Heidelberg Catechism

   The 1563 Heidelberg Catechism is still the most popular catechism for use by the Reformed churches around the world. It was initiated by Frederick III, the elector of the Palatinate, who like all German princes held the right under the 1555 Peace of Augsburg to choose the state religion. It was composed primarily by Zacharius Ursinus (1534-83) and Caspar Olevianus (1536-87), with help from the theological faculty at the University of Heidelberg, following the standard format of question and answer on the basic subjects of the Christian Faith. A church synod in Heidelberg in January 1563 approved the document; before the end of the year, two slightly revised editions and a Latin translation were published. Resourceful church leaders divided it into 50 sections so that it could be taught sunday by sunday through a calendar year.
   The large Lutheran minority in the Palatinate complained to the German imperial diet that the new catechism, written from a Reformed perspective, was heretical. Frederick was brought before the diet in 1566, but was able to exonerate himself with the assistance of Heinrich Bullinger, the Swiss Reformed leader from Zurich.
   Subsequently, the catechism spread throughout Europe, getting it biggest boost from the Synod of Dort (1618-19). As the Reformed Church became global in the 19th century, the catechism was translated into a number of Asian and African languages.
   The Christian Reformed Church of North America adopted "a modern and accurate [English] translation" as an official document in 1975.
   Further reading:
   ■ Karl Barth, The Heidelberg Catechism for Today (Richmond, Va.: John Knox Press, 1964)
   ■ The Heidelberg Catechism (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Christian Reformed Church, 1975)
   ■ Herman Hoeksema, Triple Knowledge, An Exposition of the Heidelberg Confession (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Kregel Publications, 1972)
   ■ George W. Richards, The Heidelberg Catechism: Historical and Doctrinal Studies (Philadelphia: Reformed Church in the U.S., 1913)
   ■ Zacharias Ursinus, Commentary on the Heidelberg Catechism, trans. and ed. by G. Willard (Philipsburg, Pa.: Presbyterian & Reformed Press, 1985).

Encyclopedia of Protestantism. . 2005.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Heidelberg Catechism — The Heidelberg Catechism is a Protestant confessional document taking the form of a series of questions and answers, for use in teaching Reformed Christian doctrine. It has been translated into many languages and is regarded as one of the most… …   Wikipedia

  • Heidelberg Catechism — ▪ religion       Reformed confession of faith that is used by many of the Reformed churches. It was written in 1562 primarily by Caspar Olevianus, the superintendent of the Palatinate church, and Zacharias Ursinus, a professor of the theological… …   Universalium

  • Heidelberg Catechism —    A Protestant catechism formulated by a group of theologians, commissioned by Elector Palatine Freder ick III. It was published in Heidelberg, Germany, in 1563. Petrus Dathenustranslated this catechism into Dutch, and ever since, it has been… …   Historical Dictionary of the Netherlands

  • HEIDELBERG CATECHISM —    a CALVINIST confession of FAITH written in 1562 in Heidelberg …   Concise dictionary of Religion

  • Heidelberg Catechism —  Гейдельбергский катехизис …   Вестминстерский словарь теологических терминов

  • Heidelberg (disambiguation) — Heidelberg as a place name: *Heidelberg, Germany *Heidelberg, Victoria, Australia *Heidelberg, Ontario (near Kitchener, Ontario), Canada*South Africa: **Heidelberg, Gauteng **Heidelberg, Western Cape*United States: **Heidelberg, Pennsylvania… …   Wikipedia

  • Catechism — A catechism (pronEng|ˈkætəkɪzəm; gr. κατηχισμός) is a summary or exposition of doctrine, traditionally used in Christian religious teaching from New Testament times to the present. [ [http://bible.crosswalk.com/Lexicons/Greek/grk.cgi?number=2727… …   Wikipedia

  • catechism — catechismal, adj. /kat i kiz euhm/, n. 1. Eccles. a. an elementary book containing a summary of the principles of the Christian religion, esp. as maintained by a particular church, in the form of questions and answers. b. the contents of such a… …   Universalium

  • Geneva Catechism — ▪ religion       doctrinal confession prepared by John Calvin (Calvin, John) to instruct children in Reformed theology. Recognizing that his first catechism (1537) was too difficult for children, Calvin rewrote it. He arranged the Geneva… …   Universalium

  • Westminster Shorter Catechism — The Westminster Shorter Catechism (also known simply as the Shorter Catechism, hereinafter referred to as the WSC) was written in the 1640s by English and Scottish divines. The assembly also produced the Westminster Confession of Faith and the… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.