Kuhler remarked that: "The break was so complete that Obbenites and Melchiorites
no longer wanted to bear the name of 'Coventanter,' which had been tarnished by the revolutionaries.
Their thirteen comprehensive essays cover the contributions of Karlstadt and Muntzer to the Reformation of the Commoners, the beginnings of Swiss Anabaptism, Swiss and South German Anabaptism from 1526 to 1540, Schwenckfeld and Frank on early modern spiritualism, Anabaptism in Moravia and Silesia, the Melchiorites
and Munster, the spiritualist Anabaptists, Mennonites and Doopsgezinden in the Netherlands from 1535 to 1700, Marpeck and the later Swiss Brethren, Anabaptism literature and hymnody, women and gender roles in Anabaptist and spiritualist groups, Anabaptism martyrdom and its considerations, and the role of Anabaptism in the early modern state.
Isaak calls it a spiritual biography, which is an apt label since it places Menno within the broader theological milieu that gripped the Netherlands in the 1530s, explores his early links with the Melchiorites
, and highlights Menno's changing explanation of his relationship with those involved in the tragedy at Munster.
Derksen provides detailed stories of landowners, educated Schwenckfeldians and Melchiorites
, educated Strasbourg citizens and village leaders.
In Strasbourg, women with Spiritualist orientations tended to appear in three main groups: Melchiorites
, Schwenckfeldians, and Steinbachians.
There is no clear evidence that Calvin had another meeting with Johannes Bomeromenus, (51) but it is likely that he did so with Herman de Gerbihan, who had joined the Melchiorites
.(52) On February 27, 1540, Calvin wrote to Farel:
c) English: (190) In Edwardian England, John Veron's English translation of Bullinger's Von dem unverschampten frafel (1548 and 1551) set in motion a growing interest in Anabaptism.(191) The second main section of the Brieve Instruction, which provided an effective antidote to the Melchiorites
, who had been active in England since 1532, was anonymously translated and published in London in 1549 as A short instruction for to arme all good Christian people agaynst the pestiferous errors of the common secte of Anabaptistes [including a letter of dedication byl Myster John Calvine.
Whether beliefs in free will separated Melchiorite
Anabaptists from the Anabaptists of the south is a difficult issue, because the Melchiorites
were more explicitly theological than the southern Anabaptists, with the exception of Balthasar Hubmaier and Hans Denck, who had a definite affirmation of free will in their soteriologies.
(468) In an interesting aside, when one of the Reformed preachers attempted to link Melchior Hoffman and his incarnational teaching to the Swiss Anabaptist disputants, they answered that they considered him no brother of theirs, and stated that "we hold his view, as we have heard it from him and others like him, to be an error." (469) These Swiss Anabaptists of the late 1530s had been in conversation with Melchiorite
Anabaptists, and considered themselves not to be "brothers," even though, as the Reformed pastors pointed out, the Melchiorites
also were "Anabaptists."
(564.) See Werner Packull, "The Melchiorites
and the Ziegenhain Order of Discipline, 1538-39," in Walter Klaassen, ed., Anabaptism Revisited (Scottdale, Pa.: Herald Press, 1992), 11-28.
Chapters 4 through 6 trace how this rhetorical instability plays out in subsequent Anabaptist writings among Hutterites, Melchiorites
, and Dutch and Swiss Mennonites.