Modern research dealing with the radical fringe of the Reformation has by-passed the problem of that Italian evangelical movement which is usually assumed to have been connected with northern “Anabaptism.” Students of “Anabaptist” history, however, while they have sought to clarify the distinctions within the movement as well as the features common to its component parts, have laid the groundwork for a reconsideration of the precise position of the Italian radicals. One approach to the problem might focus attention on the question of the relationship of Italian reformers to the “Anabaptist” movement in general. However, it has become increasingly obvious that the term “Anabaptism” was applied to a great variety of individuals and groups which had in common little more than their condemnation of infant baptism. As new criteria have been set up for separating the parts of this confusing mixture, there stand out most prominently at the center of the “Anabaptist” movement certain sects which modern German scholars call the “Taufer,” viz., the Swiss Brethren, the Hutterite Brethren, and the Mennonites; and we shall follow their usage here. The Täufer differed from the Protestant state churches principally in their conception of the nature of the church and, in their stress on discipleship. The latter emphasis implies man's ability to lead a life patterned after the life of Christ, while their conception of the church as a closed community of voluntary believers underlay their insistence upon the need for adult baptism. This insistence, which carried with it a denial of the efficacy of infant baptism, was the point in their teachings that aroused the opposition of contemporaries, signifying, as it did, their non-conformity to established practices and institutions.