rapid diffusion of the movement in . On the following day in January 1525 baptisms were occurring in the neighboring village of . Simultaneously, the baptizers fanned out to the west in areas around and , east to and , and north to , , and . Already the movement was adapting to local circumstances. In areas experiencing social and political unrest associated with the German Peasants’ War it took on the characteristics of a mass movement.7 Among these locations Waldshut stands out, in part because of the size of its Anabaptist community. Equally significant, though, was the character of its leader, , the only trained theologian among the early Anabaptist leaders, and his vision of reform, which looked more like than the gathered church usually associated with Anabaptism.8
[LEFT]: Cover of the Schleitheim Confession of 1527: Michael Sattler was one of the leaders of the Swiss Anabaptists. He initiated a meeting in 1527 in Schleitheim (near Schaffhausen), in which many representatives of the various Anabaptist movements took part. The “Schleitheim Confession” adopted there presented the first systematic statement of Anabaptist beliefs. / Schleitheim Museum
[RIGHT]: Spread of the Anabaptists 1525–1550 / Image by Maximilian Dörrbecker, Wikimedia Commons
In February 1527, in the village of 9 have often been the lens through which subsequent Swiss Anabaptist history has been viewed, their adoption in different regions of the Confederation was gradual and piecemeal, and often dependent on local circumstances.10 In the end, however, Swiss Anabaptists developed the contours of a distinct tradition. This process occurred in no small part as a result of encounters with representatives of other Anabaptist traditions, as the Swiss spread their beliefs far and wide, establishing congregations south into , east across as far as , and north along the Rhine and Neckar rivers. Already in the 1540s members of other Anabaptist groups were referring to them as Swiss Brethren. The general parameters of Swiss Brethren thought and practice were those enshrined in the Schleitheim Confession, but well into the 17th century variations existed in how specific elements of that definition were interpreted to adapt to local circumstances. At times, regional variations could become the cause of serious conflict, as at the end of the 17th century when disagreements between Swiss Brethren in and the on one hand and their coreligionists remaining in Swiss territories on the other resulted in the schism and the creation of a new Anabaptist tradition.11just north of Schaffhausen, wrote a series of articles by which he sought to clarify some of the central teachings and practices of the movement: baptism, the ban, the , separation from the fallen world, the place and authority of pastors within the community, the sword of government, and the swearing of oaths. While the Schleitheim Articles (or the Schleitheim Confession)
As the Swiss Anabaptists moved beyond the borders of the Confederation, they encountered a distinct Anabaptist tradition rooted in the mystically inspired theology of the Saxon Reformersand . These Anabaptists also criticized infant baptism, but for different reasons than the Swiss. While the Biblicism of the Swiss pushed them to restore what they perceived to be the true ceremonies of the ancient church, south German Anabaptists sought to purge the church of empty and meaningless rites that paid no attention to the commitment of the believer.
South German and Austrian Anabaptism has no clearly defined start comparable to the Zurich baptisms of January 1525. However, one could designate the baptism of 12 at the hands of in on Pentecost 1526 as such an event. Denck’s direct influence on the subsequent development of that tradition was limited – his own baptizing activities were circumscribed and toward the end of his life he questioned the validity of his own and others’ commissions to baptize.13 Nonetheless, he did give Anabaptism a spiritualist impulse that would reappear periodically throughout its history. Hut, by way of contrast, became one of the most active and prolific missionaries of the movement, recruiting followers and establishing communities in , , , , and possibly even . Hut’s thought was strongly eschatological. After his death in December 1527 and the failure of the end times to materialize at Pentecost 1528 as he had predicted, disillusionment set in among many of his followers.14 Thereafter, Anabaptism in southern regions of the German-speaking lands came under the increasing influence of the Swiss model. However, as part of that process interesting encounters occurred between representatives of the Swiss and south German traditions, most notably in where an unusually tolerant policy toward religious heterodoxy provided the setting for wide-ranging dissent.15
Moravia: The Promised Land
Another significant meeting between representatives of differing Anabaptist traditions occurred in 16 After an open disputation with the local clergy, Hut was arrested, although he subsequently escaped and fled the territory, ultimately meeting his end in Augsburg in early December 1527. Hubmaier did not long survive him, being martyred in March 1528 after his noble patron could no longer protect him from the long reach of the Habsburgs. Thereafter, Anabaptism in Nikolsburg moved in the direction of Sabbatarianism and survived as an isolated enclave into the second half of the 16th century.17, Moravia. Balthasar Hubmaier arrived there in June or July 1526 and soon won over the local lord, Leonhard von Liechtenstein (1482–1534), and the local humanist-trained clergy to his vision of an Anabaptist Reformation from above. News of Hubmaier’s activities quickly spread and drew large numbers of refugees from the southern German lands, where persecution of Anabaptists was increasing exponentially. Like , Moravia had become a land of religious pluralism in the wake of the 15th-century Hussite wars, where a semi-autonomous nobility sought to attract economically valuable immigrants. As refugees flocked to Moravia from different areas in the , they brought with them their own distinct versions of Anabaptism. Among them was Hans Hut, who was able to establish a sizable following, especially among the new arrivals. Conflict soon developed between Hubmaier and Hut.
In the winter of 1527 to 1528 supporters of Hut in and around Nikolsburg, many of them Austrian refugees, coalesced around 18 Other Anabaptist leaders from different regions also brought their flocks to Moravia, including Philipp Plener from the , from Silesia, and from . Moravia thus became a melting pot, in which elements of both Swiss and south German traditions mingled freely. Each of these groups established their own communities: the Austerlitz Brethren in Austerlitz, the Philippites and in , and the Gabrielites in . Initially relations were congenial between the different communities and between refugees from different regions within the communities. Gradually, however, conflicts developed, often along the fault lines separating different groups of refugees.19, one of Hut’s missionaries. Expelled from the lands of the Liechtenstein lords, in the spring of 1528 they established a community in . From Austerlitz they undertook extensive missionary activity in southern Germany and Austria aimed at organized emigration to the new “promised land” in Moravia. Among the refugees pouring into Moravia was a group arriving from Austria and Tyrol in 1529 which included . He would later play an important role in interactions between Anabaptist groups in southern Germany, adopting a position critical of both the increasing Spiritualism of some of Denck’s followers and what he regarded as the excessive legalism of the Swiss.
