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708BOOK REVIEWS Protestant Politics:Jacob Sturm (1489-1553) and the German Reformation. By Thomas A. Brady,Jr. [Studies in German Histories.] (Atlantic Highlands, NewJersey: Humanities Press. 1995. Pp. xix, 449. $65.00.) In delineating the career of Strasbourg's greatest poUtical leader of the Reformation era,Jacob Sturm,Thomas Brady also offers the reader the finest detaUed narrative of the poUtical history of the early German Reformation that is avaUable in any language. Beginning as a local magistratejacob Sturm was propeUed onto the Imperial stage by the Reformation movement and the confessional parties that it engendered. Sturm became the leading city poUtician in the Schmalkald League, the partner of Landgraf PhiUp of Hesse, and he spent the best years ofhis Ufe representing the south German cities Ui imperial affairs. He experienced Ultimately the great poUtical events ofhis generation: the Peasants' War of 1524-25, the Imperial Diets of the 1520's, '30's, and '40's, the formation of the Schmalkald League, the Protestant defeat Ui the Schmalkald War, the Interim and its aftermath. Although he beUeved that laws could not change beUefs , as a good "MarsigUan" he suppressed reUgious dissenters in Strasbourg whUe tacitiy encouraging diversity of opinion in the Strasbourg Latin school. Both Marbach and Jean Sturm, ferocious opponents of each other, could plausibly claim his legacy. His greatest achievement, according to Brady, came when he almost single-handedly charted Strasbourg's recovery from the Interim and the threat of clerically led revolution within his Alsatian city. His story is the story of the politics of first-generation German Protestantism on both the imperial and the local level. Brady places his poUtical narrative m a larger framework. Playing off the nUieteenth-century preoccupation with German nationaUsm and faUed opportunities to buUd a nation-state, Brady contrasts the faUures of the Protestant project on the imperial level with its success in various local contexts. In general, he shows how the Emptfe's medieval heritage of particularism and locaUsm allowed Protestantism to flourish and take roots while at the same time limited its abUity to become an enduring unified national force. The structure of the Holy Roman EmpUe bears heavier responsibUity for the fate of German Protestantism than does the aUegedly deficient or conservative nature of EvangeUcal theology whether Luther's, Bucer's, or ZwingU's. This is a poUtical biography that transcends the genre. Mark U. Edwards,Jr. St. OlafCollege Martin Bucer: Reforming Church and Community. Edited by D. F. Wright. (NewYork: Cambridge University Press. 1994. Pp. xiv, 195. $59 95.) Scholars have long recognized the important place held by the church Ui Martin Bucer's theology. This coUection of essays, pubUshed to commemorate ...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-0708
Print ISSN
0008-8080
Pages
p. 708
Launched on MUSE
2016-10-05
Open Access
No
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