Ulrich Zwingli

Ulrich ZwingliProfile

Founder of the Reformation in Switzerland. After completing studies in theology at Berne, Vienna, and Basel, he was made pastor of Glarus (15061516). An ardent supporter of humanism, he was conspicuous for political activity, more interested in secular disputes than doctrinal innovations, until 1522 when he attacked the ecclesiastical law of fasting and asserted that the Bible was the sole rule of faith. The town council of Zurich accepted the innovations of Zwingli after presentation of his 67 theses, 1523, and in the following year church property was seized by the state, and abolition of the sacraments, celibacy, indulgences, veneration of images, and good works was begun. In 1525 the Mass was replaced by the memorial service of the Last Supper. The Catholic cantons united against him, and in a public disputation held at Baden, 1525, Johann Eck of Ingolstadt won a complete victory for the old Faith. In 1528 Berne adopted the heresy as completely as Zurich, and to force the new doctrines on the Catholic cantons, Zwingli urged civil war. His insolence as ecclesiastical and political leader of Zurich forced the Catholics to arms. They were victorious, while Zwingli fell in battle, 1531. Interpretation of his doctrine was developed by his successor, Heinrich Bullinger (15041575), whose attempt at union with Luther on the question of the Lord’s Supper failed, though he reached an agreement with Calvin on the question at Geneva, 1545. The “Second Helvetic Confession,” published 1566, expressing Bullinger’s personal religious conviction, was recognized by all Evangelical Churches except Basel.

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MLA Citation

  • “Ulrich Zwingli”. New Catholic Dictionary. CatholicSaints.Info. 22 November 2018. Web. 18 April 2021. <>