Periods of intense persecution from 1535 to 1537 and again between 1547 and 1552 had a profound effect on the Anabaptist communities in Moravia. The Philippites and Gabrielites for the most part returned to their home territories, where many Philippites eventually joined the Swiss Brethren and the Gabrielites were increasingly drawn to Spiritualism.20 The Austerlitz Brethren and the Hutterites were able to weather the storm in Moravia, but adopted very different strategies to do so. The former gave up the communitarian ideals so characteristic of Moravian Anabaptism, thereby allowing them to blend in with local populations and to survive into the 17th century.21 The Hutterites rode out the periods of persecution by breaking up into smaller groups and dispersing throughout , southern Moravia, and . When the danger had passed, they returned to their communal lives.22 In the second half of the 16th century they entered into their “golden years”, when the strict organization of their communitarian settlements ( or Brüderhöfe) and efficiencies of communal living created an economic success story that likely drew further converts from the Empire for economic as much as religious reasons. The number of Haushaben, estimated at 36 not long after the mid-century persecutions, grew to as many as 74 settlements by the end of the 16th and beginning of the 17th centuries. These units may have housed between 20,000 and 25,000 people.23 Much of this growth came from continued vigorous missionary activity in southern Germany and Austria, as well as territories in . This activity led regularly to clashes with the Swiss Brethren, as the Hutterites now called Anabaptist congregations deriving from the Swiss tradition.
Pieter Snayers (1592–1666), Die Schlacht am Weißen Berg, Öl auf Leinwand / Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen München
Die Wanderungen der Hutterer, Karte, Ersteller: Gerald Hofer (Starlite Hutterite Colony) / Starlite Hutterite Colony
The security and prosperity of the brethren in the later 16th century was, however, short lived. In the early years of the 17th century, the Haushaben along the Moravian-Hungarian border were ravaged during incursions by 24 However, that was not the end of the Hutterite story. In the middle of the 18th century from encountered the remnants of the Hutterite community in . Impressed by the organization of the Hutterites, the Lutherans joined and reinvigorated the community. Under the threat of continued persecution, descendants of this group migrated first to and Russia, and ultimately to the and .. More serious damage came with the outbreak of the , especially after the Habsburg victory at the Battle of White Mountain (1620) near , which put an end to religious pluralism in the region. Two years later the final expulsion of the Hutterites was ordered and their property seized. Some of the Hutterites converted to Catholicism, the remainder of about 10,000 people crossed into where they had already established satellite communities in the middle of the preceding century. There, with a new administrative center in Sabatisch ( ), they witnessed a modest revival, especially under the leadership of the elder Andreas Ehrenpreis (1589–1662). However, in the second half of the 17th century, the communities went into rapid economic and demographic decline. One of the reasons for this may be a reduction in the numbers of refugees from the traditional missionary fields in the German-speaking lands. In the later 18th century, the final remnants of a few hundred people in Habsburg lands were forced to embrace Catholicism under the “Enlightened” policies of and .
North German and Dutch Anabaptism
Among the radicals flocking to Strasbourg at the end of the 1520s was, a furrier and lay preacher active in the north, who had run afoul of the Lutheran authorities and clergy. Initially well received by the Strasbourg Reformers, he soon had conflicts with them as well. In 1530 he visited and , where he baptized numerous converts. Among them were individuals who were later to play important roles in the movement, especially and . However, in 1531 after the execution of several of his followers, Hoffman suspended baptizing.
The Siege of Münster: In the 1530s, Münster was a stronghold of Anabaptism. Under the leadership of the Dutchman Jan Mathys, this radical, fundamentalist movement, which rejected the baptism of children in favour of that of adults and had therefore, amongst other reasons, split from the Protestant confession, seized power in the city, soon descending into a reign of terror and famine. Because the so-called Münster Rebellion organised by Mathys and his followers also threatened the temporal power of Münster’s Prince-Bishop Franz von Waldeck the latter took military action against the city. The siege lasted from 1534 until 1535 and ended with the success of the episcopal forces, which had been supported by imperial and Protestant units. They massacred the Anabaptists and restored the old order. / LWL-Landesmuseum für Kunst und Kulturgeschichte, Münster/Sabine Ahlbrand-Dornseif
Melchiorite Anabaptism first rose to prominence when its history intersected with that of the civic reformation in the Westphalian city of 25 In January 1534 emissaries of Mathys baptized Rothmann and his followers, and in February the and their supporters won regular elections to the city council. Almost immediately, the Catholic bishop of Münster and local Lutheran princes laid siege to the city, from which non-Anabaptists had been expelled, but whose population was supplemented with the arrival of around 2,500 trekkers from and the Netherlands. For the next 16 months events in Münster, which included experiments with community of goods, polygamy, and unusual constitutional forms modeled on the Old Testament, were played out before the eyes of Europeans and confirmed the suspicions of many about the inherently seditious nature of Anabaptism.26. , the city’s leading Reformer, was drawn to Anabaptism, possibly by radical preachers visiting the city from Wassenberg near , who had occupied some of Münster’s pulpits and with whom he co-authored in 1533 Confession of Two Sacraments (Bekentnisse van beydem Sacramenten Doepe unde Nachmaele der predicanten tho Munster). This work helped to reinvigorate the northern Melchiorite movement. In the neighboring , where Melchiorite Anabaptism spread with considerable success, Mathys and his follower played on apocalyptic themes in Hoffman’s theology to reinstate adult baptism and identify Münster as the promised New Jerusalem.
