The Radical Reformation





Document Type

Book Chapter


DOI: 10.4324/9781315537627-27


The Radical Reformers are so called because they sought to radicalize the theology and practice of the better-known Protestant Reformers. The word radicalize suggests that these reformers pushed certain Reformation claims to their logical conclusions. For the Radical Reformers, one’s geographical location or familial heritage could never serve as the basis of discipleship or membership in the church. While most of the Radical Reformers refused to participate in earthly government, they were expected to serve the Christian community and those outside the community. The distinctive practices of the Radical Reformers often put them at odds with more powerful forces in society. Many Christian groups of the Radical Reformation eventually settled in American colonies, primarily in an attempt to escape religious persecution in Europe. In terms of sheer numbers, the largest heirs of the Radical Reformation today are Mennonites, who are no longer predominantly of European origins.

Published in

The Christian Theological Tradition, 4th ed.

Citation/Other Information

Siggelkow, Ry O, and David S. Cunningham. “The Radical Reformation.” In The Christian Theological Tradition, 375–379. 4th ed. Routledge, 2020.

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