In the writing of the German Reformation, there has long been a strong association between urban history and the evangelical movement. The sentiment has been around since the days of Leopold von Ranke (1795–1886), but it was the publication of Bernd Moeller's Imperial Cities and the Reformation (1962) that turned the rather casual notion into a research paradigm. Moeller imagined the Reformation in terms of the medieval cityscape. “It is important to recognize,” he wrote, “that the Reformation was introduced almost everywhere according to the forms prescribed by the city constitution, and that it had its foundation in the city's communal mentality.” Constitutionally, there was a clear filiation of development to account for the later Protestant church. Throughout the medieval period urban communes had been securing rights and privileges extending the claims and functions of local sovereignty, from the regulation of the immediate economy, the control of taxation, and the administration of lesser jurisdiction, to the guardianship of parish religion. In a similar manner, when Moeller spoke of the collective mentality of the German city, he did so in order to draw attention to the norms and values of urban governance and the similar reserve of norms preached in early evangelical theology. In its origins, the Imperial city was characterized as a political association, bound by oath, joined by common will, created in order to preserve the peace. The urban values underwriting this myth of community were those that placed collective welfare above the interests of the individual—concord, unity, justice, love, peace, and the common good (Gemeinnutz). Further legitimation of the communal ideal was provided by the medieval affinity to imagine the city in terms of a sacral corporation (corpus Christianum), with the religious standing of each member of the union bearing upon collective salvation. Little separates this cast of mind from evangelical theology and its stress on brotherly love, peace, and the community of believers. God's Word, to use the phrasing of the town clerk of Nördlingen, heals the divisions of the commune as it heals the divisions of the soul.