The fall of “New Jerusalem” in June 1535 left the Melchiorite movement in a shambles. Initially the mantle of leadership fell to David Joris, but in the context of ongoing persecution he relinquished his commitment to the necessity of adult baptism in 1539. In 1544 he moved to Basel with a small group of followers, where he lived for the rest of his life in disguise and in conformity with local religious conventions.27 After Joris’s defection, took up the reins of the movement, and groups descending from the early Mennonites became the dominant Anabaptist tradition in northern continental Europe, with settlements especially in coastal areas and along major waterways in the Netherlands, north-western and the delta. Subsequently, they also migrated to and the Americas. Granted limited toleration in the during the revolt against , they moved gradually toward respectable nonconformity, participating widely in the benefits of the . By the late 16th century the Mennonites numbered as many as 100,000 in hundreds of congregations, in some areas of the Netherlands even outnumbering the Reformed.28 However, the history of Melchiorite Anabaptism in the later 16th and 17th centuries is not without conflict. In particular, the lure of the world and the need to maintain a flawless church led to numerous conflicts and divisions within the movement. These began already during Menno’s lifetime, producing ultimately a major division between more conservative Mennonites and Doopsgezinden. The latter group practiced a less strict imposition of the ban and shunning, was not as averse to contacts with the world or with other religious communities, and was not as rigorous in its interpretation of nonresistance. Subsequently, numerous subdivisions appeared among the more conservative groups. Attempts to counter these trends and reunify the splintered movements were often less spectacular, but were supplemented by a tradition of philanthropy and advocacy of religious toleration, through which wealthy Doopsgezinde and Mennonite merchants sought to share the fruits of their success, especially with Mennonites around and in , Swiss Brethren, and Hutterites, all of whom faced continued persecution and hardship.29
Migration and the Formation of Anabaptist Traditions
Despite some important regional variations, different Anabaptist groups shared a common basic understanding of baptism. In general, they desacralized the rite: water baptism was merely an external act, witnessing to an internal arrival of faith and a commitment to lead a Christian life.30 Much greater variation appears in their understanding of the communities arising from this act. While debate continues about the nature of the community intended by the first Zurich baptisms, evidence from areas around the city suggests that the environment could play a significant role in determining its characteristics.31 Ultimately, the tightly knit community of believers envisioned in the Schleitheim Articles, which still maintained a number of traditional social structures and institutions, became the norm. However, in at least two cases specific environments dictated the development of more comprehensive institutions. In Moravia circumstances faced by the refugees after the Nikolsburg split, and thereafter the need to integrate newcomers from the mission fields, suggested the adoption of communal living arrangements, culminating in the regimented life of the Hutterite Haushaben.32 Similarly, in Münster the need to integrate refugees from the Netherlands and to deal with shortages caused by the siege encouraged social experiments, most obvious in the adoption of polygamy as a means to regulate the large number of women in the city.33
The Schleitheim Articles also outlined the relationship of the true church to the world and its institutions and practices. These recognized that government, and with it physical coercion, was a necessary evil to regulate human interaction in a fallen world, but insisted that the faithful were not subject to its strictures. Rather, the wayward among the faithful were to be dealt with through the ban or exclusion from the community, as described in Matthew 18,15–17.34 Here, too, the early Swiss Anabaptists leave us no unequivocal image of their intentions. Particularly their activities outside of Zurich, often in the context of armed peasant resistance to the authorities, call into question the extent to which they categorically rejected temporal authority and the use of force. This is most obvious in Waldshut where Hubmaier worked closely with civic authorities and called for an armed defense of the Reformation in the city.35 Outside the Swiss context, the case for the original pacifism and rejection of temporal authority of the Anabaptists is even more problematic: both Hut and Hoffman allowed for the possibility of godly rulers and some use of force in the events of the last days.36 Even after Hoffman’s eschatological emphasis waned in the Melchiorite movement, Dutch Anabaptism continued to maintain a more positive assessment of secular authority than its Swiss and Moravian counterparts.37
In some cases circumstances could reinforce these differences. In The Chronicle of the Hutterian Brethren a disagreement over nonresistance, specifically the payment of war taxes, is presented as an important cause of the divisions among Anabaptists at Nikolsburg. This account identifies the group associated with Hubmaier as sword-bearers (Schwertler) while the followers of Wiedemann are labeled staff-bearers (Stäbler).38 The accuracy of this portrayal of events is not clearly documented; the Hutterites may have emphasized differences between these groups to highlight the continuity between their own teachings and those of the Wiedemann group. Nonetheless, the positions described seem plausible. While Hut was not a pacifist, he would have opposed a magisterial Anabaptist reformation on Hubmaier’s model, and the stance on the sword propagated in the Schleitheim Articles had a solid following among the Wiedemann group.39 However, the backing of Hubmaier by the Liechtenstein lords would certainly have reinforced the assumptions of the Schwertler, just as it would have confirmed the antagonism to secular authority of the Stäbler. Similarly, the initial decision to unsheathe the sword in Münster owed more to the perception of the city’s citizens that they had a legitimate right to defend their civic reformation than it did to the eschatological musings of Jan Matthijs in the Netherlands.40
Even after there was a general consensus on separation and nonresistance among the different Anabaptist groups, variations persisted in the interpretation of what that meant, and those variations could be a source of friction between groups or even within groups. Ironically, the Hutterites were able to maintain a radical separation from the world and their categorical rejection of the possibility of a Christian government as well as of the legitimate use of force because they enjoyed the protection of the Moravian nobility.41 From that perspective they criticized the accommodations of the Swiss Brethren with the world in a context of ongoing persecution, especially their willingness to pay war taxes, which the Hutterites regarded as a betrayal of the principle of nonresistance.42 In the Netherlands during the later 16th and 17th centuries, in the eyes of some, accommodation with the world was not really a survival strategy but an even greater danger than the earlier persecution faced by the Anabaptists. As a result, the sources of conflict in the seemingly endless divisions among Mennonites included matters involving accommodation with the world, such as questions of personal ostentation, marriage outside the community, or the arming of merchant ships with cannon as a self-defense measure.43 Similarly, the roots of the Amish schism lie in criticisms of accommodation with the world of Swiss Anabaptists by their confreres who had emigrated to more tolerant environments in Alsace and the Palatinate.44
A similar adaptation to local circumstances is evident in Anabaptist definitions of the roles and authority of congregational leaders. In general, Anabaptists rejected the sacramental priesthood and hierarchical offices of the church to a degree that took the Reformation teaching of the priesthood of all believers to its logical conclusion. Nevertheless, variations existed between the different Anabaptist traditions. While Swiss Anabaptism vested greater authority in the congregation than in the hands of the leader, the more charismatic leadership of Hut and Hoffman bequeathed to south German and Austrian as well as 45 At the other end of the spectrum, charisma remained a crucial element of leadership in Münster under Jan Matthijs and Jan van Leyden and in the refugee communities in Austerlitz, Auspitz, and Rossitz in Moravia. Subsequently, this charisma was institutionalized in the greater authority exercised by leaders among the Dutch Mennonites than among the Swiss Brethren, and even more dramatically in the strict hierarchy of offices in the Hutterite Haushaben.46 On this point, too, friction developed between different Anabaptist groups: Pilgram Marpeck criticized the Swiss Brethren for undercutting the authority of congregational leaders, while the Swiss Brethren were appalled by the privileges enjoyed by the Hutterite leadership and the imbalance of authority between leaders and congregations.47and Dutch Anabaptism greater roles and authority for leaders. These differences could sometimes be taken to extremes. For example, in , where the Anabaptist movement was an amalgam of Swiss and south German traditions, the efforts of local authorities to eradicate Anabaptism focused almost exclusively on rooting out its leadership. In response, formal leadership within the congregation disappeared.
