Gutersloh, Germany: Gutersloher Verlagshaus Gerd Mohn, 1961. First Edition. 8vo. 308 pp. pp. Original cloth (a trifle dusty). NOT ex-library! Very good. Item #3158
The definitive, critical biography of Johannes Zwick (ca. 1496-1542) who with his brother Konrad, and Ambrosius and Thomas Blarer, implemented the Reformation in Constance and "deputized" other brothers in other communities.
¶ Zwick is one of the most famous Protestant reformers from Constance; he matriculated at the University of Freiburg where he associated with Bruno and Basilius Amerbach. In 1518, the year he was ordained, Zwick went for three years to Italy in order to continue his studies; the became familiar with the "causa Lutheri" and received the degree of Doctor iuris utriusque in Siena 1521. Next he taught at the University of Basel where he joined the local circle of humanists, which included Erasmus. Zwick soon embraced the Reformation after reading Martin Luther, and preached the Protestant doctrine in a parish in Riedlingen from 1522 onward.
¶ Zwick opposed the Peasants War (1524-1525) but nonetheless the rebels named him one of the arbitrators in their negotiations with the Swabian League. He returned to Constance and served as preacher at St. Stephens. Together with his friend (and relative) Ambrosius Blarer (1492-1564), Zwick established and organized the Reformation in Constance.
¶ After Blarer's departure in 1531, the spiritual leadership of Constance fell solely to Zwick. In 1529 he endorsed the abolition of images. With the support of the City Council, Zwick served resolutely for the "unitas ecclesiae" in Constance and opposed everyone who could endanger this unity, including Anabaptists and Schwenkfelders. All of his writings show a decidedly pastoral and pedagogical preoccupation. In 1536 he refused to sign the Wittenberg Concord. ¶ His prayer book for young people (Gebätt fur Jung Lut, ca. 1540) is considered one of the best contemporary sources of protestant devotional literature. Equally important was Zwick's contribution to the Constance hymnal (Nuw gesangbuch, 1540), which contains seventeen of his own hymns and is counted among the best musical accomplishments of the Reformation. Some of his hymns (e.g. "All' Morgen ist ganz frisch und neu") remain popular to this day. Zwick died of Plague at Bischofszell in Thurgau in 1542.