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Heinrich Bullinger's Original Publications Online


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Online-Service mit Zugang zu 189 Originalausgaben der Schriften Heinrich Bullingers (1504-1575) in lateinischer und deutscher Sprache. Enthalten ist auch eine Auswahl von rezeptionsgeschichtlich bedeutenden Übersetzungen ins Lateinische, Französische, Deutsche, Englische und Niederländische. Die Werke stammen vorwiegend aus den Beständen der Zentralbibliothek Zürich.

Heinrich Bullinger's Original Publications Online

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Brill Academic Publishers

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Heinrich Bullinger (1504-1575) has always been overshadowed by his predecessor Huldrych Zwingli and his Genevan counterpart Jean Calvin. Yet it was Bullinger who saved the Reformation in Zurich after Zwingli was killed. In remembrance of the 500th birthday of this influential theologian in 2004, IDC has newly cataloged its microfiche collection of original publications by Bullinger, using internationally accepted bibliographic standards.


The works of Heinrich Bullinger

This collection contains a selection of Heinrich Bullinger's works in Latin and German. In some cases translations of Bullinger's works into Latin, French, German, English and Dutch have been included because of their importance. This selection is of particular value for Reformation research in that Bullinger has always been overshadowed by Calvin and Zwingli. This situation is biased, if not wrong. In the first place, it was Bullinger who saved the Reformation in Zurich after Zwingli was killed at Kappel in 1531. And in the second pace, not only before, but also during and after Calvin (1509-1564), Bullinger can be seen as at least the equal of the Geneva Reformer for Reformed Protestantism as far as his influence and his importance are concerned. The term Calvinism, used as key word, is already found in the mid-sixteenth century in the discussions between the Reformed churches in Rome, Lutheranism, and the Radicals. But this word is misleading, because in this period the Reformed Churches had two main centers and two spiritual leaders, Zurich with Bullinger and Geneva with Calvin. Bullinger and Calvin were friends and companions who had much in common with respect to theology, church organizations, and other ecclesiastical activities, as well as the influence they exerted. All the same, it is by no means justified to describe them both as Calvinists, either from a general point of view or in terms of specific details. But there is above all another reason: Calvin's work has long been and still is a subject of research, whereas Bullinger's theological and ecclesiastical activities and his general importance for church and secular history have received little or no attention.

Far-reaching influence

There have always been some scholars who have argued that Bullinger does not deserve this shadow existence; and more recent studies have confirmed his far-reaching influence and sometimes unique effect before, during and after the time of Calvin. This applies to Bullinger's role in the consolidation and spreading of the Reformed Churches as well as to their constitution, theology and confessions, and also to their influence on the political, economic and social development of large parts of Europe (e.g., the Swiss Confederation, Germany, the Netherlands, Great Britain, France and Hungary) and the New World. His influence and impact are seen in roughly 100 publications in Latin and German, the most important of which were reprinted many times and translated into other languages before his death. But this is even more evident from the innumerable still unpublished manuscripts and his unusually large correspondence comprising about 12,000 letters. For several decades, Bullinger's house functioned as a kind of agency where the latest news from all over Europe was collected, analyzed and passed on. And here Bullinger played an advisory role in both ecclesiastical and political matters that could not be treated through the official channels. For the many who needed advice and counsel all over Europe (including Calvin), he was a wise 'oracle' and an energetic helper.

Fritz Büsser

Publication history

Heinrich Bullinger's Original Publications was first published by IDC in 1982 as the first chapter of Reformed Protestantism 1: Switzerland and Geneva. In the past two decades, several works were added to the Bullinger collection, which now comprises 189 titles. Some titles in the present edition have not been issued by IDC before. Although the majority of the books was filmed from the rich holdings of the Zentralbibliothek Zurich, the collection includes works from seven other libraries as well.


During the last 46 years, IDC has amassed a 'library' of well over 800,000 items on the Arts, Philology, History of Science, Economics & Social Sciences, History, Jewish Studies, Religion, Law, and Area Studies. Of course, it would be impossible to catalog all these materials according to the standards mentioned above. However, some collections qualify for 'retroconversion' because they have proven to be of high importance to the scholarly community worldwide. Another criterium is the prominent place they take within any of the major disciplines IDC is active in. Such is the case with Heinrich Bullinger, who is one of the key figures in Reformed Protestantism, a series that is regularly supplemented by IDC. The choice for Bullinger also emanates from the fact that in 2004 the 500th birthday of the Zurich Reformer is celebrated. If the availability of MARC records leads to renewed interest in the Bullinger microfiche collection, other parts of the Reformed Protestantism series will likely be re-cataloged as well.

Subject access

All bibliographic records in this collection contain at least one subject or genre heading, such as "Lord's Supper" or "Sermons." If applicable, an entry for a translator or co-author was created as well. Brill Academic Publishers gratefully acknowledges its debt to Prof. Dr. Fritz Büsser, who reviewed all bibliographic descriptions and made sure all access points are correct. Thanks to his expertise, the richness in access points offers scholars an opportunity for deeper levels of information.

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