No less dramatic are the connections between Anabaptist teachings on mutual aid or community of goods and the refugee experience. This practice is most famous in the compulsory community of goods practiced by the Hutterites, but a commitment to mutual support within the community modeled on the description of the primitive church in Acts 2 and 4 ran through Anabaptism generally. This is evident in a contemporary description of the activities of the Anabaptists in Zollikon:
Now because Zollikon in general had itself baptized, and they assumed they were the true Christian church, they also undertook, like the early Christians, to practice community of goods (as can be read in the Acts of the Apostles), broke the locks off their doors, chests, and cellars, and ate food and drink in good fellowship without discrimination.48
Possibly coming out of Zollikon was an early Swiss congregational 49 However, the appeal of that model was certainly reinforced by the refugee experience of the early Moravian Anabaptists, which resulted in a wide variety of experiments with community of goods. Especially among the Hutterites, it served as a crucial component in both the integration of new arrivals to the community from the mission fields and in the economic success of the communities which made them so attractive to the local nobility.50 The other case of compulsory community of goods, which was instituted in Anabaptist Münster, was also determined by circumstances, specifically the need to integrate trekkers with the local population of the city and to deal with the emergency rationing necessitated by the siege.51 Not surprisingly, differences in how mutual support was understood, too, became distinguishing characteristics of these groups and a source of contention between them. In the second half of the 16th century, the Swiss Brethren accused the Hutterites of making a god out of their practice of community of goods.52advocating community of goods, which may have served as a model for some Moravian congregational orders.
[LEFT]: Letter of Leonhard Lochmaier to the Parish in Austria and Moravia, 1538; source: Archives of the Mennonite Church, Goshen, IN., Codex Hab 17, Reel 81 VW.
[RIGHT]: Letter of Jörg Rack to the Parish in Moravia, 1561; source: Archives of the Mennonite Church, Goshen, IN., Codex III, Reel 1 VW.
Yet, in changed circumstances even the most committed adherents to the tradition were willing to abandon it. When the Philippites, Gabrielites, and Austerlitz Brethren faced prolonged persecution in the 1530s, they stepped away from communal living and community of goods. In order to justify this change, they appealed to the model of the 53 In the end even the Hutterites renounced community of goods for a time in the second half of the 17th century.54 In the wake of the Münster debacle, Melchiorite Anabaptists abandoned community of goods, opting for a Swiss style of voluntary sharing that manifested itself in the extensive philanthropic activities of Dutch Mennonites and Doopsgezinden in the 17th and 18th centuries.55after the dispersion from Jerusalem rather than to the description in Acts 2 and 4.
Clearly, the experiences of a migratory existence, frequently as refugees, highlighted and even exacerbated differences between Anabaptist traditions and groups. Yet, especially in the 17th century and after, there were moves toward greater unity and uniformity between those groups and traditions, facilitated by the sharing of ideas and practices. Obviously, face-to-face encounters, either formal meetings aimed at the unification of groups or encounters between missionaries of competing traditions, played an important role. However, limited surviving evidence of such encounters suggests that they did more to harden differences between the various groups than to encourage unity. Rather, it appears that the written word, either in printed form or in the manuscript collections characteristic of the Hutterite tradition, was a much more effective means of transmission.56 This is most obvious in a number of high profile cases of borrowing, or even plagiarizing, major treatises, biblical concordances, and congregational orders from other traditions.57 However, some of the most common means of transmission were likely collections of martyr stories and hymns.
Außbund Etlicher schöner Christlicher Geseng / Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen München
Both martyr stories and hymns played important roles in consolidating group identity and solidarity by reinforcing an awareness of being a persecuted minority in a hostile world. Initially, hand-written accounts of martyrdoms and collections of martyr stories were assembled locally with each group venerating its own martyrs. In 1615, however, a dramatic change came with the publication of the Doopsgezinde martyrology History of the Martyrs or Genuine Witnesses of Christ (Historie der Martelaren) by 58 one of the most influential books in subsequent Anabaptist tradition.59 Hymns were shared among Anabaptist groups in a similar fashion. The first printed Anabaptist hymn collection, Some Beautiful Christian Songs (1564), consisted of 51 hymns written by Philippites imprisoned in from 1535 to 1540 after fleeing persecution in Moravia. In 1583 these hymns were republished in the ,60 the best known and most influential Swiss Breathren hymnal, where they supplemented hymns not only from Swiss and Dutch Anabaptist sources, but from other traditions as well. Hymns from the Ausbund were in turn taken up in other collections in a variety of Anabaptist and Mennonite traditions respectively.61, which consciously drew on martyr accounts from a variety of Anabaptist groups in an effort to promote unity between them. This more inclusive approach was taken up in later Dutch Anabaptist martyrologies, including the 1685 edition of ,
As they moved across northern Europe, Anabaptist refugees were subjected to pressures that encouraged both assimilation with and differentiation from the surrounding society and other Anabaptists. Without a single dominant theological teacher or office, and with only limited ties to secular authority, they had no clearly defined orthodoxy or orthopraxis. Different Anabaptist groups did, however, share some basic assumptions about central teachings of the movement: that baptism should be administered to adults on the basis of a confession of faith, that the church was a voluntary association in some way separated from the world, that the leadership was non-sacerdotal and drawn from the community, and that members of the community were responsible for each other’s wellbeing through some sort of mutual sharing. The details of these teachings, and how they were to be implemented in the life of the community, varied between regions where the Anabaptist movement began. More variations developed as a result of the Anabaptists’ refugee experiences. Often these experiences encouraged conflict and further distinctions within the movement, as with the Hutterites and other Moravian Anabaptists, the Mennonites and the Doopsgezinden, the Amish and the Swiss Brethren. Throughout this process, though, the shared core of teachings persisted and encouraged attempts at unification, resulting in a shared perception of a common heritage.
