About the Reception of Ferenc Spira (Franciscus Spiera) in Hungary and Transylvania Cover Image

Spira Ferenc históriájának magyar és erdélyi recepciójáról
About the Reception of Ferenc Spira (Franciscus Spiera) in Hungary and Transylvania

Author(s): Tamás Túri
Subject(s): History of Church(es)
Published by: Erdélyi Unitárius Egyház
Keywords: Spira Ferenc (Franciscus Spiera); apostate; protestant polemic; unitarian preach; ars moriendi; reception

Summary/Abstract: This paper focuses on the story of Spira Ferenc (Franciscus Spiera) a famous apostate in the 16th century. Th e Inquisition forced him to publicly recant his protestant beliefs, aft er which Spira fell into religious despair and killed himself. His story was written by four witnesses: Pietr Paolo Vergerio, Sigismundus Gelous, Matteo Gribaldi and Henry Scrimgeour and was printed in a huge collection in Basel, 1550. Th is story had a great following among protestants in Europe, each protestant confession could use it for its own polemical aims. This paper represents this story’s reception in England and Germany. It then focuses on the account of a famous Hungarian humanist Sigismundus Gelous (Gyalui Torda Zsigmond) and Tőke Ferenc’s poem about Spira. It discusses several works in which Spira as exemplum appears: Kulcsár György: Az halálra való készöletről… 1573. Károlyi Péter: Az halálról, feltámadásról… 1575. In these texts we fi nd Spira in the context of the ars moriendi (the art of dying). Lastly, the study broadens this text-corpus about Spira with a new Unitarian work from the 17th century. Th is is a preach succession of ten sermons which interprets in 10 preaches the Revelations, 22,1–2. Spira’s story is registered in the 9th piece, and the 9–10th preaches are also contain the ars moriendi. It is very interesting that the Unitarian work did not apply Spira’s example to confessional aims, this way tears out and therefore separates the story from the traditional protestant polemical context. Although in this period (i.e. the 17th century) the situation of Unitarian Church in Transylvania was very diffi cult and we have knowledge about lots of Unitarian apostates. Th e preach succession did not take the opportunity of including Spira Ferenc’s story in it’s original context. By these examples we can observe that the story’s confessional-polemical interpretation faded in Hungary and Transylvania.

  • Issue Year: 120/2014
  • Issue No: 2
  • Page Range: 103-130
  • Page Count: 28
  • Language: Hungarian