Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Heinrich Bullinger

Heinrich Bullinger (July 18, 1504 - September 17, 1575) was a Swiss religious reformer. The son of Dean Heinrich Bullinger by his wife Anna (Wiederkehr), he was born at Bremgarten, Aargau.

He studied at Emmerich and Cologne, where the teaching of Peter Lombard led him, through Augustine of Hippo and Chrysostom, to first hand study of the Bible. Next the writings of Luther and Melanchthon appealed to him.

Appointed teacher (1522) in the cloister school of Cappel, he lectured on Melanchthon's Loci Communes (1521). He heard Zwingli at Zürich in 1527, and next year accompanied him to the disputation at Berne.

He was made pastor of Bremgarten in 1529, and married Anna Adlischweiler, a former nun, by whom he had eleven children. After the Battle of Cappel (October 11, 1531), in which Zwingli fell, he left Bremgarten. On December 9, 1531 he was chosen to succeed Zwingli as chief pastor of Zürich.

A strong writer and thinker, his spirit was essentially unifying and sympathetic, in an age when these qualities won little sympathy.

His controversies on the Lord's Supper with Luther, and his correspondence with Lelio Sozini, exhibit, in different connections, his admirable mixture of dignity and tenderness. With Calvin he concluded (1549) the Consensus Tigurinus on the Lord's Supper. The (second) Helvetic Confession (1566) adopted in Switzerland, Hungary, Bohemia and elsewhere, was his work. The volumes of the Zürich Letters, published by the Parker Society, testify to his influence on the English reformation in later stages.

Many of his sermons were translated into English (reprinted, 4 vols., 1849). His works, mainly expository and polemical, have not been collected. He died at Zürich.

Among his descendants was the noted Biblical scholar E.W. Bullinger.

See Carl Pestalozzi, Leben (1858); Raget Christoffel, H. Bullinger (1875); Justus Heer, in Hauck's Realencyklopädie (1897).

This entry was originally from the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.