Zwingli: Third Man of the Reformation

By Jean Rilliet and Harold Knight (translator)

A comprehensive analysis of Zwingli’s life and his role in the reformation, in Switzerland and beyond

ISBN: 9780227179635


Ulrich, or Huldrych, Zwingli of Zürich is the ‘great unknown’ of the Reformation in Europe, and yet his influence and ideas have penetrated into every part of the world where the Reformed tradition has been planted. He was neither a passionate man of religion like Luther, nor a superb dialectician like Calvin. But in his lucid radicalism and belief in thorough reform in Church doctrine as well as in government, Zwingli stands with his two more famous brethren as a ‘Father of the Reformation’.

First published in English in 1964, Jean Rilliet’s biography places Zwingli in the context of Swiss church history, as well as that of the sixteenth-century upheaval of which he was a part. Covering every aspect of Zwingli’s career, with detailed discussion of his more influential writings, the picture that emerges is one of a ‘fighting prophet’, unremittent in his search for God in this most turbulent of times.

Additional information



Trade Information JPOD

About the Author

Jean Rilliet (1908-1980) was a Swiss reformed theologian. After studying in Strasbourg, Lausanne, Glasgow and Basel, he served as a pastor in Switzerland and abroad, and from 1964 at the Cathedral of St Pierre in Geneva. His doctoral thesis, on Alexandre Vinet, was completed in 1938, and in 1940 he was appointed lecturer at the University of Geneva, with research interests in Calvin, Barth and Ignatian theology. Besides his academic work, Rilliet wrote extensively on religion for the Geneva Tribune.

Endorsements and Reviews

An exceedingly well planned volume, which, after an introductory essay on the Swiss people, takes the reader through every important aspect of Zwingli’s career, including Marburg with all of its political and theological difficulties, and even manages to seize upon the appearance of Zwingli’s Commentarius de vera et false religione (1525) to offer a descriptive review of Zwingli’s theology in the course of some thirty pages. . . . A sound, eminently readable, even absorbing biography, that teaches us more about Zwingli, and does him greater justice, than any comparable volume I am aware of. Bart Thompson, in Church History