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He was born in Wilthaus, present-day Switzerland, in the canton of St Gallen. He studied theology in Vienna  and Basel. He was ordained a priest in 1506 and from 1519 his main jurisdiction became Zurich.

From 1516 he was in correspondence with Luther's friend Erasmus of Rotterdam. He was very well acquainted with Luther's writings.

In Zwingl's view, man's whole life was to be a service.

He began to demand reforms in the church such as evangelical communion, the removal of images from churches, and the church’s responsibility for caring for the poor. All the city’s brothels also had to be closed.


The Zwingl Reformation thus placed demands on religious and social renewal.

His Reformation was national in nature and led the Protestant and Catholic cantons of Switzerland to a war of faith in which Zwingli himself and 400 other his supporters died.

The biggest difference doctrinally from Luther was the notion of the Lord's Supper.  Attempts were made to reconcile the doctrine of the sacrament in Marburg  in a religious debate held. The company was unsuccessful. For Zwingl, the Lord's Supper was a sign of confession and duty, a symbol. The Eucharists only symbolically signified the body and blood of Christ.

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