- Contemporaries often applied the label “Anabaptist” to religious dissenters in general. In the 19th and 20th centuries, free-church historians, who identified the 16th-century Anabaptists as their own spiritual ancestors, narrowed the focus to “Evangelical Anabaptists”, associated especially with the movement stemming from Zurich and later that in the Netherlands and northern Germany identified with Menno Simons. The classic statement of this position is Bender, The Anabaptist Vision 1944. The scope of the definition was again widened and the multiple origins of the movement stressed in Stayer / Packull / Deppermann, From Monogenesis 1975. More recent scholarship has emphasized the developing theological unity between the different Anabaptist traditions, see Snyder, Anabaptist History 1995, pp. 83–98; idem, Beyond Polygenesis 1994.
- Bebbington, Baptists 2010, p. 25 calls the question of the relationship between continental Anabaptists and English Baptists “the most developed historiographical controversy concerning the Baptists”. In fact, this question has dogged the movement since the formation of the first Baptist congregation. The earliest Baptists usually disavowed any connection to Anabaptism. Serious suggestions of any association first appeared in the 18th century, and grew significantly in the 19th when enlisted in support of claims that an unbroken succession of believer’s baptism had existed in Christianity since the time of the apostolic church, see Kliever, General Baptist Origins 1962, pp. 291–292. The most ambitious thesis about the influence of Anabaptism on not only the English Baptist movement but also on the English separatist tradition in general is Horst, The Radical Brethren 1972. However, as critics of this thesis (e.g. White, The English Separatist Tradition 1971, pp. 161–164; Bebbington, Baptists 2010, pp. 29–30) have observed, the English “anabaptists” shared few characteristics with continental Anabaptists, and even believer’s baptism was not among them. A stronger case can be made for Anabaptist influence specifically on the formation of the General Baptists, a branch of the English Baptist tradition founded in an exile church in Amsterdam in 1608 or 1609 by John Smyth (ca. 1554–1612) and Thomas Helwys (ca. 1550–1616). Theologically the General Baptists were much closer to continental Anabaptists than were the more Calvinist Particular Baptists, and part of the first General Baptist congregation eventually joined the Doopsgezinden. However, the remainder of the congregation, which returned to England and laid the foundations for subsequent General Baptist history, may have broken with their fellows over the decision to join the Doopsgezinden. See Underwood, A History 1947, pp. 52–53; Kliever, General Baptist Origins 1962, pp. 303–315; Brachlow, The Community 1988, p. 156; Coggins, John Smyth’s Congregation 1991, pp. 61–114; Cross, The Adoption 2010, pp. 14–15.
- In some ways more spectacular is the story of Mennonite and Hutterite migrations to Russia beginning in the 18th century and ultimately to the United States, Canada, and Latin America in the 19th and 20th centuries. However, by that time many of the distinctive teachings and practices of the different Anabaptist groups had already been established as a result of migrations within Europe.
- Hutterian Brethren, The Chronicle 1987, vol. 1, p. 45.
- Blanke, Brothers in Christ 1961, p. 20.
- Harder, The Sources 1985, pp. 336–338.
- Snyder, The Birth 2006, pp. 538–581; Stayer, Die Anfänge 1975; Haas, Der Weg 1975; Hui, Vom Bauernaufstand 1989.
- Snyder, The Birth 2006, pp. 554–564.
- Sattler, Brüderliche Vereinigung 1527, http://nbn-resolving.de/urn%3Anbn%3Ade%3Abvb%3A12-bsb00027178-4
- Snyder, The Birth 2006, pp. 595–616. For an overview of the influence of Sattler’s Schleitheim Articles on subsequent Anabaptism, see idem, The Influence 1989.
- Roth, Marpeck 2007.
- On Hans Hut see Seebaß, Müntzers Erbe 2002.
- Bauman, The Spiritual Legacy 1991, p. 257.
- Stayer, The German Peasants’ War 1991, pp. 153–154. The best treatment of the roots of south German and Austrian Anabaptism and the roles of Hut and Denck in its origins remains Packull, Mysticism 1977. See also Dipple, The Spiritualist Anabaptists 2007.
- Deppermann, Melchior Hoffman 1987, pp. 162–203 remains one of the best summaries of religious developments in Strasbourg during this period. See also Stayer, Swiss-South German Anabaptism 2007, pp. 99–107; Dipple, The Spiritualist Anabaptists 2007, pp. 266–279; and Seebaß, Müntzers Erbe 2002.
- On the conflict between Hubmaier and Hut, see Packull, Mysticism 1977, pp. 99–106.
- Rothkegel, Anabaptist Sabbatarianism 2013, pp. 519–573.
- Marpeck has been the object of increasing interest in recent years. Among the best introductions to his life and thought are Klassen, Covenant 1968; Boyd, Pilgram Marpeck 1992; and Klaassen / Klassen, Marpeck 2008.
- Packull, Hutterite Beginnings 1995, pp. 214–235.
- ibidem, pp. 283–302.
- Rothkegel, Anabaptism 2007, pp. 185–189.
- On the Hutterites see Chudaska, Peter Riedemann 2003; Schlachta, Hutterische Konfession 2003; idem, From the Tyrol 2008; Rauert, Katalog 2011.
- Rothkegel, Anabaptism 2007, pp. 199–200.
- ibidem, pp. 207–210; Harrison, Andreas Ehrenpreis 1997.
