Community, Confederation, and Corpus Christianum: Defining "Gemeinde" in Huldrych Zwingli's Thought, 1525-1531

Kirk W. Goodlet


This essay investigates Zwingli's lexicon relating to "Gemeinde" (community) in his writing and provides an in-depth look at how this concept shaped the Reformation in Zurich and the Swiss Confederation. Far from the reductive idea of community which was limited to one's confraternity, guild, or network of kinship, Zwingli's concept of community was inherently linked to the Confederation and the broader corpus christianum. Through baptism and the Lord's Supper, all those Swiss living in accordance with Scripture became members of a larger transcendental Swiss community. The Reformation of the Confederation, for Zwingli, became a precondition for remaining God's elect.

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