Inventing Authority

Inventing Authority

The Use of the Church Fathers in Reformation Debates over the Eucharist

by Esther Chung-Kim

230 pages, 6.00 x 9.00 in

  • Hardcover
  • ISBN: 9781602582132
  • Published: March 2011

$49.95

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Adding great historical insight to the events of the sixteenth century, Inventing Authority uncovers how and why the Protestant reformers came, in their dissent from the Catholic church, to turn to the Church Fathers and align their movements with the early church. Discovering that the reformers most frequently appealed to patristic sources in polemical contexts, Esther Chung-Kim adeptly traces the variety and creativity of their appeals to their forebears in order to support their arguments--citing them to be authoritative for being "exemplary scriptural exegetes" to "instruments of choice".


Examining three generations of sixteenth-century reformers--from such heavy-weights as Calvin and Luther to lesser-known figures like Oecolampadius and Hesshusen--Chung-Kim offers an analysis of striking breadth, one that finds its center by focusing in on the perennially contentious topic of the Eucharist. Filling a significant lacuna in the early history of the Lutheran and Reformed traditions, Inventing Authority is an important and eye-opening contribution to Reformation studies.