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Inventing Authority: The Use of the Church Fathers in Reformation Debates over the Eucharist
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Inventing Authority: The Use of the Church Fathers in Reformation Debates over the Eucharist


Baylor University Press 2011

Runs on Windows, Mac and mobile.


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 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.”

Examining three generations of sixteenth-century Reformers—from such heavyweights 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 gap in the early history of the Lutheran and Reformed traditions, Inventing Authority is an important and eye-opening contribution to Reformation studies.

In the Logos edition, this volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

Trace the continuity of Reformed theology to and from the Reformation with The Reformation: Roots and Ramifications.

Key Features

  • Examines how the Reformation drew on the writings of Church Fathers
  • Covers three generations of Reformation theologians
  • Focuses on the debate over the Eucharist


  • Reformation of the Ancient Tradition: Interpreting the Fathers in the Eucharistic Debates
  • Colloquy of Marburg (1529): The Fathers as Allies or Liabilities
  • John Calvin’s Use of the Fathers in the Institutes and New Testament Commentaries
  • John Calvin and Joachim Westphal: First Phase of the Debate (1557–1556)
  • Calvin and Westphal, Continued: Second Phase of the Debate (1557–1558)
  • Calvin versus Hesshusen: The Fathers as a Challenge to Biblicla Interpretation
  • Use of the Fathers at the Colloquy of Montbéliard (1586): Theodore Beza versus Jacob Andreae

Praise for the Print Edition

This is a valuable contribution to our understanding of the use of the fathers in Reformation times.

Anthony N.S. Lane, professor of historical theology, London School of Theology

Inventing Authority is well-researched and thought-provoking, and will be of interest to the scholar, the student, and the informed layperson.

Expository Times

A thoughtful and important study. Chung-Kim’s treatment of the Calvin-Westphal debate—the focal point of the book—is especially to be commended.

—Irena Backus, professor of religious studies, Institut d’histoire de la Réformation, Université de Genève

Product Details

About Esther Chung-Kim

Esther Chung-Kim is assistant professor of religious studies at Claremont McKenna College.

Sample Pages from the Print Edition