- Revelation 21,2 describes the descent of a New Jerusalem which will serve as a haven during the tribulations of the apocalypse. Melchior Hoffman had earlier identified Strasbourg as the New Jerusalem.
- Vogler, Die Täuferherrschaft 2014.
- Waite, David Joris 1990.
- Stayer, The Radical Reformation 1995, pp. 273–274.
- Visser, Mennonites and Doopsgezinden 2007, pp. 299–343.
- The primary motivation of the early Swiss Anabaptists was to reinstate a fundamental practice of the New Testament church on the basis of the biblical record, see Harder, The Sources 1985, p. 335, pp. 427–428; Yoder, The Legacy 1973, p. 36; Pipkin, Balthasar Hubmaier 1989, pp. 95–149; Armour, Anabaptist Baptism 1966, pp. 19–57. By way of contrast Hans Hut and Melchior Hoffman both bequeathed to their followers an understanding of baptism including more mystical and eschatological themes, although both of these elements were later deemphasized, see Packull, Mysticism 1977, pp. 66–87; Deppermann, Melchior Hoffman 1987, pp. 229–240; Armour, Anabaptist Baptism 1966, pp. 58–112.
- For the most recent statements in the debate about the ecclesiology of the first Swiss Anabaptists, see Snyder, The Birth 2006; Strübind, Eifriger als Zwingli 2003.
- Packull, Hutterite Beginnings 1995, pp. 61–66, 87–89, 122–123, 214–235.
- Stayer, Vielweiberei 1980.
- Yoder, The Legacy 1973, pp. 36–42.
- Snyder, The Birth 2006, pp. 520–581.
- Stayer, Anabaptists and the Sword 1976, pp. xxv–xxvii, 150–159, 213–223.
- ibidem, pp. 309–328.
- Hutterian Brethren, The Chronicle 1987, vol. 1, pp. 47–50, 80.
- Stayer, The German Peasants’ War 1991, pp. 141–142.
- Klötzer, The Melchiorites 2007, p. 233.
- A clear statement of the radical separation adopted by the Hutterites is Peter Rideman’s Confession of Faith. See Stayer, Anabaptists and the Sword 1976, pp. 175–177; Rideman, Confession 1970, pp. 102–114, 131–136, 139–153, 205–223.
- Roth, Marpeck 2007, pp. 366–367.
- Van Braght, Martyrs Mirror 1950, p. 8; Zijlstra, Om de ware gemeente 2000, pp. 270–315; Visser, Mennonites and Doopsgezinden 2007, pp. 319–322.
- Roth, Letters of the Amish Division 1993, pp. 1–18.
- Oyer, The Anabaptists 2000, pp. 247–253.
- Stayer, The German Peasants’ War 1991, pp. 131, 146–147; Packull, Hutterite Beginnings 1995, p. 294.
- Rempel, Jörg Maler’s Kunstbuch 2010, p. 191; Gross, The Golden Years 1980, pp. 172–173.
- Harder, The Sources 1985, p. 345.
- Yoder, The Legacy 1973, pp. 44–45; Packull, Hutterite Beginnings 1995, pp. 33–53.
- Stayer, The German Peasants’ War 1991, pp. 144–146.
- ibidem, pp. 131–138.
- Roth, Marpeck 2007, p. 365.
- Packull, Hutterite Beginnings 1995, pp. 283–302.
- Rothkegel, Anabaptism 2007, pp. 208–209; Harrison, Andreas Ehrenpreis 1997.
- In addition to caring for the less fortunate in their own communities, they often reached beyond their own borders. Probably best known is their financial and political support for embattled Swiss Brethren in the 17th century, although they also provided support to the Hutterites and to non-Anabaptist persecuted minorities. See Bangs, Letters on Toleration 2004; Wälchli, Täufer 2010.
- For details of the Hutterite book culture, see Rothkegel, Anabaptism 2007, pp. 204–205.
- For example, Pilgram Marpeck’s Admonition of 1542 (Marpeck, Vermanung 1542) includes a careful reworking of Bernhard Rothmann’s Confession of Two Sacraments(Rothmann, Bekentnisse 1533, http://resolver.staatsbibliothek-berlin.de/SBB0000ACDC00000000), see Wray, The “Vermahnung” 1956. In a similar vein, by 1575 Menno Simons’ Foundation Book (Simons, Ein Fundament 1794, http://resolver.sub.uni-goettingen.de/purl?PPN240643674) had been translated into German and was widely circulated among the Swiss Brethren, see Roth, Marpeck 2007, p. 369. The first church order of the Hutterites was likely an expanded version of the earliest known Swiss congregational order, see Packull, Hutterite Beginnings 1995, pp. 33–53.
- Van Braght, Het bloedig tooneel 1685, https://disc.leidenuniv.nl/webclient/DeliveryManager?custom_att_2=simple_viewer&pid=2952159
- Gregory, Anabaptist Martyrdom 2007, pp. 496–499. A number of the Dutch Mennonite martyr accounts appear in Golden Apples in Silver Bowls, a published Swiss Brethren collection of documents and treatises that contain martyrological material, see Rempel, Anabaptist Religious Literature 2007, p. 415; Gross, Golden Apples 1999. The Chronicle of the Hutterian Brethren also includes a significant number of martyr accounts, although these are largely about members of the community or south German Anabaptists that the Hutterites regarded as their own forebears, see Hutterian Brethren, The Chronicle 1987–1998.
- [Anonymus], Ausbund 1583, http://www.mdz-nbn-resolving.de/urn/resolver.pl?urn=urn:nbn:de:bvb:12-bsb10207712-6
- Roth, Marpeck 2007, pp. 370–371; Rempel, Anabaptist Religious Literature 2007, p. 402; Rothkegel, Anabaptism 2007, p. 206. On the importance of hymns in encouraging perseverance in the face of persecution, see Gregory, Anabaptist Martyrdom 2007, pp. 474–475.
[Anonymus]: Ausbund etlicher schöner Christlicher Geseng, wie die in der Gefengnuß zu Passaw im Schloss von den Schweitzern, und auch von andern rechtgläubigen Christen hin und her gedicht worden, s.l. 1583; online: http://www.mdz-nbn-resolving.de/urn/resolver.pl?urn=urn:nbn:de:bvb:12-bsb10207712-6 [24.10.2014].
