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Huldrych Zwingli

1484 - 1531

Huldrych Zwingli was the early leader of the Swiss Reformation. Born in 1484 to a farming family, he received education in Vienna and then Basel before taking up the priesthood in Zürich. Over the course of his studies of the biblical languages and Erasmus’s writings, and then throughout his ministry in Zürich, his own beliefs reformed according to Scripture, which he was preaching expositionally from Sunday to Sunday in a break with Catholic tradition. He became a staunch opponent of Rome and led several Swiss cantons in a reformation of both religion and politics. In correspondence with the German Reformers, he found sympathisers but famously could not reach agreement with Lutherans on the ‘real presence of Christ’ in communion. He died in 1531 on the battlefield in a Catholic attack on Zürich.