Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Zurich and Iconoclasm

At the end of the RefoRC conference with the theme “The myth of the Reformation” held in Zurich, Peter Opitz, director of the Institute for Swiss Reformation History, took some of the conference attendees aside to give them background to the Reformation in Zurich.

One of the popular “myths” concerning the Zurich Reformation concerns iconoclasm. Iconoclasm first begun as a ‘lay’ response to the fiery sermons of Leo Jud at the St Peter’s Church. A similar pattern took place at the near by Fraumunster.

In time, the Zurich authorities wisely decided that future removal of images be done in an orderly manner. With respect to the Grossmunster the images were returned to the donors where known or systematically destroyed in an orderly fashion. It was not a ‘bull in a china shop’ approach.

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