Bangs, Jeremy Dupertuis (ed.): Letters on Toleration: Dutch Aid to Persecuted Swiss and Palatine Mennonites 1615–1699, Rockport, MA 2004.
Bossert, Gustav (ed.): Quellen zur Geschichte der Wiedertäufer, Leipzig 1930, vol. 1 (Quellen und Forschungen zur Reformationsgeschichte 13).
Braght, Thielemann J. van: Het bloedig tooneel, of Martelaers Spiegel der Doops-Gesinde of Weereloose Christenen, die, om ‘t getuygenis van Jesus haren Salighmaker, geleden hebben, ende gedood zĳn, van Christi tĳd af, tot desen tĳd toe: Versamelt uyt verscheyde geloofweerdige Chronĳken, Memorien, en Getuygenissen, 2nd ed., Amsterdam 1685; online: https://disc.leidenuniv.nl/webclient/DeliveryManager?custom_att_2=simple_viewer&pid=2952159 [24/10/2014].
idem: The Bloody Theater or Martyrs Mirror of the Defenseless Christians: Who Baptized Only Upon Confession of Faith, and Who Suffered and Died for the Testimony of Jesus, Their Savior, From the Time of Christ to the Year A.D. 1660, 5th ed., Scottdale, PA 1950.
Braght, Thielemann J. van: The Bloody Theater or Martyrs Mirror of the Defenseless Christians: Who Baptized Only Upon Confession of Faith, and Who Suffered and Died for the Testimony of Jesus, Their Savior, From the Time of Christ to the Year A.D. 1660, 3rd ed., Elkhart, IN 1886; online: http://archive.org/details/MartyrsMirror [17/10/2014].
Gross, Leonard (ed.): Golden Apples in Silver Bowls: The Rediscovery of Redeeming Love, Lancaster, PA 1999 (Mennonite Sources and Documents 6).
Harder, Leland (ed.): The Sources of Swiss Anabaptism: The Grebel Letters and Related Documents, Scottdale, PA et al. 1985 (Classics of the Radical Reformation 4)
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Klassen, William et al. (ed.): The Writings of Pilgram Marpeck, Kitchener, ON 1978 (Classics of the Radical Reformation 2).
Lowry, James W. et al. (ed.): Documents of Brotherly Love: Dutch Mennonite Aid to Swiss Anabaptists, Millersburg, OH 2007, vol. 1: 1635–1709 (Dutch Mennonite–Swiss Anabaptist Document Series 2).
Marpeck, Pilgram: Vermanung, auch gantz klarer, gründtlicher und unwidersprechlicher Bericht zu warer christlicher, ewigbestendiger Pundtßuereynigung: Mit grund heyliger Schrifft, durch Bewerung warer Tauff und Abentmals Christi, s.l. 1542.
Pipkin, H. Wayne et al. (ed.): Balthasar Hubmaier: Theologian of Anabaptism, Scottdale, PA 1989 (Classics of the Radical Reformation 5).
Rauert, Matthias H. et al (ed.): Katalog der hutterischen Handschriften und der Drucke aus hutterischem Besitz in Europa, Gütersloh 2011, vol. 1–2 (Quellen und Forschungen zur Reformationsgeschichte, Quellen zur Geschichte der Täufer 18).
Rempel, John D. (ed.): Jörg Maler’s Kunstbuch: Writings of the Pilgram Marpeck Circle, Kitchener, ON 2010 (Classics of the Radical Reformation 12).
Rideman, Peter: Confession of Faith, 2nd ed., Rifton, NY 1970.
Roth, John D. (ed.): Letters of the Amish Division: A Sourcebook, Goshen, IN 1993.
Rothmann, Bernhard: Bekentnisse van beydem Sacramenten Doepe unde Nachmaele der predicanten tho Munster …, Münster 1533; online: http://resolver.staatsbibliothek-berlin.de/SBB0000ACDC00000000 [29/10/2014].
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Armour, Rollin Stely: Anabaptist Baptism: A Representative Study, Scottdale, PA 1966 (Studies in Anabaptist and Mennonite History 11).
Bauman, Clarence: The Spiritual Legacy of Hans Denck: Interpretation and Translation of Key Texts, Leiden et al. 1991 (Studies in Medieval and Reformation Thought 47).
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idem: Balthasar Hubmaier: Seine Stellung zu Reformation und Täufertum (1521–1528), Kassel 1961.
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Brachlow, Stephen: The Communion of Saints: Radical Puritan and Separatist Ecclesiology 1570–1625, Oxford et al. 1988 (Oxford Theological Monographs).
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Coggins, James Robert: John Smyth’s Congregation: English Separatism, Mennonite Influence, and the Elect Nation, Waterloo, ON et al. 1991 (Studies in Anabaptist and Mennonite History 32).
Cross, Anthony R.: The Adoption of Believer’s Baptism and Baptist Beginnings, in: idem et al. (ed.): Exploring Baptist Origins, Oxford 2010 (Centre for Baptist History and Heritage Studies 1), pp. 1–32.
Deppermann, Klaus: Melchior Hoffman: Social Unrest and Apocalyptic Visions in the Age of Reformation, Edinburgh 1987.
idem: Melchior Hoffman: Soziale Unruhen und apokalyptische Visionen im Zeitalter der Reformation, Göttingen 1979.
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Goertz, Hans-Jürgen (ed.): Umstrittenes Täufertum, 1525–1975: Neue Forschungen, Göttingen 1975.
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Haas, Martin: Der Weg der Täufer in die Absonderung, in: Hans-Jürgen Goertz (ed.): Umstrittenes Täufertum 1525–1975: Neue Forschungen, Göttingen 1975, pp. 50–78.
Harrison, Wes: Andreas Ehrenpreis and Hutterite Faith and Practice, Kitchener, ON et al. 1997 (Studies in Anabaptist and Mennonite History 36).
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Hui, Matthias: Von Bauernaufstand zur Täuferbewegung: Entwicklungen in der ländlichen Reformation am Beispiel des zürcherischen Grüninger Amtes, in: Mennonitische Geschichtsblätter 46 (1989), pp. 113–144.
