21 Congregations in the Eastern Synod Central Toronto Ministry Area: Working together, creating a vibrant church relevant in our communities

Flickering of the Flame

Flickering of flame poster for churches

To commemorate this year’s 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Reformation, the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library at the University of Toronto will be mounting the exhibition, “Flickering of the Flame: Print and the Reformation”, running from 25 Sep. to 20 Dec. 2017. On display will be 95 items from the 15th to the 18th centuries, including medieval manuscripts and early printed books, pamphlets, and engravings, that trace the story of the Reformation from its German origins, through its development in the thought of John Calvin and his associates (especially in Switzerland and Scotland), to the English quest for a middle way between Catholicism and Protestantism. The Catholic Reformation is also prominently represented, as are the works of the English Catholic Recusants of the 16th and 17th centuries.

Among the highlights of the exhibition will be late Medieval vernacular prayer books, a 1498 Spanish indulgence, early printed pamphlets by Martin Luther, classics of the Continental Reformation, such as Calvin’s definitive 1559 edition of the Institutes, King Henry VIII’s “Great Bible”, the 1549 edition of the Book of Common Prayer, as well as early Catholic responses to the upheaval, like John Fisher’s Defence of Henry VIII from 1525. Numerous rare works of illustrated propaganda, such as Luther’s 1545 anti-papal cartoons, the first edition of Foxe’s Book of Martyrs (1563), and the exquisitely gruesome Ecclesiæ anglicanæ trophaea published by the Roman College in 1584, will also be available for viewing. The exhibition concludes by examining the ripples of the Reformation in North America, as well as the ways in which the movement left its lasting effects on the world of art.