Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Arts




Dr. Darren Marks



This thesis examines the nature of Heinrich Bullinger’s (1504-1575) political theology as it pertained to the office of the Christian magistrate, arguing that the theological interpretation of magistrate was not only the backbone of Bullinger’s political system, but was also informed by his unique historical and political placement. Most accounts of Bullinger pay attention only to his historical situation and his theological convictions surrounding the causes of specific historical and theological circumstances in which Bullinger was involved. By considering contemporary studies on Bullinger and derived areas of political theology of the Reformation, Bullinger’s political theology emerges as unique with his central emphasis on the magistrate. Bullinger’s definition of a magistrate as responsible for ensuring that the state reflected God’s love and for maintaining order reflects Bullinger’s understanding of the chief duty of the individual Christian and, by extension the state, while also accounting for his particular experience and placement in history as it pertained to Zurich and England under Edward VI.