1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Concord, Book of

CONCORD, BOOK OF (Liber Concordiae), the collective documents of the Lutheran confession, consisting of the Confessio Augustana, the Apologia Confessionis Augustanae, the Articula Smalcaldici, the Catechismi Major et Minor and the Formula Concordiae. This last was a formula issued on the 25th of June 1580 (the jubilee of the Augsburg Confession) by the Lutheran Church in an attempt to heal the breach which, since the death of Luther, had been widening between the extreme Lutherans and the Crypto-Calvinists. Previous attempts at concord had been made at the request of different rulers, especially by Jacob Andreä with his Swabian Concordia in 1573, and Abel Scherdinger with the Maulbronn Formula in 1575. In 1576 the elector of Saxony called a conference of theologians at Torgau to discuss these two efforts and from them produce a third. The Book of Torgau was evolved, circulated and criticized; a new committee, prominent on which was Martin Chemnitz, sitting at Bergen near Magdeburg, considered the criticisms and finally drew up the Formula Concordiae. It consists of (a) the “Epitome,” (b) the “Solid Repetition and Declaration,” each part comprising twelve articles; and was accepted by Saxony, Württemberg, Baden among other states, but rejected by Hesse, Nassau and Holstein. Even the free cities were divided, Hamburg and Lübeck for, Bremen and Frankfort against. Hungary and Sweden accepted it, and so finally did Denmark, where at first it was rejected, and its publication made a crime punishable by death. In spite of this very limited reception the Formula Concordiae has always been reckoned with the five other documents as of confessional authority.

See P. Schaff, Creeds of Christendom, i. 258-340, iii. 92-180.