Monday, January 11, 2010

Amica Exegesis

    In February 1527 Zwingli completed his Amica Exegesis, 'friendly exposition'. one of the most revealing of his many writings, in which he genuinely tried to combine manly independence with reconciliation but found the task impossible. He tried to be tolerant and brotherly but was in too much of a hurry to understand fully the developing subtlety and conviction of Luther's thought.

    He bases some of his discussion, for example, on the Lutheran reply to the notorious Assertio septem sacramentorum written, or at any rate inspired, by Henry VIII in 1521. Since this rejoinder contained more abuse than argument, it was hardly worth powder and shot five years later.

    Further, the Amica exegesis is not based on any close study of Luther's writings, not all of which were in any case available in Zurich, and there was the distraction of the appearance of a new edition of the Swabian Syngramma with a commendatory introduction by Luther, and the need to defend Leo Jud against attackers.

    None the less it is one of Zwingli's most serious and most characteristic writings, appearing at the very height of his powers. In one sense a harmonious note was struck at the outset - justification by faith was willingly conceded. Without faith, discussion was vain - pro veritate ex fide pugnamus.
Potter, G. R., Zwingli. Cambrindge University Press. Cambridge. 1976. page 303

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