The Munsterite Kingdom – 1534 – 1535
It is well known that the events at Munster in 1534-35 represent one of the basic reasons why Baptist historians are sometimes reluctant to trace their denomination’s origin from the Anabaptist movement of the sixteenth century. The author of this article offers a new look at the unfortunately well-known events of the “Munsterite kingdom,” comparing them with analagous events in the ancient church and also in contemporary Anabaptist, Roman Catholic, and Protestant (Lutheran, Zwinglian) history. A comparative analysis shows that the situation in Munster applied to the radical wing of the Anabaptists only and was, at the same time, not that far beyond the bound aries of religious practice common in Europe at the time. The moderate Anabaptist wing condemned the events at Munster, and future development of the movement, especially among the Mennonites, moved in the direction of absolute pacifism.
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