Martin Bucer (Butzer) (1491-1551)

Strasbourg Reformer, professor of Divinity at Cambridge.

One of the first generation of Reformers following Luther, Bucer became acquainted with Erasmus and at Heidelberg with Martin Luther, becoming an enthusiastic Protestant. He was one of the first Reformers to marry (1522), and became a key leader of the Reformation movement in Strasbourg from 1523 and an influence on Calvin.

Bucer's liturgies influenced the Genevan and Scottish churches through Calvin and Knox. He was an important figure at church conferences between Lutheran, Reformed, and Catholic including at Regensburg in 1541. His theology moved from Luther to Zwingli on the sacraments and he sought to accommodate radical concerns for church discipline.

Cranmer welcomed him to England in 1548 where Bucer became professor of Divinity at Cambridge a few years before he died. His influence can be seen on the 1549 Book of Common Prayer.

David F Wright notes that although his greatness was eclipsed by others, he "highlighted the importance of love and service in community, an ordered and disciplined church life, and personal holiness. He was a profuse biblical commentator (here too a source for Calvin), a humanist advocate of patristic antiquity, a pastoral theologian, and a zealous, even risqué irenicist." (J D Douglas, New International Dictionary of the Christian Church, Paternoster, 1974)

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