Pfarramt, Geography, and the Order of the Church: a Formal Opinion from Wittenberg

This is my title given to my translation of a formal Wittenberg faculty opinion written on July 24, 1536.  It is found in WA Br 7, 476-479 and St. L. 10, 264-265. The opinion was sent to Leonhard Beyer, the Parish Rector (Pfarrherr / pastor) of Zwickau.

There are many aspects to the Opinion that are of interest.  But the primary motivation for the translation for me was that it was a very concrete example by which to demonstrate the local geographical assumptions built into the concept of “Pfarrherr”  (pastor, parish rector) and “parish” for the reformers.  This aspect of geography and the local parish as part of their working with the doctrine of the ministry is easily lost upon those only familiar with a modern ‘congregational’ concept which is entirely focused on ‘people’ and ‘members’ and which is almost entirely without any conceptual reference to ‘geography’.

Originally published in Concordia Theological Quarterly 81, no.3 (2017): 239-247.

Also here.