Jörg Maler’s Kunstbuch
Writings of the Pilgram Marpeck Circle
John D. Rempel
Writings compiled in the sixteenth century provide a glimpse into the spiritual life of one fellowship during the Radical Reformation.
Scholars have been fascinated by Pilgram Marpeck and his circle since the rediscovery of the long-lost legacy of their writings, and that interest has not abated. This volume offers another part of that legacy to English-speaking readers, not only scholars but also inquiring general readers who might find theological insight and spiritual depth in the diverse writings that make up this anthology.
The didactic poems, passionate meditations, pastoral letters, and confessions in the Kunstbuch open a door into an intimate community. Maler’s collection is like an album of photographs taken over a period of thirty years, documenting the life of a family and its friends. In rare detail it records the existence of one kind of Anabaptism, preserving for posterity the personalities and issues, the brilliance and the tragedy that made it what it was.
The writing and compiling of the Kunstbuch arose from impassioned attempts to be the body of Christ faithfully and to trust God utterly in the midst of terrifying insecurity. In their faithfulness and trust, Marpeck’s people are a cloud of witnesses who have a claim on us today.
This is the twelfth volume in the Classics of the Radical Reformation, a series of Anabaptist and Free Church documents translated and annotated under the direction of the Institute of Mennonite Studies.