In their zeal to tell the true story of sixteenth-century
radicalism, some sympathizers of the Anabaptist movement have
portrayed the once maligned individuals and groups as innocent,
pious people who suffered cruel persecution at the hands of the
wicked state-churchmen. Their side of the story is thus often as
one-sided as was the story of the enemies of Anabaptism.
This book, written by a Mennonite scholar, seeks to understand
the reasons for the clash between Luther and the radicals, a point
often neglected when one or the other side is emphasized. The study
keeps Luther, however, in a central position, exploring the issues
which led to the Reformer's attitude toward the radicals and
analyzing the principles that were at stake in his struggle with
the dissident groups.
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