The resurrection of the dead has been among the articles that defined Christian belief since the earliest days of the church. However, scholars have not considered its place in sixteenth-century debates about what it meant to be a Christian. Notably, the doctrine of bodily resurrection was a subject on which Christians in the Reformation remained remarkably united. Yet despite their basic agreement, sixteenth-century writers paid extensive attention to resurrection, and in so doing, they articulated very different understandings of why it mattered. Writings on resurrection by Martin Luther, Menno Simons, and John Calvin and texts promulgated by the Council of Trent each suggested that the promise of resurrection implicated a different relationship between Christianity and the human body, and in turn, it was to play a particular role in the formation of the true Christian community and the conduct of a Christian life.
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