The Transylvanian Romanians and the 16th Century Reformation

  • Paul Brusanowski Lucian Blaga University, Theological Orthodox Faculty, Sibiu, Romania, Mitropoliei Street, No.20, RO-550179


The article presents the situation of the Romanian Orthodoxy in the Principality of Transylvania during the sixteenth century, namely during the spread of religious Reformation. Although the early writings of Martin Luther arrived in Sibiu in 1517, Lutheranism could gain legal status only after the establishment of the Principality of Transylvania. Between 1550and 1568, three Protestant denominations have acquired the status of legal received denominations: Lutheranism, Calvinism and Unitarianism. Prince Sigismund Zápolya tried to establish a Romanian Reformed Church, but his death in 1571 and the rise of the Báthory dynasty, a strong Catholic family, resulted in the forfeiture of the Reformed Romanian Church and the revival of the Orthodox Church. Finally, through the decree prohibiting religious innovations, Stephen Báthory set the foundation for the religious system of the Principality of Transylvania, particularly interesting in that era: a) legal received denominations (Catholicism, Lutheranism, Calvinism, Unitarianism); b) legal tolerated denominations (Orthodoxy, Judaism);c) illegal denominations (which continued the ideas of the Reformation but went in a direction that was labelled as extremism). However, in this troubled denominational context appeared the first Romanian translations of the Holy Scriptures.

How to Cite
BRUSANOWSKI, Paul. The Transylvanian Romanians and the 16th Century Reformation. Journal for Freedom of Conscience (Jurnalul Libertății de Conștiință), [S.l.], v. 3, n. 1, apr. 2017. ISSN 2495-1757. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 17 oct. 2018.

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