Elaborated in 1577 to reconstruct the theological disputes within the Lutheran movement, the Formula Concordiae is the result of the joint work of a group of theologians gathered first in Torgau from April to June 1576 and then – in a reduced composition – in Bergen Abbey between March and May 1577. After the Augsburg Interim of 1548, substantial doctrinal and liturgical aspects had cracked the Lutheran front, and issues such as those of good works, free will, or the rule of law in Christian life were at the center of the debate. At the same time, elements of dispute with other Reformed denominations – such as the one between Luther and Zwingli about the presence of the blood and body of Christ in the Eucharist – had led to harsh confrontations among the disciples of Melanchthon. Attempts to resolve disputes had continued – with unsuccessful results – during the 1550s and 1560s. The spirit of the 12 articles of the Formula Concordiae was inspired by a reiteration of the Augsburg Confession. Presented to the Elector of Saxony on 28 May 1577, the document was signed by a large number of imperial electors, princes, imperial cities, and pastors. In other words, about two thirds of the Empire Lutherans welcomed the text, which however was rejected by many others. Despite such partial acceptance, the Book of Concord is still the official definition on doctrinal matter for the majority of Lutheran Churches.
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