Date of Award

Summer 1982

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



Committee Director

Charles H. Haws

Committee Member

Peter C. Stewart

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.H47S28


The Anabaptist movement has been judged unfairly as a radical religious sect that brought destruction and chaos to sixteenth century continental European society. this judgment is based upon the events which occurred at Munster, 1534-35, when a group of Radical Anabaptists under the leadership of Jan Matthys and Jan Brockelson forcibly ruled the city.

This thesis shows that the actions and beliefs of the Radical Anabaptists at Munster represent only a small fraction of the Anabaptist movement. Much of this misunderstanding is due to the problem of defining and categorizing the Anabaptists. This study resolves the problem by tracing the historical development of the Anabaptist movement and in particular the emergence of the Radical Anabaptist sect.


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