April 14, 2021
Hardly any corpus doctrinae had as intensive a reception and as wide a dissemination as the Corpus Doctrinae Philippicum (1560). Situating it in the history of the concept of a corpus doctrinae and briefly sketching its origin and goal elucidate the function and significance of this collection of Melanchthon’s writings. An intensive investigation reveals however any connection of this work with the development of the Reformation in Siebenbürgen (ung. Erdély, rum. Transilvania) in the later 16th century. The records of the Siebenbürgen synods mention the Corpus Doctrinae Philippicum occasionally, revealing the extent to which it served as a norm for public teaching. Unique and characteristic for Siebenbürgen is that the Formula of Concord (1577) did not replace this Corpus Doctrinae ; it remained influential long into the seventeenth century. It was however interpreted within the horizon of a Wittenberg theology that was marked by the pre-confessional harmony and doctrinal agreement between Luther and Melanchthon while seeking to ignore Philippist interpretations and focusing on the common teachings of both reformers.