145 Saint Paul’s apostolic greeting (Romans 1:7) as a distinguishing sign, and began letters to their friends who shared the same ideas with the salutation “Grace and peace!”. The apostolic greeting, just like in the Evangelical movement in Germany, served here as a tool for identi? icat ion.33 Apart from this a typical and watchwordlike phrase of the new church language was “Christian and Evangelical”.34 Compared to the mining towns, such phenomena were scarcer and appeared only later in the royal free cities in Upper Hungary. Thus, a general conclusion can probably be drawn that moving from the west towards the east the signs of the Reformation become sparser and originate in a later period. Transylvania is almost completely missing from this map of the early Reformation, despite the fact that the Transylvanian Saxons also belonged to the German ethnic group as did the population of Spiš County (Scepusium), and that there were investigations into books and heretics in Sibiu as early as 1524, as there were in Sopron. Comparing the parallel biographies of reformers in Hungary, the similarities in their careers are interesting. They tried reforming their own cities before going to Wittenberg, and the con?licts deriving from these attempts drove them out of the country. Afterwards they made a career in a church in one of the Lutheran provinces, supported by the reformers of Wittenberg. When examining the biographies and theological categorisation of reformers in Hungary, in many cases an interesting problem emerges which is typical to the region. The easiest way of illustrating this phenomenon is through the example of the already mentioned Conrad Cordatus. The ideas of the Reformation probably affected this preacher in Buda through his readings, maybe from 1521 onwards. In 1524, Cordatus preached “against the pope and the cardinals” in front of a prestigious congregation including the royal couple, and as a consequence he had to ?lee. Just a few weeks later his name can be found in the register of the university of Wittenberg. In the following years he travelled several times to Hungary and Wittenberg, where he became Luther’s close colleague, the transcriber of The Table Talk and the godfather of Philipp Melanchthon’s child. He ?inished his adventurous life as the Lutheran superintendent of Stendal in Brandenburg. Due to the lack of sources, the literature tends to anticipate later data and situations. However, it cannot be stated that in 1524 Cordatus preached “in the spirit of Luther”; we can only claim that he held a sermon which was critical of the church, showing the effect of reformers’ ideas. It is questionable to what extent these early attempts were “Lutheran”. Although the unjusti?iable retrospective projections are often due to later memories of the character under examination, it can be proved textually how increasing theological control had a retrospective amending effect. Still, the question remains: what did the reformers mean by the often used term “evangelium” before they came into direct contact with the theol33 Csepregi: ’Anfänge’. 34 Csepregi: ’The evolution’, 19-26.
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