Jecker, Hanspeter: Ketzer – Rebellen – Heilige: Das Basler Täufertum von 1580–1700, Liestal 1998.
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Klaassen, Walter / Klassen, William: Marpeck: A Life of Dissent and Conformity, Waterloo, ON et al. 2008 (Studies in Anabaptist and Mennonite History 44).
Klassen, William: Covenant and Community: The Life, Writings, and Hermeneutics of Pilgram Marpeck, Grand Rapids, MI 1968.
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idem: Mysticism and the Early South German-Austrian Anabaptist Movement 1525–1531, Scottdale, PA et al. 1977.
Rempel, John D.: Anabaptist Religious Literature and Hymnody, in: John D. Roth et al. (ed.): A Companion to Anabaptism and Spiritualism 1521–1700, Leiden et al. 2007 (Brill’s Companions to the Christian Tradition 6), pp. 389–422.
Roth, John D. et al. (ed.): A Companion to Anabaptism and Spiritualism 1521–1700, Leiden et al. 2007 (Brill’s Companions to the Christian Tradition 6).
idem: Marpeck and the Later Swiss Brethren 1540–1700, in: idem et al. (ed.): A Companion to Anabaptism and Spiritualism 1521–1700, Leiden et al. 2007 (Brill’s Companions to the Christian Tradition 6), pp. 347–386.
Rothkegel, Martin: Anabaptism in Moravia and Silesia, in: John D. Roth et al. (ed.): A Companion to Anabaptism and Spiritualism 1521–1700, Leiden et al. 2007 (Brill’s Companions to the Christian Tradition 6), pp. 163–210.
idem: Anabaptist Sabbatarianism in Sixteenth-Century Moravia, in: The Mennonite Quarterly Review 87 (2013), pp. 519–573.
Schlachta, Astrid von: Die Hutterer zwischen Tirol und Amerika: Eine Reise durch die Jahrhunderte, Innsbruck 2006.
idem: Hutterische Konfession und Tradition (1578–1619): Etabliertes Leben zwischen Ordnung und Ambivalenz, Mainz 2003 (Veröffentlichungen des Instituts für Europäische Geschichte 198).
idem: From the Tyrol to North America: The Hutterite Story Through the Centuries, Kitchener, ON 2008.
Schubert, Anselm et al. (ed.): Grenzen des Täufertums/Boundaries of Anabaptism Neue Forschungen. Beiträge der Konferenz in Göttingen vom 23.-27.08.2006, Gütersloh 2009 (Schriften des Vereins für Reformationsgeschichte 209).
Seebaß, Gottfried: Müntzers Erbe: Werk, Leben und Theologie des Hans Hut, Gütersloh 2002 (Quellen und Forschungen zur Reformationsgeschichte 73).
Snyder, Clifford Arnold: Anabaptist History and Theology: An Introduction, Kitchener, ON 1995.
idem: The Birth and Evolution of Swiss Anabaptism 1520–1530, in: The Mennonite Quarterly Review 80 (2006), pp. 501–645.
idem: The Influence of the Schleitheim Articles on the Anabaptist Movement: An Historical Evaluation, in: The Mennonite Quarterly Review 63 (1989), pp. 323–344.
idem: Beyond Polygenesis: Recovering the Unity and Diversity of Anabaptist Theology: in H. Wayne Pipkin (ed.): Essays in Anabaptist Theology, Elkhart, IN 1994, pp. 1–33.
Sprunger, Keith L.: English Puritans and Anabaptists in Early Seventeenth-Century Amsterdam, in: The Mennonite Quarterly Review 46 (1972), pp. 113–128.
Stayer, James M.: Anabaptists and the Sword, 2nd ed., Lawrence, KS 1976.
idem: Die Anfänge des schweizerischen Täufertums im reformierten Kongregationalismus, in: Hans-Jürgen Goertz (ed.): Umstrittenes Täufertum 1525–1975: Neue Forschungen, Göttingen 1975, pp. 19–49.
idem: The German Peasants’ War and Anabaptist Community of Goods, Montreal et al. 1991 (McGill-Queen’s Studies in the History of Religion 6).
idem: The Radical Reformation, in: Thomas A. Brady Jr. et al. (ed.): Handbook of European History 1400–1600: Late Middle Ages, Renaissance and Reformation, Leiden 1995, vol. 2: Visions, Programs, and Outcomes, pp. 249–276.
idem: Swiss-South German Anabaptism 1526–1540, in: John D. Roth et al. (ed.): A Companion to Anabaptism and Spiritualism 1521–1700, Leiden et al. 2007 (Brill’s Companions to the Christian Tradition 6), pp. 83–115.
idem: Vielweiberei als “innerweltliche Askese”: Neue Eheauffassungen in der Reformationszeit, in: Mennonitische Geschichtsblätter 32 (1980), pp. 24–41.
Stayer, James M. / Packull, Werner O. / Deppermann, Klaus: From Monogenesis to Polygenesis: The Historical Discussion of Anabaptist Origins, in: The Mennonite Quarterly Review 49 (1975), pp. 83–121.
Strübind, Andrea: Eifriger als Zwingli: Die frühe Täuferbewegung in der Schweiz, Berlin 2003.
Underwood, Alfred Clair: A History of the English Baptists, London 1947.
Visser, Piet: Mennonites and Doopsgezinden in the Netherlands 1535–1700, in: John D. Roth et al. (ed.): A Companion to Anabaptism and Spiritualism 1521–1700, Leiden et al. 2007 (Brill’s Companions to the Christian Tradition 6), pp. 299–343.
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Waite, Gary K.: David Joris and Dutch Anabaptism 1524–1543, Waterloo, ON 1990.
White, Barrington Raymond: The English Separatist Tradition: From the Marian Martyrs to the Pilgrim Fathers, London et al. 1971 (Oxford Theological Monographs).
Wray, Frank J.: The “Vermahnung” of 1542 and Rothmann’s “Bekenntnisse”, in: Archiv für Reformationsgeschichte 47, 1 (1956), pp. 243–251.
Zijlstra, Samme: Om de ware gemeente en de oude gronden: Geschiedenis van de dopersen in de Nederlanden 1531–1675, Hilversum et al. 2000.
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