Geschichte der Bernischen Täufer
Geschichte der Bernischen Täufer nach den Urkunden dargestellt (Frauenfeld, 1895, 411 pages) by Ernst Müller, a Swiss Reformed pastor in Langnau, Emmental, Switzerland, is a most valuable historical work on the Bernese Anabaptists, which led in part to the honorary doctor's degree for its author in 1904 from the University of Jena. The spirit of the author is well communicated by his preface, in which he says:
The justification of this work lies in the fact that this section of Swiss church history has never before been treated, and therefore a gap will be filled, not only in this field, but also in the history of that great spiritual movement of the Reformation known as Anabaptism. . . . This is a martyr church, which has its justification and its strength in its history. The willingness to sacrifice and the dedication to ideal values which those manifested who suffered for their faith deserves to be snatched from the forgotten past as a monument to the character of this people.
In 20 thoroughly scholarly chapters, based on primary sources, the author traces the Bernese Anabaptists from the canton of Bern in 1525 to the early 19th century in North America. The first 90 pages are occupied with the 16th-century movement in Bern, followed by a short chapter on Bernese Anabaptists in Moravia and Russia (Hutterites). The major section of the book, pp. 104-313, is devoted largely to the persecution of the Anabaptists-Mennonites by the Bernese authorities and their emigration to Basel, Alsace, Palatinate, Holland, and Pennsylvania. Further chapters treat the Amish division, the fate of the Swiss in Holland, Prussia, and Neuenburg, the Anabaptist hunters (Täuferjäger), the Swiss Mennonites in North America, and a brief account of the Bernese Mennonites in their native canton in the 19th century.
The author is remarkably objective and sympathetic. He does not spare his own church and government. A valuable feature of the book is its exploitation of the rich materials in the Amsterdam Mennonite Archives on the Swiss and Palatine Mennonites of the years from 1650 to 1750.
Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe; Schneider, 1913-1967: III, 176.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, p. 507. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Bender, Harold S. "Geschichte der Bernischen Täufer." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1956. Web. 20 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/geschichte_der_bernischen_taufer.
APA style: Bender, Harold S. (1956). Geschichte der Bernischen Täufer. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 20 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/geschichte_der_bernischen_taufer.