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  • Print publication year: 2008
  • Online publication date: September 2012

Chapter 9 - Cuius Regio?


About the same time that Friedrich Förner penned his visitation report, Paul Reinel, a Lutheran deacon in the town of Selb, sat down to record his thoughts on the course of religious reform. His reflections took the form of the Annotationes, a manuscript history of Selb from earliest times down to the present. A basic theme of Reinel's history was that his village had always been Christian. In ancient times, “all of Germany was corrupted with heathen superstition and idol worship.” Consequently, one might think that Reinel's ancestors were pagans and polytheists as well. Reinel argues that this was not true, since “at the time of the Apostles this place was an utter wilderness and wasteland.” Christianity came to Selb from Regensburg in the person of Lucius Cyrenaus, a figure mentioned in Acts 13. Lucius established a mission in Regensburg, one that was later taken over by Saint Emmeram. According to Reinel, by a.d. 700, Christianity had a firm footing in the Danube valley, and it was only after that time that Christian settlers came from Regensburg to Selb. But even though “our forefathers in this place were not heathens but Christians,” Reinel admits that their religion “was not entirely pure.” The reason was simple: “[U]ntil the year 1517, Christ was much betrayed, and soiled and buried under popish human doctrines.” Priests were more concerned with ceremonial objects than Gospel truths. For them, “Christ in Christianity was like a fifth wheel on a wagon.”